RICHMOND, BC, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) is taking a major step forward in its Latin American market development strategy with the launch of Marathon Lite - a high-performing newsprint grade with an industry-leading basis weight of only 40 grams per square metre (gsm).
Catalyst has long-standing expertise in lower-basis weight production across a wide range of paper grades. And it is the only company to date to have mastered the delicate balance required to offer newsprint of this lightness while still meeting pressroom performance and aesthetic requirements.
Growing Catalyst's long-standing presence in Latin America is a focus of its emerging markets strategy and leverages freight-logical proximity to serve this market from its Pacific coast manufacturing facilities.
"Latin America is a market of 500 million people which makes it very attractive. We have long-standing relationships with major publishers in the region and the demand for reliable supply of high quality papers is trending up," said Catalyst president and CEO Kevin J. Clarke who will be meeting with several key customers in the region in April, including publishers in Peru and Colombia.
With a growing middle class and less high-speed Internet penetration than Canada and the U.S., Central and South American newspapers are still the most popular vehicle for information. Growth in middle-class disposable income also means advertisers want space in those popular papers.
"This reinforces our focus on innovation in every part of our business including in newsprint, a product that we've been manufacturing for 100 years," said Clarke, "while we continue to march up the value curve offering the broadest range of specialty paper products available from a single supplier in Western North America."
In launching Marathon Lite, Catalyst will benefit from established market acceptance of its products in the region. Besides Peru, readers in El Salvador, Panamá, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela already hold British Columbia-made paper in their hands every day.
Says Hugo Holmann, owner of the Nicaraguan publisher La Prensa: "We are pleased that our readers and advertisers have noticed a tremendous improvement in the printing quality of our newspaper since we changed to Catalyst. We also see a great opportunity of improvement with the 40-gsm sheet. This brings more efficiency to our distribution chain all the way to the very end, allowing our street vendors to carry less weight, without affecting our production efficiency."
Lighter basis weight papers use less fibre to make the same printable area. Not only is Marathon Lite more thrifty in its fibre use, it's made with more than 85 per cent renewable energy and certified to Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards.
Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp. Its customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe. With three mills, located in British Columbia, Catalyst has a combined annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. The company is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada and is ranked by Corporate Knights magazine as one of the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada.
SOURCE: Catalyst Paper Corporation
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