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News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Tennant Company (NYSE: TNC), líder mundial em soluções de projeto, fabricação e publicidade que ajudam a tornar o mundo mais limpo e mais seguro, anunciou hoje a assinatura de um acordo definitivo com o fundo de participação Ambienta para compra do IPC Group, grupo privado italiano que cria e fabrica soluções de limpeza. A transação envolve o pagamento de 350 milhões de dólares (o equivalente a 330 milhões de Euros) à vista. Em 2016, o IPC Group teve um total de vendas de aproximadamente 203 milhões de dólares (192 milhões de Euros). Esta será a maior aquisição da história da Tennant e as suas previsões apontam que esta compra vai valorizar o rendimento de suas ações para o ano de 2018. Segundo Chris Killingstad, presidente e CEO da Tennant: “ A aquisição do IPC Group é uma ação estratégica que está de acordo com as nossas aspirações de crescimento. Na Europa, o IPC Group aumentará consideravelmente a nossa participação de mercado e a nossa presença, mais do que duplicando o nosso volume de negócios na EMEA. Com isso, teremos volume para acelerar o crescimento da Tennant e do IPC Group, bem como para alavancar a nossa estrutura de custos na EMEA. Um aspecto importante é que as atividades das duas empresas são altamente diferenciadas e complementares entre si, tanto no aspecto geográfico quanto em relação a produtos e à abordagem de colocação no mercado”. Mais de 80% das atividades do IPC Group se concentram na Europa, enquanto o remanescente se divide igualmente entre as Américas e a região Ásia-Pacífico. Além de expandir a participação de mercado da Tennant na EMEA, as marcas do IPC Group vão ampliar a gama de produtos oferecidos pela Tennant. As marcas das duas empresas não se sobrepõem, pois ocupam posições diferentes no mercado. O IPC Group produz equipamentos e máquinas de pequeno e médio porte, voltados para a limpeza comercial. Dentre seus produtos, incluem-se esfregões, vassouras, aspiradores de pó, limpadoras de alta pressão, bem como peças de reposição e serviços relacionados. O IPC Group também vai expandir o portfólio de produtos da Tennant, com a inclusão de ferramentas e artigos de limpeza como carrinhos de limpeza multiuso, sistemas para limpeza de janelas, esfregões e panos de microfibra antibacteriana, juntos com uma vasta gama de produtos de consumo. Assim como a Tennant, o IPC Group está comprometido com a sustentabilidade e a inovação, com foco na redução do uso de energia, água e detergentes. O IPC Group vende os produtos das marcas IPC, IPC Foma, IPC Eagle, IPC Gansow, ICA, Vaclensa, Portotecnica, Sirio and Soteco, Readysystem, Euromop e Pulex. As marcas das duas empresas continuarão operando normalmente em seus respectivos mercados, sem alterações. Além disso, os canais de vendas das duas empresas se complementam muito bem. De acordo com as previsões da Tennant, isso aumentará as oportunidades comerciais de ambas. Segundo Killingstad: “ Pretendemos comercializar as marcas da Tennant e do IPC Group como partes integrantes de nosso portfólio multimarcas. O IPC Group é um empreendimento que cresce, gera lucros e tem uma equipe de gestão sólida. Estamos muito felizes com o nosso potencial somado”. De acordo com as expectativas da Tennant, a aquisição será concluída no segundo trimestre de 2017. No entanto, esse prazo depende de aspectos alfandegários e da aprovação de órgãos reguladores. A Tennant Company contou com a consultoria financeira da Goldman, Sachs & Co e o suporte jurídico da Baker & McKenzie. A Ambienta, por sua vez, contou com a consultoria financeira da Baird e o suporte jurídico da Linklaters. O IPC Group tem sede na Itália e é um dos maiores fornecedores de soluções profissionais de limpeza para mercados comerciais. A empresa foi fundada em 2005, após a fusão de várias das principais empresas do setor de limpeza profissional. Cada uma dessas empresas se especializava em um segmento de produtos diferente. Em 2014, o IPC Group passou ao portfólio da Ambienta, um dos maiores fundos de participação da Europa, cujo foco são investimentos de expansão industrial em empresas, seguindo as tendências do mercado. O grupo tem 11 escritórios espalhados pelo mundo e vende seus produtos em mais de 100 países. Para obter mais informações, consulte o folheto que acompanha este material ou acesse www.ipcworldwide.com. A Tennant Company (TNC) tem sede em Minneapolis e é uma das líderes mundiais em soluções de projeto, fabricação e comercialização que ajudam seus clientes a ter um bom desempenho de limpeza, a reduzir consideravelmente o impacto ambiental de suas atividades e a contribuir para um mundo mais limpo, seguro e saudável. Dentre seus produtos incluem-se equipamentos voltados para a conservação de superfícies em ambientes industriais, comerciais e em espaços abertos; limpeza sem detergente ou com outras tecnologias sustentáveis; e revestimentos para proteger, consertar ou aprimorar superfícies. A rede de atendimento global em campo da Tennant é a maior do mercado. A empresa tem atividades de fabricação em Minneapolis, MN; Holland, MI; Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL; Uden, Holanda; São Paulo, Brasil; e Shanghai, China. Realiza vendas diretas em 15 países e, por meio de seus distribuidores, em outros 80. Para obter mais informações, visite www.tennantco.com. O logo da Tennant Company e outras marcas indicadas com o símbolo “®” são marcas da Tennant Company registradas nos Estados Unidos e/ou outros países. Algumas declarações contidas neste documento, assim como outras eventuais declarações escritas ou orais feitas por nós, são consideradas “declarações prospectivas” nos termos da “Private Securities Litigation Reform Act” (lei americana sobre novas diretrizes de litígios referentes a títulos de crédito). Tais declarações não têm relação com fatos atuais nem estritamente históricos e correspondem apenas a expectativas ou previsões de eventos futuros. Tais expectativas e previsões dependem de uma série de fatores, incluindo fatores gerais que afetam todas as empresas no mercado global e assuntos específicos que afetam apenas a nós e aos mercados que atendemos. Dentre os riscos e as incertezas que podem nos afetar no presente, incluem-se: incertezas geopolíticas e econômicas do mundo; a competição em nosso mercado de atuação; nossa capacidade de atrair, aprimorar e reter funcionários importantes; nossa capacidade de alcançar eficiências operacionais, como os benefícios sinérgicos e de outra natureza advindos das aquisições; nossa capacidade de gerenciar as mudanças organizacionais com eficácia; nossa capacidade de aprimorar, evoluir e proteger os nossos sistemas de TI; nossa capacidade de desenvolver e comercializar novos serviços e produtos inovadores; imprevistos envolvendo problemas de qualidade nos produtos ou ações legais relacionadas; flutuações de custo, qualidade ou disponibilidade de matérias-primas e componentes adquiridos; flutuações de câmbio financeiro, sobretudo na cotação do dólar frente a outras moedas importantes; interrupções significativas de operação; e nossa capacidade de estar em conformidade com leis e regulamentos.


