A Notice to PrintCan readers
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. Today's update will be the last before we break for the holidays. We wish to extend our best wishes to all our readers and their families for a happy and safe holiday and a prosperous new year, Be sure to visit PrintCan on January 2, 2002, when we ring in the new year with more stories from the world of print. Cheers!
CPIA Chairman-elect leaves Quebecor, Rudge retires
CALGARY Steve Cropper, the new chairman of the board for Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA), has left his post as general manager and vice-president of Quebecor World Calgary. Cropper told PrintCan in an interview yesterday that he will be allowed to retain his position with the association and fulfill his mandate as chairman, which expires next fall. "The executive asked me to stay on. After 34 years in the industry and being in both the web business, forms business, and the commercial printing business and working in different provinces they felt that they would prefer I stay," he says. Meanwhile, PrintCan has learned that Quebecor World's vicepresident of corporate affairs, Chris Rudge, is retiring today after 10 years with the company. Rudge served as president of Quebecor Printing Canada for most of his tenure, and was also chairman of its prepress division, Que-Net Media. A replacement has yet to be named.
MDC nets $40 million for Regal
TORONTO MDC Corp. divested itself of another asset yesterday in an attempt ease its financial burden. The proceeds from the sale of its Regal Greetings & Gifts division to RGG Acquisition Inc., a subsidiary of New York-based Dreamlife Inc. will be used to reduce MDC's corporate debt. The Financial Post reported the debt to be approximately $667 million as of Sept. 30. Regal, a marketer of stationery, greeting cards and giftwrap was viewed as a non-core asset by MDC management. The Regal transaction is the second asset sale for MDC in as many weeks. Last week the company sold 49.9% of its stake in cheque printer Davis + Henderson to the public for about $189.55 million. Yesterday the stock began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the DHF.UN symbol.
December 18, 2001
Cenosis sells stake in Leading Graphics, closes StanMont
MONTREAL Citing difficult economic conditions and falling profits, Cenosis Inc. sold its stake in Markham, Ont.-based prepress firm Leading Graphics and closed Montreal-based StanMont, another prepress house. For the quarter ended Aug. 31, Cenosis posted a pre-tax loss of $1.69 million, versus a $733,000 loss over the same time period in 2000. The loss created a cash shortage that forced the company to devise a restructuring plan with its bank. Negotiations are ongoing, Cenosis says. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Leading Graphics says the prepress firm is "relieved" to have regained its independence.
MDC sells chunk of Davis + Henderson to public
TORONTO MDC Corp. will sell 49.9% of its interest in cheque printer Davis + Henderson in an effort to address its heavy debt load, PrintCan has learned. After reports surfaced last month that MDC was carrying a debt of approximately $667 million, it was suspected that a portion of its profitable Davis + Henderson subsidiary would be sold to address the problem. The offering of 1.72 million shares is expected to raise about $189.55 million, which will be applied towards MDC's debt. The transaction's closing date has been set for Dec. 20.
December 12, 2001
St. Joseph buys Ottawa-based publisher
CONCORD, Ont. ePRINT it, the digital printing division of St. Joseph Corp., has purchased Publishing Plus, an Ottawa-based company with annual sales of approximately $1.5 million. In business since 1990, Publishing Plus has specialized in design, technical publishing, and digital printing. The shop has offered high-volume, black-and-white, and colour digital printing since 1995, and also has bindery capabilities. "We will be able to offer turnkey solutions to clients requiring assistance in the creation, production, distribution, and management of communication material," says Murray Skinner, executive vice-president and general manager of St. Joseph Digital Solutions. In 2001, ePRINT it merged with sister company DLS, the warehousing and fulfillment arm of St. Joseph Corp., under the St. Joseph Digital Solutions banner.
Quebecor prints new Britannica volumes
CHICAGO After a four year absence, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is back in print, courtesy of Quebecor World's Versailles, Kentucky plant. Britannica wouldn't confirm the size of the press run for competitive reasons, but a spokesperson says it will be "in five figures." The Kentucky plant is the only printing facility being used to produce all copies of the new 32-volume set, which is being marketed to both consumers and institutions such as schools and libraries. The complete set retails for US$1,295.
