The Paper360° TOP 100

There was some movement on the table in 2017, with more changes on the way as some recent M&As near completion.


A new company made its debut in 2017, and enters this year’s Top 100 near the top of the list, no less. There is a catch though. Essity, although a new entity, was created when SCA split in two with the tissue/hygienic papers division assuming the new identity. SCA continues to exist, but in the graphics paper sector (and wood products). As a result, Essity enters the list at No. 10 while SCA drops from the Top 10, where it had long held a spot, all the way to number 64.

The Top Five remains as is, with IP assuming its usual position atop the list, followed by Procter & Gamble, WestRock, Oji, and UPM.

Nippon Paper jumped into the Top 10 at No. 9, up five spots from its 2017 entry.

Although there were some notable acquisitions in 2017, they did not affect the Top 100 to any great extent. That will probably change next year. Tembec was acquired by Rayonier Advanced Materials, but results for the first three quarters of its fiscal year were announced, so they retain a place. Next year will be different.

Paper Excellence acquired Eldorado Brasil Celulose in late 2017. However, the deal will be complete later this year, so Eldorado’s numbers are included. Paper Excellence is one of the private companies that does not disclose financial information (others include APP, Irving, Kruger, SAICA, APRIL, and Georgia-Pacific). Therefore, this probably marks Eldorado’s last appearance in the Top 100.

   These are the 57 companies that made more than one million           metric tons of paper and board in 2017.


The announced merger between pulp giants Suzano and Fibria was also big news this year (read more about it in our interview with CEO Walter Schalka on page 38.) At press time, the US$4.9 billion merger between WestRock and Kapstone Paper and Packaging was still on track, and will surely have an effect on next year’s results.

We say goodbye to long-time participant Appvion. The company declared bankruptcy in 2017 and was then taken over by private investors. As a result, we welcome Orchids Paper, a Southern US tissue producer, to the Top 100 for the first time. We also say goodbye to Norske Skog, which declared bankruptcy in 2017; earlier this year, the company entered into a purchase agreement with Oceanwood, an independent investment management firm.

The Million Tonners Club also increased its membership, with 57 (up from 56) companies producing more than one million metric tons of paper and board in 2017.

Mark Rushton is senior editor, Europe and Asia, and Graeme Rodden is senior editor, North and South America, for Paper360°. Both have been part of the editorial team compiling past Top 100 lists for many years. Reach them at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

GENERAL NOTES: The Paper360° Top 100 ranking is based on the net sales of pulp, paper, converting, and merchanting (PPCM) operations. The 2017 numbers are revised financial data received for this year’s report. Unless noted, the financial year reported is January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. Where possible, earnings are net earnings and are calculated after tax and excluding extraordinary items. An “NA” means “not available” and no estimate was possible. An *after the CEO’s name indicates that the person is new to this position. Metric tons are used throughout. Figures have been converted to US$ according to RISI currency tables at press time.

International Paper: Production = sales. Procter & Gamble: PPCM sales include Baby, Feminine, and Family Care divisions. Fiscal year runs July 1 2016—June 30 2017. WestRock: Fiscal year runs October 1 – September 30. Production = shipments. Oji Paper: Fiscal year runs April 1 to March 31. Production = capacity from RISI’s Mill Asset Database. Oji sales includes some other industrial sectors. UPM: PPCM figure includes some sawmill and renewable diesel sales as pulp is part of UPM’s Biorefining division. Total P&B = capacity. Stora Enso: Market pulp = deliveries. Kimberly-Clark: PPCM sales include K-C Professional and Consumer Tissue segments. Nippon Paper: fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Nippon Paper sales include some nonwovens. Essity: PPCM sales are from Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene business areas and include some nonwovens and tissue dispensing machines and technology. DS Smith: Fiscal year runs May 1—April 30. DS Smith acquired Interstate Resources, August 2017 and EcoPaper & EcoPack, March 2018. Nine Dragons Paper: Fiscal year runs July 1—June 30. Sappi: Fiscal year ran October 1—September 30. P&B production = sales. Empresas CMPC: PPCM figure includes some wood products. Sonoco: Production = capacity. PPCM sales include Consumer Packaging, Paper, and Industrial Converted Products divisions and includes non-paper/board products. Cascades: P&B production = shipments. KapStone: In early 2018, it was announced that WestRock would acquire KapStone. Sequana: Paper & Board = metric tons sold. Lee & Man: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Production = capacity. Klabin: P&B production = sales. Daio Paper: P&B production = capacity. Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Marubeni: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Production = capacity. Resolute: Yves Laflamme succeeded Richard Garneau as CEO in early 2018. Lenzing: PPCM net sales are for the Fiber Segment and include textile fibers, nonwoven fibers, and the pulp unit. Verso: Production = capacity. Pulp sales were 6 percent of revenue. Hokuetsu Corporation: Company changed its name from Hokuetsu Kishu Paper in 2017. Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Sofidel: Paper & Board = capacity. Mitsubishi Paper: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Production = capacity from RISI stats. PPCM sales includes some biomass and energy revenue. Vinda: Production = capacity. Palm Paper releases limited financial results. Prinzhorn Holding: Releases limited financial information. Glatfelter: Production = metric tons sold. Catalyst: The company is now private. Sales figures are approximate. Earnings and assets are not disclosed. Long Chen Paper: Sales include some other industrials. Orora: Fiscal year is July 1—June 30. Last year, PPCM sales contained some glass and aluminum packaging products. The original SCA split into two separate listed companies in 2017—the Forest Products division (still known as SCA) and the Hygiene division, now known as Essity. Paper and board production = deliveries. Kruger Products: Production = capacity. Mario Bianchi succeeded Mario Gosselin as CEO in early 2018. Europac: Production = capacity. Rayonier: The company purchased Tembec in 2017 and the sale closed on November 1. Figures for the period after November 1 are reflected in the results. China Sunshine Paper Holdings changed its name from Century Sunshine Paper Group in 2017. Chuetsu: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Production = capacity, from RISI stats. Grief: Fiscal year runs November 1—October 31. Production = capacity. LEIPA: Releases limited financial results. Production = capacity. CENIBRA: Employee total includes outsourced personnel. Tembec: The figures represent the first nine months of Tembec’s fiscal year. The sale of the company to Rayonier was completed in late 2017 and results after are reflected in Rayonier’s numbers. RDM: As from January 1 2017, Reno De Medici Group, Cascades La Rochette, and Carero have become one group under the name RDM. ITC: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Production = capacity from RISI stats. SWM: Production = capacity. De la Rue: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31. Banknote Paper as part of Portals De La Rue was sold March 29 2018. PPCM includes some polymer. BILT – Ballarpur Industries: Fiscal year runs July 1—June 30. Production = capacity from RISI stats. Lintec: Fiscal year runs April 1—March 31.


Each year, without fail, we get questions regarding missing companies, including some of the big Asian players, most notably APP and APRIL. Others such as Georgia-Pacific, Irving, and Kruger are not listed. This is because these companies are privately owned and do not make their financial results public—nor are they required to.