HONG KONG, CHINA and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 02, 2017) - CBX Software, the leader in Total Sourcing Management for the retail industry, today announced that Tim Chiu, Senior Vice President, Client Management, has again been named a Supply Chain Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine. Tim has previously won this award in 2015. The Pros to Know Awards recognize supply chain executives, and manufacturing and nonmanufacturing enterprises, that are leading initiatives to help prepare their companies' supply chains for the significant challenges of today's business climate. This year's list includes individuals from software firms and service providers, consultancies or academia, who helped their supply chain clients or the supply chain community at large prepare to meet these challenges -- and Practitioner Pros, who do the same within their own companies. As CBX Software's Senior Vice President of Client Management, Tim is dedicated to help retailers, brands and trading companies to increase profit by simplifying global sourcing operation, compressing supply chain cycle time and improving team collaboration. Tim has over 25 years of experience in supporting global sourcing automation and information technology that enables collaboration between global commerce communities. As a seasoned supply chain pro, Tim has achieved enormous success streamlining complex global sourcing operations for many retail giants including El Corte Ingles, ICA, Pepkor, Steinhoff, The Warehouse, Target, Safeway and Kmart. One example of a retail supply chain success story which Tim has directly contributed to is with El Corte Ingles, the largest department store in Europe. The retail giant successfully went live with CBX Cloud in May 2015 to optimize end-to-end sourcing, quality, compliance and logistics. The project was a great success as a result of the tireless efforts from Tim and the CBX team. Sergio Gonzalez, General Manager, El Corte Ingles Shanghai commented: "Frankly, I feel we got way more than software platform. The input and experience of the CBX team, which helped shape and guide our own workflow process was truly invaluable in helping us avoid mistakes and prepare us for our next stage of growth. We understand and appreciate the extra hours, patience and dedication that your team applied to make sure this project was a success." Kmart Australia, one of Australia's leading supermarkets, and a long-term CBX customer, has also directly benefited from Tim's professionalism and dedication. Tim was involved in the project where CBX Cloud was implemented to help Kmart Australia to streamline sourcing, order, quote and product development. As a result of the successful CBX Cloud adoption, Kmart was able to increase their sourcing volume by 350% with almost no additional resources. Tim has successfully led this project which helped Kmart to reduce time-to-market, reduce cost and deliver on-trend products at a great price to their customers. "I am excited to receive this prestigious award which recognized our commitment to the sourcing and supply chain industry," said Tim Chiu, Senior Vice President, CBX Software, "I am passionate about making a positive impact in the global sourcing industry and would like to thank Supply & Demand Chain Executive for the recognition." "Supply & Demand Chain Executive congratulates the 2017 Supply & Demand Chain Executive Pros to Know recipients. The Pros to Know is a listing of exceptional corporate executives at manufacturing and non-manufacturing enterprises who are leading initiatives to help prepare their companies' supply chains for the significant challenges in the year ahead," says Ronnie Garrett, editor of Supply & Demand Chain Executive. "We commend recipients for their achievements. Their accomplishments offer a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage the supply chain for competitive advantage. Their efforts in developing the tools, processes and a knowledge base for supply chain transformation, as well as in promoting new approaches to supply chain enablement, earned these individuals a rightful place in this year's Pros to Know listing." Supply & Demand Chain Executive received more than 300 entries for the 2017 Pros to Know Awards. Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive's user manual for successful supply and Demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. Visit us on the web at www.SDCExec.com. CBX Software has simplified the business of global sourcing; transforming traditional methodologies into fast, friction free supply chains through our real-time cloud based Total Sourcing Management Platform (TSM). We help retailers, brands and manufacturers manage and empower the supply chain from plan to pay -- one intelligent collaboration solution for an enterprise to plan, spec, source, assure quality, order, make, inspect, ship and pay. Over 20,000 users in more than 30 countries rely on CBX including: PetSmart, El Corte Ingles, Target, Safeway, Kmart and others. For more information, visit www.cbxsoftware.com.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tennant Company (NYSE:TNC), a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer world, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with private equity fund Ambienta to acquire IPC Group, a privately held designer and manufacturer of commercial cleaning solutions based in Italy, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $350 million (€330 million). In 2016, IPC Group generated annual sales of approximately $203 million (€192 million). When finalized, this will be the largest acquisition in Tennant Company history. Tennant anticipates that the acquisition will be accretive to 2018 full year earnings per share. Commented Chris Killingstad, Tennant Company president and chief executive officer: “ Acquiring IPC Group is a strategic move that aligns with our growth aspirations. IPC Group significantly increases our presence and market share in Europe, and more than doubles Tennant’s current EMEA business. We will gain the scale to accelerate both Tennant’s and IPC Group’s growth, and better leverage our cost structure in EMEA. Importantly, our businesses are highly complementary and differentiated in our geographies, products and go-to-market approach.” More than 80 percent of IPC Group’s business is concentrated in Europe, with the remaining percentage split evenly between the Americas and the Asia Pacific regions. In addition to expanding Tennant’s EMEA market coverage, IPC Group’s brands broaden Tennant’s range of product offerings. The companies’ brands see little overlap due to their differentiated market positions. IPC Group produces small- to mid-sized commercial cleaning machines and equipment, including floor sweepers and scrubbers, vacuum cleaners, high-pressure washers, and related aftermarket parts and services. IPC Group also expands Tennant’s product portfolio to cleaning tools and supplies, such as multi-purpose cleaning trolleys, window-washing systems, antibacterial microfiber mops and cloths, and a wide array of consumables. Like Tennant, IPC Group is committed to product innovation and sustainability, with a focus on reducing energy, water and detergent use. IPC Group sells its products under the brand names IPC, IPC Foma, IPC Eagle, IPC Gansow, ICA, Vaclensa, Portotecnica, Sirio and Soteco, Readysystem, Euromop, and Pulex. Both companies’ brands will continue to operate in their markets, as they do today. The companies also have highly complementary sales channels. Tennant anticipates that this will provide incremental sales opportunities for both companies going forward. Said Killingstad: “ We intend to market both the Tennant and IPC Group brands as part of our multi-brand portfolio. IPC Group is a growing and profitable business with a strong management team and we are excited about our combined potential.” Tennant expects the acquisition to be completed in the 2017 second quarter. The timing is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor and Baker & McKenzie acted as legal counsel to Tennant Company. Baird acted as financial advisor and Linklaters acted as legal counsel to