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150th jubilee: together with its customers, suppliers and partners, Laakirchen Papier takes an optimistic look at the future

Under the motto, “Shaping the future” the long-established Laakirchen Papier is this year celebrating its 150th birthday. To mark the occasion, on Friday, 15 June the paper mill held a jubilee celebration for its national and international customers, suppliers, long-term partners and friends. The event at the company location in Laakirchen offered the roughly 200 guests an informative programme on the subject of the future. In addition to addresses by CFO Franz Baldauf and CEO Thomas Welt, the company’s executive managers, Alfred Heinzel, the Heinzel Group owner, and Kurt Maier, the Heinzel Group CEO, also provided insights into paper branch development both past and future. Then in his ensuing presentation, the futurologist and trends expert, Sven Gabor Jansky, examined the future of the world of work.               

Franz Schuppler founded the Traunthaler Holzstofffabrik in 1867 and thus laid the foundation stone for the Laakirchen Papier AG of today. In the course of the past one and a half centuries Laakirchen Papier has evolved from a paper mill on the River Traun into one of Europe’s leading paper manufacturers and a specialist in the production of super calendered paper (SC paper) and containerboard. Accordingly, Laakirchen Papier’s executive managers, CFO Franz Baldauf and CEO Thomas Welt, invited national and international customers, suppliers and partners to a joint celebration of the mill’s turbulent history and its recent, successful reorientation.      

Franz Baldauf began the proceedings with an expression of gratitude to all the company’s partners and friends, for as he noted: “Laakirchen Papier’s success would have been impossible without strong and reliable partners. Candid discussions, inspiring meetings and above all constantly constructive cooperation have brought us to where we are today.” He then added: “The past 150 years have demonstrated the importance of generating fresh impulses in order to risk the next step towards tomorrow.”

A company of long-standing with a history and a future

Alfred Heinzel, the owner of the Heinzel Group to which Laakirchen Papier belongs, invited the guests to take an emotional journey back in time to the company’s past and in his speech referred to his special relationship with Laakirchen and the paper mill. Alfred Heinzel recollected that his career began as a trainee at the Laakirchen paper mill and while his uncle, Wilfried Heinzel, was its owner, he rose to an executive management position. Subsequently, Laakirchen was taken over by SCA in 1988, but in 2013 Alfred Heinzel repurchased it and thus returned the mill to family ownership.

In his presentation, the Heinzel Group CEO, Kurt Maier, provided insights into the concern’s strategy and development, while in his subsequent address, Sven Gabor Jansky, one of Germany’s leading futurologists and trend experts, focused on the future and what awaits us with regard to the world of work and life in general. He also spotlighted customer relations and how technical developments and superordinated networking will result in a fundamental change in customer needs in the year to come.

Finally, Laakirchen Papier’s investment projects in 2017, which involved the conversion of the Paper Machine 10 (PM10) and the enlargement of Paper Machine 11 (PM11), took centre stage and were presented to the guests through interviews and impressive videos. All in all, Laakirchen Papier has invested over EUR 100 million in these measures.                          

In conclusion, CEO Thomas Welt referred to a positive interim balance and future focal points: “We are extremely happy with the decision to run Laakirchen Papier in future on the basis of two business areas. Containerboard production has already begun and has surpassed our expectations. Moreover, we have also raised our SC paper output by 33,000 t/a. Therefore, we look to the future with optimism and see the further stabilisation of the new processes and the continued successful market launch of containerboard as our main tasks.”   

Insights into the paper production of today 

Following a shared business lunch, all the guests had an opportunity to look behind the scenes of paper production in Laakirchen. To mark its jubilee, Laakirchen Papier opened its doors for all interested customers, suppliers and partners and offered guided tours through the entire mill, which also included the warehouse operated by fully automatic cranes, and furnished unique insights into the manufacturing process.  In the history tent, the guests were able to take a journey back in time to the past of Laakirchen Papier by means of displays and exhibits from the Papermaker Museum. Moreover, outside the festive tent a demonstration crane provided by Messrs Felbermayer provided guests with an aerial view of the entire mill premises from a height of around 45 m.   

Laakirchen Papier AG

Laakirchen Papier AG, which is located in Laakirchen (Upper Austria) specialises in the production and further development of super calendered, uncoated papers (SC papers) and lightweight containerboard for the European market. In 2017, Laakirchen Papier AG achieved sales revenues of EUR 211.7 million and on average employed a workforce of 461.

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Heinzel Group

With its industrial locations Zellstoff Pöls AG, Laakirchen Papier AG (both Austria), Raubling Papier GmbH (Germany) and AS Estonian Cell (Estonia), the Heinzel Group, which is united under the Heinzel Holding umbrella, ranks among the biggest producers of market pulp and magazine paper in Central and Eastern Europe. The group’s Trading Business Area includes Wilfried Heinzel AG, a globally active pulp, paper and board trading company, and Europapier International AG, the leading paper merchant in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, Bunzl & Biach GmbH is the largest and most important waste paper company in Austria and a top wholesaler in Central and Eastern Europe. The Heinzel Group’s successful growth is based on the fulfilment of the highest customer demands with regard to quality and efficiency, and in 2017 it had sales revenues of EUR 1,817 million and on average employed a workforce of 2,409.

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Press contact:           

Impuls Public Relations · Barbara Lamb

4020 Linz · Scharitzerstrasse 12 · Phone +43-732-234940



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