November 29, 2005
Transcontinental prints New York Times in Canada
TORONTOTranscontinental has begun printing the national edition of the New York Times at Transcontinental Interweb Toronto, as part of a 10-year agreement. The specialized newspaper printing plant also produces the Globe & Mail. This marks the first time the American newspaper is being printed outside the U.S. François Olivier, president of Transcontinental’s information products printing sector, said that newspaper print outsourcing is an irreversible trend that allows publishers to avoid significant capital expenditures in order to keep pace with evolving printing technology. Plans are also underway for further expansion with several other print-site locations for the Times in the works over the next two years. Luc Desjardins, president and CEO of Transcontinental has also publicly revealed that the company is in serious discussions with other U.S. newspapers over long-term printing contracts.
PLM delves into packaging and digital with Optium investments
MARKHAM, ONOptium, a division of PLM Group, will be making some key initiatives to expand its product and pre-media packaging offering. The company will install a Creo Thermoflex digital platesetter and the Dupont Cyrel Fast digital platemaking workflow to service Optium’s packaging clients. It will also install the new Jeti 3150 UV large format, digital flatbed 6-colour printer. Serge Trajkovich will take on the position of vice president of sales for Optium. PLM chairman and CEO Barry Pike said in statement that, “By capitalizing on these significant capital and people investments, Optium is poised to expand our packaging and wide-format flatbed digital print sales through this state-of-the-art equipment.
November 25, 2005
Ryerson hosts awards night, unveils boardroom name
No plans to dismantle Thunder Bay mill
THUNDER BAY, ONCascades’ has no immediate plans to dismantle or sell off its equipment, but will mothball the machines, when the Thunder Bay mill shuts down in January, according to Bob Zbikowski, marketing manager for coated papers at Cascades Fine Papers Group. Many in the industry know of the location as the former Provincial Papers mill. Annual sales at the mill, which produces Jenson coated grades, were roughly $200 million a year, but the plant was losing about a $1 million a month, or about 6% or its earnings. The current value of fixed assets and inventories is about $47 million. Cascades has blamed high energy costs a major contributor to the plant’s coming shutdown. Zbikowski says that energy costs for Ontario mills are the highest in the world and energy is the second-biggest component in operating a mill after the cost of fibre. The Thunder Bay mill was part of Cascades Fine Papers Group, which recently sold its graphic arts distribution division, Cascades Resources, to PaperlinX. “There is a correlation, in that Cascades, last year, underwent a strategic review of its businesses and one of the findings was that Cascades was going to concentrate on two core areas, packaging and tissue paper. Also, that fine printing papers would not be part of the long-term future of the organization,” says Zbikowski. He says Cascades is considering other products that could be produced out of its one remaining mill in St. Jerome, QC.
November 23, 2005
Cascades Thunder Bay mill to close down
THUNDER BAY, ONCascades Fine Papers Group’s Thunder Bay mill, which produces coated fine papers, will close at the end of January putting its 375 staff out of work. The current value of fixed assets and inventories is about $47 million. A spokesperson from Cascades told a Thunder Bay newspaper that although it is still possible that someone might be interested in buying the operation, given the current market conditions, that would be very surprising. Cascades blames the mill’s demise on price decreases on fine papers, reduced demand, a 25% increase in energy costs and the rise of the Canadian dollar. Parent company Cascades Inc. had been trying to sell the mill for several years and had closed one of its three machines in an effort to save the facility, a move that affected 150 employees. Cascades expects to pay out $20 million in severance payments, pension fund contributions and other closing costs over the next three quarters. After the closure, Cascades Fine Papers Group will have one fine paper mill left in St. Jerome, Quebec, which produces uncoated paper. The Thunder Bay mill was part of Cascades Fine Papers Group, which recently sold its graphic arts distribution division, Cascades Resources, to PaperlinX.
November 22, 2005
The Aries Group buys Sutton Graphics
TORONTOThe Aries Group, a family-run specialty print and finishing shop, has bought Sutton Graphics, which specializes in fine art reproduction. Sutton Graphics’ business and four employees will move into The Aries Group location and keep its former identity. Aries Group Co-owner Marianne Keller says taking on the digital equipment and capabilities of Sutton Graphics will be a first for her shop, but they have created the room and space to take on the new work. Sutton Graphics was put on the market after owner Steve Sutton became ill. It was founded by his father more than 30 years ago as a film house.