Ambienta. Italy-based IPC Group is a leading provider of professional cleaning solutions for commercial markets. The company was established in 2005, following the merger of a number of leading companies in the professional cleaning sector, each specializing in a different product segment. From 2014 IPC Group has been a portfolio company of Ambienta, a leading European private equity fund focused on industrial growth investing in companies driven by environmental trends. The company has 11 offices worldwide and sells in more than 100 countries. For more information, please refer to the Fact sheet presentation accompanying this release or visit www.ipcworldwide.com. Minneapolis-based Tennant Company (TNC) is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that empower customers to achieve quality cleaning performance, significantly reduce their environmental impact and help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. Its products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments; detergent-free and other sustainable cleaning technologies; and coatings for protecting, repairing and upgrading surfaces. Tennant's global field service network is the most extensive in the industry. Tennant has manufacturing operations in Minneapolis, MN; Holland, MI; Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL; Uden, The Netherlands; São Paulo, Brazil; and Shanghai, China; and sells products directly in 15 countries and through distributors in more than 80 countries. For more information, visit www.tennantco.com. The Tennant Company logo and other trademarks designated with the symbol “®” are trademarks of Tennant Company registered in the United States and/or other countries. Certain statements contained in this document, as well as other written and oral statements made by us from time to time, are considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements do not relate to strictly historical or current facts and provide current expectations or forecasts of future events. Any such expectations or forecasts of future events are subject to a variety of factors. These include factors that affect all businesses operating in a global market as well as matters specific to us and the markets we serve. Particular risks and uncertainties presently facing us include: geopolitical and economic uncertainty throughout the world; the competition in our business; our ability to attract, develop and retain key personnel; our ability to achieve operational efficiencies, including synergistic and other benefits of acquisitions; our ability to effectively manage organizational changes; our ability to successfully upgrade, evolve and protect our information technology systems; our ability to develop and commercialize new innovative products and services; unforeseen product liability claims or product quality issues; fluctuations in the cost, quality, or availability of raw materials and purchased components; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, particularly the relative strength of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies; the occurrence of a significant business interruption; and our ability to comply with laws and regulations. We caution that forward-looking statements must be considered carefully and that actual results may differ in material ways due to risks and uncertainties both known and unknown. Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. For additional information about factors that could materially affect Tennant's results, please see our other Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including disclosures under “Risk Factors.” We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, and investors are advised to consult any further disclosures by us on this matter in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other written statements we make from time to time. It is not possible to anticipate or foresee all risk factors, and investors should not consider any list of such factors to be an exhaustive or complete list of all risks or uncertainties.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tennant Company (NYSE:TNC), a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing of solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world, today reported net earnings of $15.4 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, on net sales of $211.7 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016. In the 2015 fourth quarter, Tennant reported net earnings of $13.2 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, on net sales of $205.9 million. The 2015 fourth quarter included a $2.0 million pre-tax restructuring charge, or $0.09 per diluted share, related to infrastructure cost reductions. Excluding this special item, and a $0.04 per diluted share favorable tax true-up for a long-lived asset impairment charge, adjusted 2015 fourth quarter net earnings totaled $14.0 million, or $0.78 per diluted share. (See the Supplemental Non-GAAP Financial Table.) “ We executed well against our strategies in the 2016 fourth quarter and made further progress against our goals,” said Chris Killingstad, Tennant Company's president and chief executive officer. “ We are pleased with our fourth quarter results. As we anticipated, Tennant returned to organic sales growth in the quarter, led by sales in our largest region, the Americas, and growth in EMEA.” Killingstad added: “ As we head into 2017, we are taking bold steps to further ignite growth and increase profitability. To this end, we announced the acquisition of IPC Group to improve our competitive position in the EMEA market. Today, we also announced restructuring actions to better align our resources and expense structure with the current low-growth economic environment. Together, these steps are designed to enhance Tennant’s top- and bottom-line performance.” Tennant’s core strategies are focused on maintaining a strong new product and technology pipeline and expanding the company’s global market coverage, while leveraging the company’s cost structure to improve operating efficiency. The company's 2016 fourth quarter consolidated net sales of $211.7 million rose 2.9 percent over the prior year quarter. Unfavorable foreign currency exchange reduced consolidated net sales by approximately 0.5 percent, and the net impact of the 2016 Florock acquisition and the Green Machines™ divestiture increased consolidated net sales by 0.2 percent. As a result, organic net sales, which exclude the impact of foreign currency exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, rose approximately 3.2 percent. Geographically, sales increased 7.0 percent in the Americas, or grew 4.8 percent organically, excluding a favorable foreign currency exchange impact of approximately 0.5 percent and the impact of the Florock acquisition of 1.7 percent. Results in the Americas region reflect strong sales through distribution and demand for new products in North America, as well as increased sales in Latin America. Sales in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region decreased 6.3 percent but were up approximately 3.7 percent organically, with solid growth through the Western Europe distribution and the direct sales channels. Organic sales in EMEA exclude the impact of the Green Machines divestiture of 6.0 percent and an unfavorable foreign currency exchange impact of about 4.0 percent. Sales in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region declined 9.6 percent and decreased approximately 10.1 percent organically, excluding a favorable foreign currency exchange impact of about 0.5 percent. Sales in APAC decreased primarily due to sluggish economic conditions in the region. Tennant's gross margin in the 2016 fourth quarter was 44.2 percent compared to 42.4 percent in the prior year quarter. The 180 basis point increase chiefly stemmed from productivity improvements in North America and a more favorable product mix, with strong sales of industrial equipment. Research and development (R&D) expense for the 2016 fourth quarter totaled $10.0 million, or 4.7 percent of sales, versus $8.1 million, or 3.9 percent of sales, a year ago. The company continues to invest in developing a robust