News Archives
January 2006

January 20, 2006
Three large presses a charm for VistaPrint
WINDSOR—VistaPrint North American Services has installed a third ROLAND 700 from MAN Roland only six months after it opened its 68,000 sq. ft. facility in Ontario. All three 41” presses are equipped with five printing units, in-line coating and perfecting. VistaPrint produces an average of 12,000 unique print jobs per production day. Business cards are its best seller with postcards, brochures, data sheets, letterhead, folders and magnets also making up its business. VistaPrint uses a ganging process to print massive volumes at low cost. The average run length is 250-500.

Printera works to secure future
TORONTO—Printera’s common shares are being reviewed by the TSE and may be delisted from the TSX if it can’t meet listing requirements. The custom label printer has 120 days to regain compliance with the requirements. In a separate announcement, the company has announced that it is in negotiations with it lenders to extend financing agreements that expired at the end of 2005. The lenders have kept all financing in place in support of reaching new agreements, which Printera expects will completed in its second quarter.

January 17, 2006
Ernest Green & Son buy All Printing Resources
Mississauga, ON—Graphic arts supply distributor, Ernest Green & Son has bought the Canadian assets of All Printing Resources, a supplier to the flexographic industry. All Print Resources’ Canadian operation, also based in Mississauga, carries many brand-name supplies, accessories and equipment. It will now operate in Canada as a division of Ernest Green & Son and move into those headquarters. President Doug Green said in a statement that the purchase propels Ernest Green & Son into the growing flexographic printing market in Canada.

Canada Post increases rates, draws ire from private mailers
OTTAWA—Canada Post has announced that as of January 15 sending domestic letter mail will increase one cent from 50¢ to 51¢ and standard USA letter-post will increase from 85¢ to 89¢. As well, price changes to non-regulated communications business services have been introduced that increase charges for Addresses Admail, Business Reply Mail, International Business Reply Mail, Catalogue Mail, Incentive Lettermail, Publications Mail and Unaddressed Admail. But price increases aren’t the only thing Canadian businesses are grumbling about. The Canadian International Mail Association is furious over injunctions Canada Post has sought against a number of private mailers and is calling for a parliamentary review of the exclusive provisions of the Canada Post Corporation Act. The Association represents the interests of private mail companies such as Key Mail Canada and Spring Global as well as some printing companies. Also voicing his disillusionment with Canada Post is Leonard Lee, the owner of Lee Valley Tools, the mail-order hardware company. He bought a full-page newspaper ad in the Ottawa Citizen accusing Canada Post of having no legal basis for its pricing methods, of overcharging catalogue customers and of unfair pricing. Lee said the average price of a parcel has gone up 42% in the last three years and that the method of calculating parcel volume and delivery prices is unfair.

January 13, 2006
CCL buys label outfit in Brazil
TORONTO—CCL Industries, a specialty packaging company, has acquired the label converting operations of Prodesmaq, Brazil’s largest supplier of pressure-sensitive labels, for $64 million. The two companies share many of the same clients in the home and personal care, healthcare, and food and beverage industries. Located in the state of Sao Paulo, Prodesmaq operates two state-of-the-art plants. The company had revenues of $37 million in 2005. CCL employs approximately 4,700 people and operates 47 production facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Hollinger printing operations bought by Canadian company
VANCOUVER—Glacier Ventures has agreed to acquire the remainder of the Canadian interests of Chicago-based Hollinger International’s 87% stake in Hollinger Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership (HCNLP) for $117 million. The acquisition includes a group of about 25 daily and weekly newspaper and related printing operations in British Columbia. Also included in the sale are Hollinger’s Toronto-based Business Information Group, which publishes a variety of trade magazines, directories, newsletters, electronic databases and specialty websites. Glacier plans to purchase the remaining equity in HCNLP from stakeholders, bringing the total value of the deal to $134.8 million, expected to close Feb. 3.

