July 29, 2005
Paper shipments down
MISSISSAUGA, ONPaper shipments, often a reflection of the health of the printing industry, are experiencing an ebb according to several reports. A UBS Securities report regarding Domtar and Cascades revealed that paper shipments of uncoated freesheet paper have declined 6.7% in the last year and have been dropping steadily for six months. Also in the report, Cascades is considering the sale of its paper distribution assets during 2005 and the mills during 2006.
Specialty paper producer Fraser Papers had a decline in net sales during the second quarter, falling to US$217 million down from US$257 million the same period last year. Fraser Papers CEO Dominic Gammiero told the Canadian Press that “the entire paper sector is faced with an environment where prices are near trend levels, but earnings and returns are really not there.” Gammiero also said that he expects improvements in the company’s financial results as the printing and writing season picks up in the third quarter.
International Paper also reported slightly lower net sales of US$6.5 billion in its second quarter vs. US$6.6 billion in the first quarter of this year. The company says sales volumes in printing papers and industrial packaging businesses were lower than it expected.
Custom Direct Income Q2 results steady
TORONTOCheque provider Custom Direct Income Fund had a steady second quarter net income to US$2.6 million, compared with last year’s second quarter net income of the same amount. Sales increased slightly to US$26.9 million from US$26.8 million in the same period last year. The company says the average order values continued to increase and were partially offset by decreasing orders due to a decline in response rates from advertising.
July 27, 2005
Davis + Henderson sales up
TORONTODavis + Henderson’s Q2 results include $15.9 million net income, 26.9% higher than the same period last year. Sales for the second quarter were $71 million, 3.4% higher than last year. During the quarter, the company took on two new major customers to its eSwitch program and its investment in Advanced Validation Systems Limited Partnership, a business that provides lenders with search and registration services across Canada. Davis + Henderson plans to grow its cheque supply program by introducing new product design alternatives, enhancing security components and combining other products into packages for consumers.
July 22, 2005
Receiver appointed in Spinnaker closure
MISSISSAUGASpinnaker Graphics, which filed for backruptcy on July 7, has been appointed a receiver, Ridgley Receivers in Richmond Hill, Ont. The total amount owed to unsecured creditors is just more than $354,000. A first creditors’ meeting will be held on July 28.
Ink giants merge
ANN ARBOR, MIFlint Ink is merging with Germany-based XSYS Print Solutions, a supplier of inks and plates. The two companies together will have 8,000 employees and combined revenues of US$2.6 billion. Flint Ink is the largest privately-owned ink manufacturer in the world. The merger marks the end of Flint’s family ownership that lasted 85 years. Officials at Flint Ink told the Detroit Free Press that they don’t anticipate any significant layoffs or plant closings in the U.S. or Canada as a result of the deal. The North American operations will continues to operate out of Ann Arbor. CVC Captial Partners, a London, England-based private equity firm will own the combined company. The deal is expected to be finalized on or around September 30.
July 20, 2005
Calgary printer changes ownership and name
CALGARYRAD Printing is the new name for The House of Business Cards, a commercial stationery print shop. 24-year-old SAIT graduate, Robin Havlicek has bought the business from previous owner John Hart, who has now retired. Havlicek has been working in the industry since 2000 as a press operator, and was employed by The House of Business Cards for a year and a half before purchasing the business this winter. Recently she purchased a 9810 ABDICK press from Pressdown in Toronto to increase the shop’s capabilities.
Danka Canada sold to Pitney Bowes
TORONTOPitney Bowes has bought Danka Canada, a provider of imaging systems and services, including copiers and multi-functional peripheral devices and related services for US$14 million. Danka Canada, which was not able to achieve profitability, will be incorporated into Pitney Bowes' Canadian operations, which offer mail and document management products. Danka Canada, Toronto, was a subsidiary of Danka Business Systems, with 300 employees and 20 offices across Canada. The company brought in revenues of $36 million last year.