pipeline of innovative new products and technologies. Selling and administrative (S&A) expense in the 2016 fourth quarter was $60.9 million, or 28.8 percent of sales, compared to $61.4 million, or 29.8 percent of sales, and $59.5 million, or 28.9 percent of sales, as adjusted, in the 2015 fourth quarter. The 2016 fourth quarter includes the S&A expense of the recent Florock and Dofesa acquisitions. Tennant continued to balance disciplined spending control with investments in key growth initiatives. Tennant's 2016 fourth quarter operating profit was $22.6 million, or 10.7 percent of sales, up from an operating profit of $17.8 million, or 8.6 percent of sales, and $19.7 million, or 9.6 percent of sales, as adjusted, in the year ago quarter. For the 2016 full year, Tennant’s net earnings totaled $46.6 million, or $2.59 per diluted share, on net sales of $808.6 million, compared to prior year net earnings of $32.1 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, on net sales of $811.8 million. Excluding special items, the company’s 2015 adjusted full year net earnings were $46.0 million, or $2.49 per diluted share. On a “Constant Currency” basis (assuming no change in foreign exchange rates from the prior year), Tennant's 2016 net earnings totaled $2.63 per diluted share. (See the Supplemental Non-GAAP Financial Table.) Unfavorable foreign currency exchange reduced consolidated net sales by approximately 1.0 percent, and the net impact of the 2016 Florock acquisition and Green Machines divestiture decreased consolidated net sales by 0.5 percent. Organic net sales for the 2016 full year, which exclude the impact of foreign currency exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, increased approximately 1.1 percent. Tennant’s gross margin for the 2016 full year was 43.5 percent, in line with the company’s target gross margin range of 43 percent to 44 percent, compared to 43.0 percent for the 2015 full year. R&D expense in 2016 was $34.7 million, or 4.3 percent of sales, versus $32.4 million, or 4.0 percent of sales, in the previous year. S&A expense in the 2016 full year was $248.2 million, or 30.7 percent of sales, versus $252.3 million, or 31.1 percent of sales, and $248.5 million, or 30.6 percent of sales, as adjusted, in the year ago period. Operating profit in 2016 increased to $68.5 million, or 8.5 percent of sales, versus $53.2 million, or 6.6 percent of sales, and $68.1 million, or 8.4 percent of sales, as adjusted, in 2015. Tennant continued to have a strong balance sheet and generated $57.9 million in cash from operations in 2016. Cash on the balance sheet at December 31, 2016, totaled $58.0 million versus $51.3 million in the prior year. The company’s total debt was $36.2 million compared to $24.7 million at the end of 2015. During 2016, Tennant increased its annual cash dividend payout for the 45th consecutive year, and paid $14.3 million in cash dividends to shareholders. For the 2016 full year, the company repurchased approximately 246,000 shares of common stock at a cost of $12.8 million. On February 23, 2017, Tennant announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire the stock of IPC Group in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $350 million (€330 million). IPC Group, based in Italy, is a privately held designer and manufacturer of innovative professional cleaning equipment, tools and other solutions sold under the brand names IPC, IPC Foma, IPC Eagle, IPC Gansow, ICA, Vaclensa, Portotecnica, Sirio and Soteco, Readysystem, Euromop, and Pulex. In 2016, IPC Group generated annual sales of about $203 million (€192 million). Commented Killingstad: “ Acquiring IPC Group is a strategic move that aligns with Tennant’s growth aspirations. IPC Group significantly increases our presence and market share in Europe, and more than doubles Tennant’s current EMEA business. We will gain the scale needed to accelerate our growth and better leverage our cost structure in EMEA. Importantly, our businesses are highly complementary and differentiated in our geographies, products and go-to-market approach. We are excited about our combined potential.” In addition to expanding Tennant’s EMEA market coverage, IPC Group’s products broaden Tennant’s range of offerings. The companies’ brands see little overlap due to their differentiated market positions. Both companies’ brands will continue to operate in their markets, as they do today. The companies also have highly complementary sales channels that will remain in place and provide additional sales opportunities for both companies going forward. The transaction is expected to close in the 2017 second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Tennant anticipates that the acquisition will be accretive to the 2018 full year earnings per share. Today, Tennant announced that it is taking steps to realign its global workforce to support the company’s key strategic growth initiatives, reduce costs and accelerate its ability to reach its 12 percent operating profit margin goal in a low-growth economic environment. “ In the 2017 first quarter, we will be making adjustments in our global organization to meet Tennant’s evolving business needs and align our resources with our strongest growth opportunities,” Killingstad said. Tennant plans an approximate 3 percent net reduction of its global workforce, with the majority of the actions occurring in March. The company anticipates recording a restructuring charge in the 2017 first quarter in the range of $7 million to $8 million pre-tax, or $0.27 to $0.30 per diluted share. The savings from this action are estimated to be $7 million in 2017 and $10 million in 2018. Killingstad stated: “ Looking ahead to 2017, we are excited about our strategic plans but remain cautious about the low-growth macroeconomic environment. Tennant remains competitively well positioned in our markets, with exciting technologies and opportunities to expand our product portfolio and geographic presence, particularly in EMEA with the IPC Group acquisition. Through this acquisition and our restructuring actions, we are positioning Tennant to accelerate revenue growth and improve profitability.” Tennant’s outlook for 2017 includes its planned first quarter restructuring but excludes the planned second quarter IPC Group acquisition. Tennant intends to update its 2017 outlook to include the acquisition in conjunction with the 2017 first quarter earnings release. Tennant Company estimates 2017 full year net sales in the range of $810 million to $830 million, up 0.2 percent to 3 percent, or up approximately 1 percent to 3 percent organically, assuming an unfavorable foreign currency exchange impact on sales in the range of 1 percent to 2 percent and assuming an additional 0.8 percent inorganic growth from the 2016 Florock acquisition. The company expects 2017 full year as reported earnings in the range of $2.20 to $2.43 per diluted shared. The company expects 2017 full year as adjusted earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.70 per diluted share, excluding the 2017 first quarter restructuring charge in the range of $7 million to $8 million pre-tax, or $0.27 to $0.30 per diluted share. Foreign currency exchange in 2017 is estimated to negatively impact operating profit by approximately $2.5 million, or a negative impact of approximately $0.10 per diluted share. On an as adjusted and “Constant Currency” basis (assuming no change in foreign exchange rates from the prior year), 2017 full year earnings are anticipated to be in the range of $2.60 to $2.80 per share. For the 2016 full year, earnings per diluted share totaled $2.59 on net sales of $808.6 million. Tennant’s 2017 annual financial outlook includes the following assumptions: Commented Killingstad: “ We are making progress against our growth aspirations. Our acquisition of IPC Group will put us over our $1 billion sales target on an annualized basis. Additionally, our combined acquisition and restructuring actions will move us closer to our 12 percent operating profit margin goal. We are focused on creating value for Tennant’s shareholders and we are excited about the company’s future growth prospects.” Tennant will host a conference call to