December 11, 2001
Imaging Excellence appeal underway
TORONTO After the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled in February 2000 that he was offside for refusing to print letterhead, envelopes and business cards for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), Scott Brockie is attempting to get the ruling overturned. The decision called for Brockie's shop, Imaging Excellence, to pay $5,000 to the CLGA and provide printing services. Three Divisional Court judges are currently deliberating the case after a three-day hearing at Toronto's Osgoode Hall wrapped up last Friday. The 2000 ruling against Brockie stemmed from the born-again Christian's refusal, in 1996, to print for the CLGA because it promotes a cause that he strongly disagrees with. "It's such an important case from an industry point of view," he says. "Do we or do we not have the right to refuse to help somebody to support or promote the cause? I shouldn't have to promote the [CLGA] in any way, shape or form," Brockie says, noting that he has served gay customers before, but objects to the CLGA because it promotes homosexual lifestyles. Brockie is unsure about the timeframe for a decision. Look for updates on PrintCan.
GATF talks about anthrax and printing
PITTSBURGH, Pa. With reports of anthrax contamination occuring in the U.S. mail system, GATF (Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) decided to educate end users about spray powders used in printing techniques, in order to calm the fears of nervous customers. The conference call format gave participants the opportunity to listen to Gary Jones, GATF's minister of environmental health and safety, along with representatives from the United States Postal Service (USPS) discuss steps being taken to improve the security of spray powders used by printers, and the overall safety and integrity of mail. For more information on preventative measures being used by the USPS visit www.usps.com. The anthrax resource guide for the industry is also available at www.gain.net.
December 07, 2001
Industry shipments hit $6.04 billion
OTTAWA Numbers recently released by Statistics Canada indicate that initial printing industry shipments grew 2.7% over 2000 figures to a record level of $6.04 billion. The total is based on shipments from January through July 2001. The projected growth of 2% is not likely to hold once the remainder of the year is taken into account due to Sept. 11 and a weakened economy, according to StatsCan.
Transcon print earnings grow 25%
MONTREAL After telling analysts and shareholders not to worry about profitability forecasts in October, Transcontinental delivered on its promises with a strong finish to fiscal 2001. Final figures released earlier this week show revenue from printing grew to $1.29 billion, up 10% over 2000, while income grew to $142.3 millionup 25% over 2000 figures. "Transcontinental has a solid balance sheet and plans to actively seek acquistions in 2002," says chairman and CEO Remi Marcoux. The company's total revenue grew to $1.78 billion in 2001, up 9% over $1.63 billion in 2000. Net earnings grew by 23% to $76.2 million, over $61.2 million in 2000.
December 04, 2001
Creo to move U.S. manufacturing to Canada
VANCOUVER Creo Products Ltd. announced yesterday that subsidiary Iris Graphics Inc.'s manufacturing will be moved from Billerica, Mass. to Vancouver over the course of the next year. The move will result in approximately 120 job cuts, but Creo says some hiring may take place in Vancouver as the move is completed. The company says the relocation is expected to improve collaboration between product development and manufacturing, while taking advantage of the weak Canadian dollar and lower Canadian wages. Research and development, along with specialized inkjet component manufacturing will continue in the Boston area, Creo says.
Industry helps victims of Sept. 11 with new book
NEW YORK A new collection of photos chronicling the devastation of the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11 was published recently with a helping hand from the printing community. The hardcover book, New York September 11, features more than 140 pages of photos, many taken on the morning of the attacks. Coated and uncoated stocks were donated by Smart Papers, while front end services were provided by Gist Inc. Prepress. 100,000 copies were printed by Meridian Printing and bound by Acme Bookbinding. Publisher powerHouse Books will donate a portion of proceeds to The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund, which will distribute the money to those injured in the attacks and the families of those who died.