July 15, 2005
Kodak unifies Canadian, U.S. sales force
ROCHESTER, N.Y.Kodak’s Graphic Communication Group (GCG) has integrated its U.S. and Canada region sales force for its graphic solutions and services portfolio. The integration comes on the heels of Kodak’s acquisitions of Kodak Polychrome Graphics and Creo this spring and is an effort to present one Kodak face to the customer. Sales representatives will work in teams within geographic territories. Kevin Joyce will now head the leadership team as managing director, United States and Canada region and vice president, graphic communications and services. According to Joyce, two Canadian-based business leaders are serving Canada: Mace Hoover, formerly regional sales manager at KPG, is the Canadian manager for Kodak business, which includes the former products from Creo and KPG; and Helmut Albrecht, district sales manager for digital printing.
Spinnaker Graphics closed
TORONTOPrintCAN has learned that Spinnaker Graphics has recently gone into receivership. The Spinnaker Graphics group has been in business since 1987 with a staff of approximately 35.
July 12, 2005
Canadian Harry Potter green initiative spreads worldwide
VANCOUVERThough this summer’s Harry Potter print run wasn’t actually printed in Canada this time around, the previous print run on eco-friendly paper at Friesens and Transcontinental in 2003 laid the groundwork for printers all over the world to go green. Publishers from Israel, Germany, the UK and Italy have committed to printing the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series, one of the largest print runs of all time, on Ancient Forest Friendy paper, which is 100% post consumer recycled and processed chlorine free. Using eco-friendly paper for the print run is expected to save an estimated 52,120 trees.
Color Ad and Winpak strike deal
WINNIPEGColor Ad Packaging, producer of labels, flexible packaging products and printed paper bags, has purchased Winpak’s printed paper bag business assets from its Laird Drive location in Toronto. Winpak plans to consolidate the non-paper business lines into its other facilities. Some manufacturing will continue at the facility for a limited time to accommodate customers during the transition. The company then plans to sell the facility.
July 8, 2005
Howell Energraphics files notice to restructure operations
TORONTOHowell Energraphics, commonly known as The Howell Group, has filed a notice of intent to restructure its operations, says Beaumont Chorny, one of the company’s directors. In an interview with PrintCAN Chorny said Howell will file its restructuring plan within 30 days, which he believes will be accepted by most creditors. Howell needs to restructure, said Chorny, mostly because it had experienced severe cash flow problems after difficulties with its accounting software system caused it to fall behind in its billings by up to two months.
In other developments at the company, Chorny confirmed that Casper Stabile has been appointed president, following the departure of Ed Rooney last month. Stabile joined the company late last year. Howell has also moved its operation to Brampton in the same complex as Prodigy Graphics, and its old location in Downsview is up for lease. The move, said Chorny, took place because the lease on the building expired. Chorny also confirmed that Andy Patel, president of Prodigy Graphics and widely rumoured to be involved in the Howell operation, is not one of its owners. Prodigy is a creditor of Howell Engergraphics, after it lent several million to Energraphics, the company that bought the assets of Versatel and merged with Howell Graphics. Patel was also brought in to help Howell develop a more efficient workflow process. As to the relationship between the two companies, Chorny said that Prodigy is one of several strategic partners of Howell Energraphics.
Awards season for printers
TORONTOTwo printers have recently caught the attention of prestigious mainstream awards. Annex Publishing and Printing, publishers of several Canadian trade magazines, has secured a spot on the list of Ontario finalists for the 12th annual Ernst & Young Entreprenuer of the Year awards in the Media and Entertainment category. Winning finalists from each category will be announced on October 6. Another print shop basking in adulation is The Printing House, which has won a Silver Reel Award for its external communications video featuring the company’s direct mail production process on plasma screens in retail traffic locations and on its website.
July 6, 2005
B.C. post-secondary graphics program to start in January
VANCOUVERThe new print training program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology will begin in January 2006, a semester later than organizers in the Education Task Force had originally planned due to the extra rigorous review new programs undergo in the province. BCPIA president Marilynn Knoch says the first students will go through an accelerated program from January to July and then start their second in September. The task force was formed in 2003 in response to Vancouver Community College suspending its 40-year-old Graphic Communications and Production Technology program, which left the province without a formal print training program.
One plant down in Quebecor sell off
Los Angeles, CAQuebecor has sold George Rice & Sons in L.A., one of the oldest U.S. commercial printing companies on the West Coast, to local competitor ColorGraphic. The family-owned company plans to merge the George Rice employees with its own, offering work opportunities at its L.A., San Francisco, Seattle and Orange County facilities. The George Rice business is known for printing annual reports and car brochures.