News Archives
October 2003
October 31, 2003
Webcom CEO accepts Printer of the Year award
TORONTO—Warren Wilkins, owner of Toronto-based book printer, Webcom, accepted Graphic Monthly’s Printer of the Year award last night at the Heidelberg Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto. Wilkins addressed a crowd of more than 60 industry colleagues in a heartfelt acceptance speech. He is the second winner of the annual award, chosen by Graphic Monthly’s editorial board and awarded to a printer who has had an impact on the graphic arts industry and who has also given back to the industry in some way. The story of Wilkins’ success and contribution to the industry can be found in the October issue of Graphic Monthly. Luminaries in the printing industry, including some from as far away as Texas, applauded Wilkins and his achievements at last night’s reception.

Sales showing impact of weak US currency
MISSISSAUGA—Several companies released third quarter financial results this week, with at least one pointing to the negative impact of the falling US currency. Winpak says third quarter results were disappointing, as the weak US dollar reduced sales by $11.3 million. On a proforma basis, quarterly sales actually decreased to $121 million from $123 million in 2002. Newly formed income trust Custom Direct reported sales of US$25.9 million after its first operating quarter. The trust began operating on May 29 of this year and it reports that operating income of $5.8 million is consistent with historical results. The industry’s other income trust, Davis + Henderson, reports a revenue growth to $63.4 million from $56.7 million last year, mostly due to the benefits derived from new ordering channels, including web-based business. Moore also reports on its first post-merger quarter with Wallace Computer Services. Sales in the third quarter grew to US$828.9 million from $486.7 at the same time last year. Net income rose to US $26 million from $17.4 million

October 28, 2003
Quebecor World results show drop
MONTREAL—Last week Quebecor World announced third quarter results that showed a significant drop in revenues to US$1.59 billion from US$1.62 billion from the same period last year. Net income slipped to US$60 million from US$99 million. The losses are blamed on weak advertising spending and over capacity in the industry. The company reports its strategy of reducing costs is starting to pay off and it has reduced expenses by US$13.9 million. However, a day after the third quarter information was released, Dominion Bond Rating Services (DBRS) downgraded Quebecor World’s debt, saying that it expects the company’s performance will improve slowly and unevenly. DBRS also stated that Quebecor World’s downsizing, including the closure of 15 plants and 5,000 jobs, has not contributed to its earning growth and projects that it will become increasingly difficult to reduce costs. Investors seem to be taking this to heart; the share price has dropped 6.6% since the third quarter results were released on October 23.

Third quarter results look optimistic
NEW ENGLAND—Presstek and Xerox both released their third quarter results late last week. Xerox reported total revenue for the third quarter was US$3.73 billion, a decline of 2% from last year due in part to the company’s exit from the small office business. Equipment sales saw an increase of 5% for machines including DocuPress and DocuColor series.
Presstek reported revenue for the third quarter of US$19 million, compared to US$21 million last year. The company reports that it shipped 25% more DI presses and CTP systems than last year’s third quarter. Equipment revenue was US $6.6 million, up from US$5.9 million, a result of increased price and CTP sales.
Both companies are optimistic for the upcoming year. Presstek predicts future growth led by new plate products and their OEM deal with A.B. Dick opens a channel to an important new market segment. Xerox also attributes growth to equipment sales, specifically its colour products.

October 24, 2003
Litho-web sold
REXDALE, Ont.—Litho-Web Associates Ltd., a coldset web printer, has been sold to Dino Loggia and Ron Sharpe, owners of Global Printing. The two operations will be merged into the existing premises of Litho-Web and the new company will operate as Lithoweb Inc. According to former owner Barry Moyer, the 18 employees will all be retained in the new enterprise. Moyer founded Litho-Web more than thirty years ago with three partners, who have since departed the business.

Manning Press closes
SIDNEY, B.C.—Manning Press, a 24-year-old sheetfed printer with about 20 employees, has closed its doors. According to industry sources a receiver has been appointed and an auction will be held to liquidate assets. Owner James Allan could not be reached for comments. Stay tuned to PrintCan for more details as they become available.

Eclipse president moves on
BURLINGTON, Ont.—PrintCan has learned that Eddie Black is no longer president of Eclipse Imaging, a large-format printer. A company spokesman says Black has moved on to other printing industry endeavors in the GTA. Eclipse has not yet filled the position.

Transcontinental celebrates plant opening
MONTREAL—Transcontinental celebrated the grand opening of its Metropolitan newspaper plant yesterday where it began printing La Presse in early October. La Presse, the largest French-language daily in North America, had been printed on letterpress equipment until the switch to the new plant, specifically built to print the newspaper. The shop houses a Heidelberg Mainstream press, Agfa CTP technology, and GMA assembly and insertion equipment.

October 17, 2003
C.J. Graphics gets FSC certification
ETOBICOKE, Ont.—C.J. Graphics is the latest printing company in Ontario to be granted FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. The company underwent a four-week approval process that proved it uses paper that has been produced from trees in FSC-designated forests, which are managed to preserve the environment, prevent wide-scale deforestation, protect wildlife and respect aboriginal rights. C.J. Graphics president, Jay Mandarino, admits that there are greater production costs as well as approval fees involved in being FSC certified and it provides no immediate sales increase. However, he says promoting awareness of being more environmentally conscious is worth it.

