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Sappi salutes European paper merchants

Press release from the issuing company

Brussels - Sappi presented its first annual Sappi European Merchants of the Year awards at a gala awards ceremony in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on March 10, 2005, recognising the exceptional business contribution of four of its leading paper merchants. The four awards - for value creation, forecast accuracy, systems integration and best overall business performance - mark another step in Sappi's continued drive to coordinate its activities more closely with those of its business partners and to take service levels in the market to an unprecedented level. The award winning paper merchants are: Value creation: Sihl + Eika, Switzerland Collaborative forecasting: Vereinigte Papiergroßhandlungen, Germany System integration: Papeteries de France, France Overall performance: The Robert Horne Paper Company, UK. Leading Sappi paper merchants from across Europe attended the event, which included a half-day conference. There, Sappi Fine Paper Europe Chief Executive Officer, Wolfgang Pfarl, praised the vital contribution that paper merchants make in the supply chain. "Sappi's commitment to its customers can be expressed by the words - Quality, Service, Innovation and Care," he said. "We have introduced our Sappi European Merchants of the Year conference and awards to enhance the role our merchants play in delivering this commitment. We encourage them to work even more closely with us, so that together we can provide the optimum level of service in an increasingly competitive market and bring our quality coated papers into the hands of printers and end-users as and when they are required." "The winners of the inaugural awards represent the vanguard of the way we see our business developing in Europe. We salute them for their excellent performance and thank them for their highly valued contribution." This year's awards were based on a six-month time period, with subsequent awards to be based on annual merchant performance. In addition to Sappi sharing the development of its service offer at the conference, one of the world's leading experts in competitive leadership, Stéphane Garelli, a professor from the IMD International Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, enthused the audience with his outlook for the competitiveness of enterprises in the year 2005. Sappi is the world's leading producer of coated fine paper. Its brands include Magno, HannoArt, Presto and Royal which are specified by customers in more than 100 countries for high quality books, annual reports, brochures, magazines, calendars and promotional material.