January 10, 2006
Paper companies fined in anti-trust case
MONTREAL—Domtar Inc, Cascades Inc. and Unisource Canada have each agreed to pay $12.5 million in fines after they pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to lessen competition for carbonless sheet paper. The charges relate to activities in Ontario and Quebec in 1999 and 2000. The companies were found guilty of sharing sales and pricing data, maintaining prices to avoid a price war and co-ordinating a response to a new market competitor. Domtar, which issued a statement saying it had pleaded guilty to avoid a lengthy and costly litigation, does not produce carbonless paper at its mills. The charges relate to activities at its merchant division and not to activities at the mills.

Quebecor World sells stake in financial document printer
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has completed its divestiture of non-core assets with the sale of its 51% stake in Quebecor Merrill Canada Inc. to Merrill Corporation Canada. The terms of the deal, which became final on Dec. 31, 2005, were not disclosed. Merrill specializes in financial document services with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Earlier in 2005, Quebecor World sold its U.S. and Canadian commercial printing operations.

January 6, 2006
Transcontinental Owen Sound plant gets upgrade
Transcontinental’s RBW Graphics in Owen Sound recently acquired a new press and finishing equipment. The shop has new Goss Sunday press, capable of producing 90,000 impressions per hour, as well as a Muller Tandem Stitcher are part of the investment made in accordance with the company’s revised manufacturing strategy announced last year. Transcontinental invested a total of $155 million in property, plant and equipment in 2005. That includes the first part of a two-year $53 million project to acquire three presses to print magazines, catalogues and books, and an additional $20 million to build a new book-printing plant in Louiseville, QC. Next year, the company plans to spend about $125 million in property, plant and equipment and about $10 million in strategic investments.

I.D. Aprint upgrades shop
I.D. Aprint, a 20-year-old trade shop in Toronto recently installed a CD 102 four-colour press plus coater and Polar 137 cutter from Heidelberg. Shown with the new cutter from left to right are: Mike Ainsworth, owner; Kelly Ainsworth, owner; and Greg Deyarmond, operator.

January 4, 2006
Huron Web Printing and Graphics opens sister shop stateside
WYOMING, ON—Huron Web Printing and Graphics recently set up a second shop in Marysville, Michigan, about 15 km south of Port Huron. The Wyoming facility, near Sarnia, employs 110 staff, but president Chris Cooke says that will decrease to about 70 people. The company is running a new press and leasing part of a 44,000-sq.-ft. facility in Marysville. Plans are underway to buy the whole building, acquire several more presses and hire 100 staff in the next two years. Huron Web prints millions of grocery flyers and other newspaper inserts and has been exporting most of its business to the U.S. for several years. Cooke says the company expects to make $16.5 million this year with $13 million coming from U.S. sales, including $8 million from Detroit alone. Cooke says difficulty in the Canadian market, the 86¢ Canadian dollar, and long delays at the border led to the decision to initiate an expansion on U.S. soil. He expects the new U.S. plant to grow to at least the same size as the Wyoming facility within a couple of years.

Printera posts disappointing year
TORONTO—Year-end results for Printera, a printer of custom labels for the consumer packaged goods market, show that the company had a net loss of $13.4 million in 2005, triple its net loss of $4.4 million in 2004. Consolidated revenues also declined 7% to $31.3 million from $33.5 million the previous year. However, gross profit increased 17% to $5.7 million in 2005 from $4.8 million in 2004. In 2005, the company decided to drop several high-price competitive products, resulting in a loss of $1.8 million, and focus development efforts on the beer market, which had mixed results. The company’s beer market share grew; however, a deal with a major U.S. brewer fell through and resulted in a loss in the fourth quarter. Printera has since hired a new team to implement changes in operations and sales management. A shift to cans from bottles in Canada as well as a decline in the beer industry due to competition from wines and spirits in both Canada and the U.S. are challenges the company faces.

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