Lions Head Printing change of ownership
BURNABY, B.C.PrintCAN has recently learned that commercial shop Lions Head Printing was sold by James Morrison to plant manager John Seed and Trade Business Forms, another specialty print shop in Burnaby run by Len Maclean and his son Cameron Maclean.
November 18, 2005
Lowe-Martin Group gets new digs, new equipment
OTTAWAThe Lowe-Martin Group, a full-service provider with more than 300 employees, moved into its new headquarters today. The new facility brings together three separate Ottawa locations under one roof, which include the company’s digital printing, offset, bindery, warehouse, sales, administration and executives. As well as consolidating operations, Lowe-Martin is extending its offset and digital capabilities with a second 10-colour Heidelberg press, a Xerox Nuvera production version laser printer and the 8160 wide-format jet printer, also from Xerox. Lowe-Martin is listed on Graphic Monthly’s Gold List as having annual revenue in 2004 of $50 million.
November 17, 2005
Coast to buy Cascades
VANCOUVERPaperlinX, an Australian-owned global fine paper merchant, which owns Coast Paper in Canada, has agreed to acquire Cascades Resources, a division of Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc., for approximately $85 million. The buyout will make PaperlinX Canada’s largest supplier of fine paper and graphics arts supplies and equipment. PaperlinX also owns Kelly Paper and Spicers Paper in the U.S. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, subject to regulatory approval. President of Coast Paper, Fred Kamer said in a phone interview that it’s too early to speculate on any consolidation that may take place and that it will be business as usual at all Coast and Cascades outlets across the country. “[The acquisition] provides a wide range of products including the graphic arts supplies equipment and industrial packaging, which will bring to customers value-added supply chain solutions. It puts Cascades in a position where it can leverage off the PaperlinX global platform as Coast Paper has,” says Kamer. Cascades Resources has about $420 million in annual sales revenue and 490 employees in 15 locations across Canada. Cascades president and CEO Alain Lemaire said in a released statement that the sale of Cascades Resources is a step towards concentrating the company’s activities in packaging and tissue.
November 15, 2005
Management buyout of six Quebecor plants
TORONTOQuebecor World has sold six of its Canadian facilities in a management buyout to a newly formed entity, Grafikom, for $53 million. The operations in the deal include MIL, Graphica, Printpak, Calgary, Jasper and Carlsbad, with annual revenue of more than $100 million. Aivars Beikmanis, former president of the Quebecor World Specialty Group will serve as Grafikom’s president and CEO. The new company’s head office is in Toronto with a staff of almost 600 people. Grafikom operates facilities in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Sherbrooke, Carlsbad, CA and Guadalajara, Mexico. Quebecor World will continue to provide full web and inline capability to Grafikom clients and Grafikom will continue to offer sheetfed and specialty printing to Quebecor World clients.
Annan & Bird acquire new jumbo press
November 11, 2005
Rhino Print Solutions becomes FSC certified
RICHMOND, B.C.Rhino Print Solutions, a privately held commercial shop, has been awarded certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Certification allows the shop to use and sell paper products that are recognized as coming from well-managed forests adhering to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. Rhino can display the FSC product logo and trademark symbols on FSC print jobs allowing consumers to recognize products that support the growth of forest management. This year the number of FSC certified printers in Canada has grown to 40 from a mere handful a few years ago. For an indepth look at the benefits, procedures and costs of becoming FSC certified, pick up the next issue PrintCAN’s sister publication, Graphic Monthly, in December.
November 8, 2005
New Brunswick print shop closes
FREDERICTONProvincial Artisans has closed its doors after 40 years in business. The mid-sized non-profit print shop provided career opportunities for people with disabilities and employed about 16 staff. Besides printing, the shop offered graphics services, binding and mailing. The company’s main business since 1965 had been printing books for the local publisher of Canadian case law, Maritime Law Book (MLB). A spokesperson for the company said that the shop’s loss of its main customer as well as a competitively and technically challenging printing market contributed to the shops demise. The company was reportedly losing about $25,000 a month for more than a year.