discuss the 2016 fourth quarter results today, February 23, 2017, at 10 a.m. Central Time (11 a.m. Eastern Time). The conference call and accompanying slides will be available via webcast on Tennant's investor website. To listen to the call live and view the slide presentation, go to investors.tennantco.com and click on the link at the bottom of the Home page. A taped replay of the conference call with slides will be available at investors.tennantco.com for approximately three months after the call. Minneapolis-based Tennant Company (TNC) is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that empower customers to achieve quality cleaning performance, significantly reduce their environmental impact and help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. Its products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments; detergent-free and other sustainable cleaning technologies; and coatings for protecting, repairing and upgrading surfaces. Tennant's global field service network is the most extensive in the industry. Tennant has manufacturing operations in Minneapolis, MN; Holland, MI; Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL; Uden, The Netherlands; São Paulo, Brazil; and Shanghai, China; and sells products directly in 15 countries and through distributors in more than 80 countries. For more information, visit www.tennantco.com. The Tennant Company logo and other trademarks designated with the symbol “®” are trademarks of Tennant Company registered in the United States and/or other countries. Certain statements contained in this document, as well as other written and oral statements made by us from time to time, are considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements do not relate to strictly historical or current facts and provide current expectations or forecasts of future events. Any such expectations or forecasts of future events are subject to a variety of factors. These include factors that affect all businesses operating in a global market as well as matters specific to us and the markets we serve. Particular risks and uncertainties presently facing us include: geopolitical and economic uncertainty throughout the world; the competition in our business; our ability to attract, develop and retain key personnel; our ability to achieve operational efficiencies, including synergistic and other benefits of acquisitions; our ability to effectively manage organizational changes; our ability to successfully upgrade, evolve and protect our information technology systems; our ability to develop and commercialize new innovative products and services; unforeseen product liability claims or product quality issues; fluctuations in the cost, quality, or availability of raw materials and purchased components; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, particularly the relative strength of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies; the occurrence of a significant business interruption; and our ability to comply with laws and regulations. We caution that forward-looking statements must be considered carefully and that actual results may differ in material ways due to risks and uncertainties both known and unknown. Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. For additional information about factors that could materially affect Tennant's results, please see our other Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including disclosures under “Risk Factors.” We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, and investors are advised to consult any further disclosures by us on this matter in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other written statements we make from time to time. It is not possible to anticipate or foresee all risk factors, and investors should not consider any list of such factors to be an exhaustive or complete list of all risks or uncertainties. This news release and the related conference call include presentations of non-GAAP measures that include or exclude special items. Management believes that the non-GAAP measures provide useful information to investors regarding the company's results of operations and financial condition because they permit a more meaningful comparison and understanding of Tennant Company's operating performance for the current, past or future periods. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to monitor and evaluate ongoing operating results and trends, and to gain an understanding of the comparative operating performance of the company. See the Supplemental Non-GAAP Financial Table. In addition, this news release and related conference call include a discussion of sales, sales growth, gross margin, operating profit margin and net earnings per diluted share on a “Constant Currency” basis, which are non-GAAP measures. For the purpose of comparison, financial performance on a “Constant Currency” basis uses the prior year exchange rates for the comparative period to enhance the visibility of the underlying business trends, excluding the impact arising from foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IndependenceIT, the company that unifies cloud application and data management for IT administrators, today announced Cloud Workspace® Suite version 5.1. The integrated automation software platform has been enhanced with several new features to facilitate the management and delivery of software defined data centers (SDDCs), workspaces, applications, and data to users anywhere, anytime, and on any device. As MSPs, CSPs, and ISVs support business efforts to digitally transform their operations, much of their success will follow the deployment of cloud-based workspaces. Rapid adoption of Cloud Workspaces has accelerated in recent years and is expected to skyrocket with recent research showing global sales set to reach US $18.37 billion by 20221. With a focus on cloud enablement for service providers, IndependenceIT has been at the forefront of innovation in this space. Today’s release of Cloud Workspace Suite version 5.1 furthers the functionality of its platform with several new capabilities. “ Cloud Workspace Suite enables IndependenceIT’s service providers to set up, publish, and manage application collections that can be delivered to any device or published into an existing Cloud Workspace using Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA or PcoIP.” said Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Ovum Research. “ By using IndependenceIT’s automated CWS platform, service providers get granular control over their application, data and Cloud Workspace environments with the added benefits of automation for streamlined management.” “ Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) is a critical part of our business and Cloud Workspace Suite and has been fundamental to our success,” Jason Shirdon, VP, Operations, Ease Technologies. “ In addition to the innovations found in CWS, IndependenceIT’s partner enablement has exceeded our expectations with dedicated sales and technical support, access to collaterals, and technical guides. With the WaaS market moving quickly, IT service providers considering the technology should consider CWS.” “ Today’s announcement regarding version 5.1 adds to the leadership of our solution and IT service providers that deliver cloud services to their customers stand to benefit significantly,” said Seth Bostock, CEO, IndependenceIT. “ CWS can be used to deploy and manage server / App workloads and can complement and automate Microsoft RDS, Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp and others to simplify the orchestration and management of those fine solutions for clients. It should be one of the first products considered for IT service providers entering the market.” IndependenceIT unifies cloud, application and data management for IT administrators. Automation and workflow simplify all administrative tasks from infrastructure to end-user support. With the Cloud Workspace Suite (CWS) software platform, partners leverage a robust API for ease of integration with existing systems, simplifying deployment and increasing responsiveness. Contact IndependenceIT at 888-299-4552 or visit www.independenceIT.com.


