January 30, 2004
Canadian Printer publisher departs
TORONTO-Susan Leggat, a fixture in the printing industry for many years as publisher of Canadian Printer, has been let go by the Rogers-owned magazine. Contacted at home, she said she was exploring her options and taking a breather. "I'm giving myself a little bit of time and getting my thoughts together. I'm really tired. You realize how tired you are when you stop and sit back." Leggat praised her fellow co-workers at the magazine but said the market has been tough. "My poor printing industry. Our market, as you know, is not the most buoyant. I hope it's a blip." Leggat had worked at the magazine for 17 years, and worked her way up from sales rep to publisher. She started her career in printing at Graphic Monthly magazine, and later married a printer. A Rogers Media employee from another of its stable of trade magazines has been appointed associate publisher of Canadian Printer.
Eastern Pulp and Paper in serious trouble
Augusta, MaineThe Eastern Pulp and Paper Co., which owns Eastern Fine Paper in Brewer, Maine and Lincoln Pulp and Paper in Lincoln, Maine, shut down its mills on Jan. 17. The shutdown has affected 750 workers and only a skeleton staff is keeping the facilities working at minimal capacity. Earlier this month the company received $650,000 from Congress Financial Corp. to keep the mill up and running and is now in talks to obtain a $2.5 million loan to reopen. Congress, Eastern Pulps major lender, wants Eastern, the state and others to meet for negotiations in order to process the loan. As of Thursday, the talks have stalled on an unspecified technicality. In September 2000, Eastern filed for bankruptcy with debts of $181.3 million and assets of $187.8 million. The closure could mean the end of the paper companys popular Certificate Royale and Certificate Linen paper stocks.
January 27, 2004
Paper company to score at Super Bowl
WELLESLEY HILLS, MASSIn an effort to save people from spending hundreds of dollars on phony Super Bowl tickets, this years tickets will be printed on glow-in-the-dark paper. The paper, made by Brightec, is the newest antifraud measure by Super Bowl organizers who say that more than 200 people were turned away from the big game last year because they had mistakenly bought counterfeit tickets. Brightec hopes that the Super Bowl tickets will be a launching pad for the new luminescent paper, which the companys CEO hopes will be used for night lights, CD covers and bumper stickers. The paper needs only five minutes exposure to ambient light to charge and is claimed to be 10 times brighter than other glow products. It is also purported to glow for as long as 20 years.
Printera squeaks a profit with lower sales
TORONTOPrintera Corporation released its annual results last week. Consolidated revenues were $33.7 million compared to $46.7 million for 2002. Its net profit was $0.6 million compared to a net loss of $31 million in 2002. The increase in revenue is due to the company successfully stabilizing its blue chip customer base. It also entered into a new three-year agreement with its largest single customer and sales to new and existing customers grew by 10% during the year. The loss of a major customer in 2002, however, has yet to be fully regained.
January 23, 2004
Parker Pad sets record and celebrates new location
TORONTOParker Pad and Printing, a full-service printing and finishing operation, has established a new North American record for digital print volume in a single month. The company produced 1.49 million full-colour A4-sized impressions in November, 2003, on a Heidelberg NexPress 2100, equalling an average output of almost 75,000 prints per business day. Janis Parker, vice president, says that productivity was boosted by being able to print on multiple substrates and outputting already-collated documents. The record comes just as Parker Pad is settling into its new location in Markham. The company, with sales of $12 million in 2003, has moved into its own 37,000 square foot facility, doubling its floor space from the premises it was renting in Scarborough. Last night during an open house celebration for the new location, the shop unveiled a brand new Heidelberg CD press for printing on heavy board.
More bad news for U Compute
MONTREALPrintCan has learned that the owners of U Compute, the print shop next to Concordia University that was recently raided by Access Copyright might be facing criminal charges because the store was in contempt of a court order. The shop had been brought to court twice before for illegal copying. Both times, it paid a $5,000 fine and returned to business as usual. The copyright agency, which seized over 2,200 illegally copied books on January 7, could fine the shop as much as $20,000 per book. Access Copyright sends investigators to university-area stores every year, to pose as customers and attempt to get material copied illegally. The agency says that the 2,100 digital files that were seized from U Compute are particularly important to them because of the increase in digital piracy. The shops manager says that since the raid it is out of that business completely.
Quebecor to print U.S. phone directories
MONTREALQuebecor World has signed a multi-year agreement to print more than 145 white- and yellow-page directories for distribution in 37 states. ALLTEL Publishing, a division of ALLTEL Corporation of Little Rock, Arkansas, will be publishing the directories, which will be produced at Quebecor World facilities in Edmonton, Waukee, IA, Hazelton, PA, and Loveland, CO.
January 20, 2004
Moore Wallace and RR Donnelley call special shareholder meetings
TORONTOMoore Wallace has called a special meeting of securityholders for Monday, February 23 regarding the planned merger with RR Donnelley, which has also called a special meeting of its stockholders for the same date. Today the two companies are mailing out the Joint Management Information Circular and Proxy Statement to securityholders and stockholders. Moore Wallace and RR Donnelley expect to close the transaction by the end of February 2004. The closing conditions include receipt of approval under the Investment Canada Act and a final order approving the plan of arrangement from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
January 16, 2004
Transcontinental acquires Optipress
MONTREALTranscontinental has taken over Optipress, an operation with 600 employees, 25 weekly and bi-weekly papers as well as nine printing plants and a network of digital reproduction centers in the eastern provinces. Optipresss annual revenues are $75 million, 76% of that from printing operations, the rest from publishing. The acquisition allows Transcontinental to extend its network of flyer printing plants to the Atlantic provinces and offer local printing services to major national retailers. It also extends the companys network of sheetfed presses to the Atlantic region, enabling it to print brochures, pamphlets, magazines and annual reports for customers in the Maritimes as well as the northeastern United States.