Alberta college farms out print services to Grenville
LETHBRIDGE, Alta.—Printing services at the Lethbridge Community College, previously provided in house, are now being operated by Toronto-based Grenville Management and Printing services. Rick Buis, vice president of corporate services says the switch was a business decision to provide the college with better printing services at a lower cost. The college had been seeking an outside printing company to operate the shop for several months to streamline costs. Four print staff and one administrator were laid off as a result of the closure.

MDC acquires Metaca, switches direction
TORONTO—MDC Corp. has acquired the last 15% outstanding of Metaca Corp., boosting its ownership of the plastic-card producer and manager to 100%. According to company documents, Metaca is MDC’s last link to its non-core businesses, which included cheque printing. It has spun off both Davis + Henderson and Custom Direct, both cheque printers, and has announced it intends to focus primarily on marketing communications. It also intends to change its name to MDC Partners Inc. shortly. In its last quarterly statement, marketing-communications activities accounted for about 77% of the company’s revenue. While the company never called itself a printer, it did print huge volumes of cheques and was included in Graphic Monthly’s list of the top 100 printers in Canada.

Quebecor to print PBTeen catalogue
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has been awarded a multi-year contract from home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc. to produce its catalogue, PBTeen, a new Pottery Barn book aimed at teens. Quebecor World currently prints Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Bed & Bath catalogues for Williams-Sonoma. The catalogue will be produced at the company’s facility in Chicago.

October 10, 2003
Solisco buys Delta Group
SCOTT JUNCTION, Que.—Solisco Printers has purchased The Delta Group of Scarborough, Ont. Solisco, a heatset web magazine printer is eager to penetrate the Toronto market and expand its services to include coldset printing. In 2002 Solisco had annual sales of almost $66 million and Delta posted sales of $15.5 million. Solisco will use Delta’s prepress facility to feed presses in Quebec and plans to move a heatset press from the Quebec plant to Toronto in the next year. Patrick Periard, vice president of sales at Solisco, says the acquisition is the first step toward other acquisitions in Ontario and the U.S. Sixty percent of Solisco’s market is currently south of the border. Delta will keep its name and exist as a division of Solisco.

DigiGraphics expands
KINGSTON, Ont.—DigiGraphics, a design and print shop in Eastern Ontario, has recently bought Copy and Addressing Services, a quick printer in the area. All staff is expected to remain onboard. In addition, the 15-year-old DigiGraphics has undertaken a $2 million expansion that includes moving to a new 15,000-sq.-ft. facility, tripling its former floor space, and installing a Heidelberg QuickMaster 46 DI press.

October 07, 2003
Printing equipment up for auction
TORONTO—The contents of TimeSavers Print and Graphics, which declared bankruptcy on August 25, will be auctioned off on Wednesday, October 8 at 11 a.m. Four presses, folders, stitchers, paper shear, pre-press and various support and office equipment, will all go to the highest bidder. The auction will take place at the TimeSavers location, 40 Torlake Cres., in Etobicoke, Ont. Doors will open at 9 a.m. for preview. For more information, visit www.danburysales.com.

Initiative to study the power of print
OTTAWA—Preference for Print, a new initiative launched this past summer by the GATF/PIA in the U.S., aims to back up the marketability of print using hard facts compiled by research and surveys. So far, a study released by an American on-line market research firm reports that less than one in three individuals read magazines on-line. Seventy-three percent of the 500 on-line respondents said they would not give up their paper magazine for an on-line alternative. President of the CPIA, Pierre Boucher, says that although the CPIA hasn’t been involved with the initiative as of yet, he plans to collaborate with future research projects to offer valuable information for the printing industry in Canada.

African money fades when wet
ZAMBIA—The Post in Lusaka, Zambia reports that the country’s new bank notes printed by Canada Bank Note Company in Ottawa fade when exposed to moisture. As reported in PrintCan this past March, Canada Bank Note signed on with the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to print and supply two denominations of Kwacha bank notes on high security polymer substrate. The currency was the first ever in Africa to be issued using polymer. The problem was discovered shortly after the bills were launched on Friday, September 26. According to the BoZ, the problem only affects the few notes so far issued, which do not exceed K4.5 million, but says the distribution for the polymer notes will be significantly affected.

October 02, 2003
Labatt shuts down large format printing
TORONTO—Labatt has recently stopped producing large format print jobs, such as banners, at its inhouse print shop. While the creative is still done at the Etobicoke, Ontario location, the print work is now being outsourced to Optium of Toronto. The switch, attributed to the high cost of materials for large format printing, resulted in the loss of one full-time and one part-time position at the Labatt shop, which still prints small items such as stationeries, flyers and custom business cards.

Willow Printing celebrates 50 years
CONCORD, ON—Willow Printing Group, a family-run commerical printer is celebrating a successful fifty-year run in the business that has spanned three generations. President, Jeff Ekstein says the company started out as a three-person storefront print shop. Now Willow is a multi-shift prepress, press room and finishing operation in a 22,000 square foot facility, employing more than thirty print professionals. In recognition of the printing community, the Eksteins are making a scholarship donation to the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarships Trust Fund. Over 87% of scholarships are awarded to Ryerson students, the school that Lew Ekstein attended. A celebration dinner with past and present employees, clients, suppliers and industry peers will take place in Vaughn on October 16.

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