David Stegall Elected President of the Society of Risk Management Consultants The Society of Risk Management Consultants recently held their annual conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and elected new Officers and Directors. Birmingham, AL, November 01, 2016 --( Other Newly Elected Officers: President-Elect: Mr. Benjamin C. Few III, ARM, ARM-P, AAI, of Ben Few & Company, Fort Myers, FL; Secretary: Mr. Christopher J. Franki, CPCU, ARM, Vice President and Principal Consultant with Insurance Buyers’ Council, Inc. in Cockeysville, MD; Treasurer: Mr. Joe C. Underwood, ARM-E, CPCU, ACI, MBA, Principal at Albert Risk Management Consultants in Needham, MA and Immediate-Past President: Mr. Michael Norek, Principal Consultant and Partner at KFDA in Boston, MA. Newly Elected Directors: Ms. Joy M. Gänder, CPCU, ARM, Principal, Gänder Consulting, LLC in Madison, WI; Mr. Robert R. Duty, ARM, Senior Risk Consultant, Charles Taylor, PLC in Dallas, TX; Mr. Robert L. Bernens, ARM, President, Core Risk Services in Oldenburg, IN; and Mr. James R. Mahurin, CPCU, ARM, Principal, James R. Mahurin Risk Management & Insurance Consulting in Franklin, TN. Other Directors: Mr. Michael W. Gurval, ARM, of ICA Risk Management Associates in Stirling, NJ; Mr. Glenn Linville, CPCU, ARM, of CORE Risk Services in Cincinnati, OH; Ms. Noel Orsak of Sigma Risk Management Consulting of Houston, TX and Ms. Kelly Wierzchowski of Crain, Langer & Co. in Ritchfield, OH. The Society of Risk Management Consultants is an international organization of professionals engaged in risk management and insurance consulting. SRMC Members serve their clients and the public through research, education, exchange of information and the promotion of professional and ethical guidelines. SRMC Members are compensated exclusively by their clients on a fee-for-service basis and are held to rigid standards of education, experience, professionalism and code of ethics. For more information, contact: Chris Moss, Public Relations Chair - Society of Risk Management Consultants, christopher.moss@ctplc.com Birmingham, AL, November 01, 2016 --( PR.com )-- The Society of Risk Management Consultants ( srmcsociety.org ) is pleased to announce the election of Mr. David L. Stegall, CPCU, ARM, ARe, RPA to the position of President. Mr. Stegall is Principal Consultant at Risk Consulting & Expert Services ( www.rces.us ), a risk management and insurance consulting firm in Birmingham, AL. Mr. Stegall founded his firm in 2007 and holds a B.A. Degree in Communications from Auburn University.Other Newly Elected Officers: President-Elect: Mr. Benjamin C. Few III, ARM, ARM-P, AAI, of Ben Few & Company, Fort Myers, FL; Secretary: Mr. Christopher J. Franki, CPCU, ARM, Vice President and Principal Consultant with Insurance Buyers’ Council, Inc. in Cockeysville, MD; Treasurer: Mr. Joe C. Underwood, ARM-E, CPCU, ACI, MBA, Principal at Albert Risk Management Consultants in Needham, MA and Immediate-Past President: Mr. Michael Norek, Principal Consultant and Partner at KFDA in Boston, MA.Newly Elected Directors:Ms. Joy M. Gänder, CPCU, ARM, Principal, Gänder Consulting, LLC in Madison, WI; Mr. Robert R. Duty, ARM, Senior Risk Consultant, Charles Taylor, PLC in Dallas, TX; Mr. Robert L. Bernens, ARM, President, Core Risk Services in Oldenburg, IN; and Mr. James R. Mahurin, CPCU, ARM, Principal, James R. Mahurin Risk Management & Insurance Consulting in Franklin, TN.Other Directors:Mr. Michael W. Gurval, ARM, of ICA Risk Management Associates in Stirling, NJ; Mr. Glenn Linville, CPCU, ARM, of CORE Risk Services in Cincinnati, OH; Ms. Noel Orsak of Sigma Risk Management Consulting of Houston, TX and Ms. Kelly Wierzchowski of Crain, Langer & Co. in Ritchfield, OH.The Society of Risk Management Consultants is an international organization of professionals engaged in risk management and insurance consulting. SRMC Members serve their clients and the public through research, education, exchange of information and the promotion of professional and ethical guidelines. SRMC Members are compensated exclusively by their clients on a fee-for-service basis and are held to rigid standards of education, experience, professionalism and code of ethics.For more information, contact:Chris Moss, Public Relations Chair - Society of Risk Management Consultants, christopher.moss@ctplc.com David Stegall Elected President of the Society of Risk Management Consultants The Society of Risk Management Consultants (srmcsociety.org) is pleased to announce the election of Mr. David L. Stegall, CPCU, ARM, ARe, RPA to the position of President. Filename: SRMC-Press-Release-10-28-16Re.pdf Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Risk Consulting & Expert Services


News Article | November 1, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS--(Marketwired - Nov. 1, 2016) - Tethys Petroleum Limited ("Tethys" or the "Company") (TSX:TPL)(LSE:TPL) today announces that it acknowledges the press release by Olisol Petroleum Limited ("Olisol") on October 28, 2016 relating to Tethys subsidiary, Tethys Aral Gas LLP's ("TAG") gas sales contract with Intergas Central Asia ("ICA"), the Kazakh State-owned gas transport company ("Gas Contract"). Olisol's unauthorized release of confidential information contained factual inaccuracies and Tethys wishes to clarify certain matters. Prior to Olisol's press release, Tethys had filed a confidential material change report (the "Report") with the relevant Canadian securities regulator as it is permitted to do under applicable Canadian securities laws. Tethys filed such Report confidentially as the Company contests the grounds for the cancellation of the receipt of gas by ICA and its right to terminate the Gas Contract, is in discussions with ICA and Kazakh Government officials regarding such matters, and is hopeful that such matters will be resolved amicably and to the satisfaction of all parties in the very near future. As such, the Company believed that disclosure of the cancellation of receipt of gas and the termination of the Gas Contract would be unduly detrimental to the interests of Tethys, and potentially be misleading or confusing to investors, in the event that the Company is successful in having the Gas Contract reinstated. Contrary to Olisol's assertion that the cancellation of the Gas Contract is irrevocable, the Company continues to be in discussions with ICA and Governmental officials, and believes that there remains a reasonable prospect that ICA will reinstate the Gas Contract. Further, the Company does not believe that the loss of the gas sales to date have been material to the Company. The relevant facts regarding the Gas Contract are as follows: On October 13, 2016, representatives of TAG received a letter from ICA indicating that it would be cancelling acceptance of gas from TAG under the Gas Contract. Following receipt of the letter, representatives of TAG engaged in discussions with ICA regarding the letter and payment for amounts due under the Gas Contract. On October 17, 2016, TAG received a letter from ICA stating that ICA was cancelling its acceptance of gas from TAG effective as of 1pm (Kazakh time) on