Ryerson hosts talks on hot market niches
TORONTOSeveral major printing execs will convene this February 2 at the Heidelberg Centre at Ryerson University, in downtown Toronto to present mini-lectures on printing niches that are gaining interest in the industry. Organized by the students of the Graphics Communications Management program, the annual event, known as Colloquium, gives industry members and future industry members a chance to network. It also coincides with the upcoming job fair, planned later in the semester in preparation for summer internships for third-year students. All members in the industry are invited to attend Colloquium to support the future employees of the printing industry. See PrintCan events for exact time and location.
Harmony set to move on up
ETOBICOKE, ONHarmony Printing, which is currently renting space on Eastside Dr. in Etobicoke, recently bought its own plant at Woodbine Downs Blvd. The commercial sheetfed printer, with 55 employees, plans to move in March to the new, bigger location. Don Gain Sr., president, says the building, previously occupied by Transport Canada is currently being renovated to suit the companys workflow and hopes the move will help grow the business. The move will also include installing new CTP equipment for the first time.
January 13, 2004
Access sets example
MONTREALU Compute, a shop near Concordia University, was recently raided by Access Copyright, the Canadian copyright licensing agency. The agency seized more than 2,200 photocopied university textbooks and 2,100 individual digital files. The lost revenue to booksellers, publishers and authors is estimated to be $250,000.
Moore Wallace Q4 revenue to be higher than expected
MISSISSAUGA, ONMoore Wallace is increasing its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter by roughly 10 percent, due to better-than-expected performance in its commercial print and direct-mail businesses, as well as cost reductions. The revised outlook means Moore Wallaces projected earnings will be US$3.2 million to US$6.3 million higher in the fourth quarter than estimated in October. The company, in the midst of a proposed takeover by commercial printer RR Donnelly, said the estimate is based on a measure that excludes acquisition-related charges, restructuring-related charges and gains on asset disposals that are included in net income. The fourth-quarter revenue is expected to be about US$880 million.
January 9, 2004
Baker Graphics Inc. in crisis
MARKHAM, ONPrintCan has learned that Baker Graphics Inc., formerly Baker, Gurney & McLaren Press, may be closing its doors. A source says that some 60 employees have been let go. When reached for comment, Don Baker, a former director at the company, said that the print shop is still doing some work to accommodate customers and is talking to an outside firm and financial institutions in an effort to find a solution to its current financial crisis.
Domtar shuts Vancouver machine
VANCOUVERDomtar said yesterday that it will shut one of its two paper-making machines at its Vancouver mill. It will also reduce the amount of coated paper it produces on the second machine. Domtar said that some of the production will be switched to other facilities and other products will be discontinued. As a result, 80 jobs will be cut and there will be a 45,000-tonne reduction of production capacity. The machine being shut down produced specialty papers, such as that used in business reply cards. Domtar says the facility was suffering from the impact of the strengthening Canadian dollar and increased competition from Asia. In early December, PrintCan reported on a strike at the Vancouver mill involving 150 employees. The strike was due to a disagreement in head offices pattern bargaining process relating to the kinds of paper produced at the mill.
Winnipeg student wins international print award
WINNIPEGAn 18-year-old Winnipeg high school student, Victoria Haines, recently took first place in the spot-colour category of the 15th annual International Gutenberg Awards, a printing competition for graphic arts students across North America, the U.K. and Australia. Haines beat out almost 3,000 other entries, most from students in post-secondary printing programs with twice as much experience. Her entry was a reprint of a brochure designed by students in her production art program at Winnipeg Technical College, which she made by running it through an offset press four times. Judges were looking for placement of the ink, quality of the print, alignment of the images, paper selection, cleanliness of the work and consistency of the job. Her instructor attributes her success to having a knack for getting the right balance of ink and water in the screen tints.
January 6, 2004
FedEx to buy Kinkos
MEMPHIS, Tenn.FedEx has agreed to acquire copy-store chain, Kinkos. Reports have differed slightly on the amount to be paid, with some citing US $2.2 billion and some quoting US $2.4 billion as the cash price. The deal also includes assumption of US $200 million in debt. FedEx will have access to 1,200 Kinkos outlets worldwide, greatly expanding its retail presence. The courier companys ground-based operation is expected to have the biggest spike, since few Kinkos stores accept those items. There are more than 110 Kinkos locations outside of the U.S., including at least 16 in Canada, and FedEx plans to dramatically expand that number. It also plans to double the number of stores inside the U.S. FedEx has had drop boxes at Kinkos since 1988, including counter services at 134 stores. It plans to have full service at all Kinkos locations after the acquisition is finalized.
St. Josephs outlook only stable
NEW YORKSt Joseph Printing Ltd.s rating was dropped from positive to stable by Standard & Poors Rating Services in New York. According to a recent report in Bonds News, the company revised its outlook on St. Joseph based on its lower-than-expected growth in profits and free cash flow generation. An analyst at Standard & Poor says that the ratings for St. Joseph reflect the highly competitive and cyclical commercial printing industry fundamentals, and the companys marginal cash flow and equity base, which limit financial flexibility. The report says St. Josephs growth is expected to improve modestly in the near term, pending the capitalization of new business opportunities, an improvement in the printing industry conditions, and the expectation that the company will successfully refinance its senior unsecured notes.