Heidelberg to unveil Print Media Academy
MISSISSAUGA, ONHeidelberg Canada is opening a Print Media Academy (PMA) at its Mississauga location, which will use printing equipment with interactive tools and print management software to educate Heidelberg customers. The PMA will offer training in all aspects of the printing business from hands-on press work to classes on how to cost estimate print production in a competitive market. The Heidelberg Canada PMA will form part of the company’s global PMA network, which serves as the backbone for internal employee training. The new Canadian facility will be officially launched during Graphics Canada, which runs from this Thursday to Saturday at the International Centre.
November 4, 2005
Cenveo to explore sale of Canadian operations
MISSISSAUGA, ONAfter a disappointing third-quarter, which included a net loss of US$64.1 million, Cenveo has said that it will explore the sale of its Canadian operations. Although net sales for the quarter were slightly higher at US$430.8 million compared with US$428.1 million in 2004, Robert Burton, Cenveo’s chairman and CEO said in a statement that the financial results of the company are completely unacceptable.
“Our longstanding success in Canada combined with current market conditions, presents a unique opportunity that may help us to realize the substantial value of our Canadian assets,” Burton said. He also said he feels the company can reduce its cost structure by at least US$75 million by the end of 2006. Canadian Cenveo plants include: Supremex Inc. in LaSalle, QC, which had revenues of $205 million in 2004; Mississauga-based Cenveo McLaren Morris and Todd with 2004 annual revenue of $59.6 million; and Cenveo MM&T Packaging with 2004 revenue of $11 million also in Mississauga.
New e-Textbook pilot project results in
MISSISSAUGA, ONResults from a pilot project in which e-textbooks were sold in ten U.S. college bookstores indicate that 5.7% of total textbook sales were digital. The pilot initiative involved U.S.-based MBS Textbook Exchange in partnership with textbook publishers McGraw Hill Higher Education, Thompson Learning, Houghton Mifflin Company and SAGE Publications. The electronic textbooks had previously been available for purchase online, but never in a physical retail environment of the college bookstore. MBS created a universal digital textbook card, similar to a gift card or phone service card, which was displayed beside the new and used hardcopies of the textbooks. Students download the books online using the barcode provided on the card. The electronic books allow users to print out pages of their choice, highlight text on screen and search for keywords within the book. In an MBS study of 1,600 students at the pilot campuses, 60% said they would be willing to try a digital textbook. 84% said price would be the determining factor to buying an eTextbook. Plans to expand the schools involved in beta testing are underway for January 2006, but a spokesperson for the company said he didn’t know when Canadian colleges or universities would see the electronic books.
November 1, 2005
Quebecor World cites lower prices, higher energy costs for flat revenue
MONTREALQuebecor World today announced that its revenue totaled US$1.58 billion in the third quarter of 2005, ended September 30, compared to US$1.57 billion in 2004. Net income came in at US$31 million down from US$46 million last year. In North America, revenue totaled US$1.25 billion, up a tick from US$1.24 billion in the third quarter of 2004. In both instances the lower numbers were attributed to lower pricing in most segments, higher energy costs and, in North America, to lower volumes. In Canada, the company reports that volumes grew slightly due to increases in the retail sector, but provided no figures. Quebecor World is currently implementing its investment plan in North America, which will see 22 new wide-web presses installed. Five will be operational in the U.S. in the last quarter and the remainder will go live in 2006 and 2007. It is also reporting that general and administrative expenses dropped by $US15 million, to US $97 million.
Cheque printers revenue remain consistent
TORONTOCustom Direct and Davis + Henderson, two of the largest cheque printers in the market, both recently reported “consistent” revenues in the third quarter of 2005 compared to 2004. Custom Direct says sales totaled US$27.1 million, the same as last year. Net income increased to US$7.3 million from US$6.4 million in 2004. Davis + Henderson reports revenues of $69.8 million, up 1.1% over the same quarter last year. Net income, however, rose 11.6% to $15.3 million. The company says that while revenue increases were modest, it tried to enhance the value and efficient delivery of programs to offset declines in cheque usage. Sales for fiscal 2005 are expected to rise in the range of 3% to 5%.
|Paul Kett says:|