October 18, 2016. On October 18, 2016, TAG sent a response letter to ICA questioning the basis for cancellation of the gas. On October 19, 2016, representatives of TAG met with Governmental officials as well as members of ICA to try to resolve matters. On October 21, 2016, TAG received a further letter from ICA indicating that in addition to cancelling acceptance of gas from TAG, it was terminating the Gas Contract. In this letter, ICA acknowledged outstanding amounts for unpaid gas of US$3 million though did not set a timeline for payment of such amounts. The Company continues to contest the grounds for cancellation of the receipt of gas by ICA and its right to terminate the Gas Contract and is in discussions with ICA and Government officials regarding such matters and is hopeful that they will be resolved amicably and to the satisfaction of all parties in the very near future. Tethys is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Central Asia and the Caspian Region. This highly prolific oil and gas area is rapidly developing and Tethys believes that significant potential exists in both exploration and in discovered deposits. Some of the statements in this document are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the intent, belief and current expectations of the Company or its officers with respect to the potential that exists in both exploration and in discovered deposits in Central Asia and the Caspian Region and resolution of the Gas Contract matters. When used in this document, the words "expects," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "may," "will," "should" and similar expressions, and the negatives thereof, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are not promises or guarantees, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from those suggested by any such statements including risks and uncertainties with respect to the potential that exists in both exploration and in discovered deposits in Central Asia and resolution of the Gas Contract matters. No part of this announcement constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in the Company or any other entity, and shareholders of the Company are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Save as required by the Listing Rules and applicable law, the Company does not undertake to update or change any forward-looking statements to reflect events occurring after the date of this announcement.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Compliance Association (ICA), a global, not-for-profit professional membership body supporting compliance professionals through independently awarded certifications, today announces its expansion into the US, with its primary training partner, International Compliance Training (ICT). The US team, based in New York, offers programs covering Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Anti-Bribery & Corruption, Know Your Customer (KYC), Sanctions and Managing Fraud to help further the careers and knowledge of compliance professionals, with differentiated course levels available for each career stage. Leading the team in North America is Steve Stromp who brings extensive, international experience in the AML and compliance space. Steve was previously Principal Consultant at the Compliance Ready Group and has had senior level roles within banking and payments, aligning systems and processes to improve risk profiling. According to Stromp: “The International Compliance Association wants to help make the world more stable and successful by inspiring, educating and enabling our global community of compliance specialists to perform to the highest standards of professional practice and conduct. With our training and certifications now available for the US compliance community, we are excited that US compliance and financial crime prevention professionals can benefit from our international insights and uniquely practical training methods to further their career, develop their teams and help lead their businesses into the future.” There are many reasons why a focus on strengthening knowledge and the tool set for the compliance community will be important in 2017. For example, with the new Trump administration and its domestic agenda, there could also be many changes in regulatory compliance that focus on global issues, such as Dodd-Frank, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), sanctions, and counter terrorism financing. In addition, the increased need for transparency and accountability with the constantly evolving regulatory landscape, means that firms are under unprecedented scrutiny from regulators, their customers and society. For the largest global banks, regulatory fines and settlements have increased by a factor of 45 between 2009 and 2014. Corporate and financial institutions need to adhere to higher compliance standards at both a national and international level and ensure that their teams are fully trained on compliance initiatives. For compliance professionals in leading organizations, effective compliance, in collaboration with other business units, can also be seen as a key differentiator for businesses, unlocking commercial advantage and driving businesses forwards. For over 15 years, the International Compliance Association, in conjunction with its training partners, has been working with a global community of compliance, AML and financial crime professionals, firms and regulators. Together they are driving standards, best practice, and excellence through their internationally recognized professional qualifications, member resources and practical support. The ICA certifications are awarded in association with Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester (the UK’s largest campus-based business and management school). Many international regulators and bodies formally recognize the certifications such as the British Bankers’ Association, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Central Bank of the Bahamas. Globally, clients include HSBC, Visa, Citi, Barclays, Paypal and Bank of America with whom ICA and its training partner, ICT, work collaboratively to also create and deliver customized training solutions. With 55 subject matter experts in all aspects of regulatory and financial crime compliance, their world-class faculty includes international academics as well as experienced industry practitioners. The International Compliance Association will hold an Open House event on March 9th at the Intercontinental New York Time Square hotel to provide more information about the public courses they offer as well as showcasing its experience of in-house, customized programmes. The International Compliance Association (ICA) is a professional membership and awarding body. It is the leading global provider of professional qualifications in anti money laundering; governance, risk and compliance and financial crime prevention having awarded over 120,000 certifications. ICA’s internationally recognised qualifications empower you to think more, perform better and excel in your field. ICA has members in 112 countries and being part of their global membership community demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of practice and conduct, enhances your professional reputation and employability and significantly protects and improves the performance of your organisation.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

SentryBay announced today that its Armored Client solution has successfully completed verification as part of the Citrix Ready Secure Remote Access program LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - February 15, 2017) - This program showcases partner products that integrate with Citrix products and add an extra layer of security to enhance secure remote access. SentryBay has worked with Citrix Systems Inc. to deliver this solution within the App Security, Network Security and Data Security subsections of the Secure Remote Access Program, and is the only solution that meets the requirements of 3 separate categories of this program. The Armored Client Solution addresses security challenges for secure remote connections to Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp environments using a unique combination of features -- resulting in the following protection mechanisms: In effect, the Armored Client securely "wraps" the Citrix Receiver session in a comprehensive coat of security features - without degradation of the user experience. The Armored Client is integrated with Netscaler so usage can be enforced using perimeter controls and ICA files are encrypted and decrypted between the two solutions. Support Issues are minimised as the solution is self-encapsulated - no need to manage a large number of browser and receiver versions - the Armored Client can also maintain the desired receiver version. The user experience is seamless -- launching the solution executes the Citrix session within the secure container and operations such as ICA/HDX channels function normally, without any impact on system performance. Deployment is securely handled via the cloud and is scalable, with approved updates occurring silently for users. A secure administration portal is also provided enabling client registration and license management, plus provides a comprehensive set of audit data that can be used for reporting or real-time controls. The Armored Client enables enterprises to easily and cost-effectively provide enterprise-grade security -- with remote and unmanaged devices. Once deployed the system then provides simple auditing and controls to ensure the integrity of the connections and licensing control. The Armored Client supports Windows 7 and above, with a Mac version launching early Q2 and mobile versions later in 2017. SentryBay Limited (www.sentrybay.com) is a privately held firm headquartered in London with offices in the USA and Australasia and clients and partners globally. SentryBay specializes in providing real-time security technologies for PC, Mobile, Cloud and IoT devices. Citrix Ready identifies recommended solutions that are trusted to enhance the Citrix Deliver y Center infrastructure. All products featured in Citrix Ready have completed verification testing, thereby providing confidence in joint solution compatibility. Leveraging its industry leading alliances and partner eco-system, Citrix Ready showcases select trusted solutions designed to meet a variety of business needs. Through the online catalog and Citrix Ready branding program, you can easily find and build a trusted infrastructure. Citrix Ready not only demonstrates current mutual product compatibility, but through continued industry relationships also ensures future interoperability. Learn more at https://citrixready.citrix.com/.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

Swedish supermarket chain ICA started experimenting in December with "natural branding," a process that uses low-energy carbon dioxide lasers to remove the pigment from the outer skins of fruits and vegetables. The laser beams create tattoo-like patterns—in this case the product's name, country of origin and code number—similar to the way hot irons brand cattle. If its test is successful, ICA, which has 1,350 stores across Sweden, hopes to cut down on the stickers and packaging it now uses to identify its organic produce. "It's a new technique, and we are searching for a smarter way of branding our products due to the fact that we think we have too much unnecessary plastic material or packaging material on our products," Peter Hagg, the chain's senior manager for fruits and vegetables, said. ICA decided to start with sweet potatoes and avocados because their peels are not typically eaten and have a tendency to shed the stickers normally used to brand produce. But branded broccoli and engraved eggplants may not be far behind. Later this year, the chain plans to test laser-marking melons plus some items with consumable skins to gauge consumer reaction. Hagg claims lasering has no negative effects on the fruit and vegetables. "It's very delicate. Because the mark is not going through the skin in any way, it doesn't affect the quality or taste of the product," he said. Jonas Kullendorff, a 29-year-old engineer, says he approves of the method, if it reduces packaging waste. "It's actually the first time I've seen this branding, but if it's (a) more sustainable alternative, I'm all for it," Kullendorff said. "No, I wouldn't say it would put me off. If it's less packaging materials, that's a good thing." Laser labeling has been used in Australia and New Zealand since 2009 and was approved for use in European Union countries in 2013, according to Eosta, the Netherlands-based produce supplier that is working with ICA to test the technology in Sweden. Eosta says it sold over 725,000 packs of organically grown avocados to the supermarket chain in 2015. Packing them required about 220 kilometers (135 miles) of plastic wrap. The avocados etched by Eosta now sit in open bins without stickers or packaging. Laser marking can't be used on all produce. Citrus fruit, for example, has the ability to heal itself, meaning the etchings would disappear after just a few hours. Packaging still is desirable in some cases to extend a product's shelf life, Hagg said. "The plastic branding—there is of course positive things with it," he said. "But in some items it's just unnecessary, because it doesn't bring you better shelf life. It just brings you extra costs." Central to the trial's success will be consumer response and whether shoppers are happy to eat something that's been zapped by a laser. "It's really new to me, but I think it's a really good idea (for) the environment," Emma Jeppsson, a customer in the store, said. Produce stickers, which are made of paper or plastic along with ink and adhesives, may seem like more of an inconvenience than a source of pollution, but environmentalists say even small bits of waste have an impact on the environment. "We know there's a huge amount of waste across the supply chain before we get to the packaging we see on our shelves," Friends of the Earth campaigner Kierra Box said. Explore further: Graphene-infused packaging is a million times better at blocking moisture

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