February 28, 2006
U of T Press to sell printing operations
TORONTOThe University of Toronto Press (UTP) is selling its offset printing division. A spokesperson from UTP says that part of the sale may involve the publishing contracts.
UTP has four divisionsretail, distribution, printing and UTP Printthat help fund its two scholarly publishing divisions. The printing division is a traditional full-service offset printing operation encompassing prepress, traditional offset, direct-to-plate, large format inkjet, and inhouse finishing and bindery. UTP president John Yates says the decision to sell will not affect UTP’s digital printing divisionUTP Printor the other divisions. UTP Print offers design services, custom publishing and print-on-demand services.
Yates says changes in technologies and print buying practices, coupled with increasing competition, have affected the offset printing industry and by selling the division, UTP is striving to provide an opportunity for continued employment for as many of the division’s employees as possible. UTP operates independently from the university and is one of the largest public university publishers in North America.
Tri City Graphic Finishers closes its doors
MISSISSAUGA, ONBrian Gagnon, owner of Tri City Graphic Finishers, is closing down his bindery and specialty finishing business after a 16 year run. Gagnon says he decided to close the shop to explore other opportunities. He says although he is weighing his options for the future, he may decide to become a consultant in the industry. An auction will likely take place to sell of the equipment at the end of April. Tri City has about 20 staff.
February 24, 2006
Boehmer Box and Strathcona in corporate restructuring
KITCHENERFurther to PrintCAN’s recent report that Strathcona Paper in Napanee, Ont. is restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), a released statement from parent company Roman Corporation reveals that it has filed for protection for all of its active subsidiaries, which also includes Boehmer Box in Kitchener, Ont. Boehmer Box, founded in 1874, manufactures paperboard packaging for food, beverage and consumer goods. In a released statement, chairman and CEO Helen Roman-Barber said, “These restructuring measures are required because the industry-wide problems affecting the North American paperboard and packaging industries, which have negatively impacted our profitability.” Roman also said “the reorganization will involve a sale of the reorganized business.” The company has negotiated $8 million debtor-in-possession financing to provide working capital during the restructuring so the company can operate its business as usual. Representatives from Boehmer Box and Roman Corp. did not return calls for comments.
Quebecor World Q4 reports loss
MONTREALFollowing Quebecor Inc.’s fourth quarter report in which its annual net income in 2005 fell to C$69.7 million, down from C$112.2 million in 2004, CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau said the company’s printing division, Quebecor World, struggled with downward pricing pressures, a contract loss in the U.K., labour problems in France and a fire in a large U.S. plant. Quebecor World had a fourth-quarter net loss of US$205 million. He also said the printing division needs to do more the cut costs to deal with continuing pricing pressures and to compensate for the loss of volume after the loss of three major customers in the U.S. and Europe. Quebecor World’s revenues for the quarter were US$1.7 billion compared to US$1.8 billion last year. The printing division had an overall negative impact on the financial results even though the company’s media and cable division, which includes new well-received Internet telephony, posted an 8.7% increase in revenues. The company expects that major retooling planned for the printing division will take until late 2006 or early 2007 to bring the financial performance back to levels it considers acceptable.
February 21, 2006
Saskatoon platesetting service expands to Calgary
CALGARYDistinctive Imagesetting, a platesetting service bureau based in Saskatoon owned and operated by husband and wife team, Bill and Shelly Wheatley, has opened a second location in Calgary. The new location opened for business in November and employs one staff member running the shop with a new Heidelberg Prosetter 74 and an Epson 7800 proofing system. Bill Wheatley says the company is able to work with such a lean staff because of its combined front-end service, which allows the Saskatoon office to upload and create the files and send them remotely to Calgary for output and shipping. Distinctive Imagesetting has been operating in Saskatoon for 17 years, and offering direct-to-plate imaging for three and a half years.
Printing for Olympians
VANCOUVERCanadian company NewspaperDirect is using a digital print centre in Torino, Italy, to distribute international newspapers such as
the New York Times, Yomuiri Shimbun, Der Tagesspiegel, Gazeta, Neue Zurcher Zeitung and The Globe and Mail, to the atheletes, media villages, international broadcast centre, hotels and residences. The company estimates it distributes more than 2,700 newspapers per day during the course of the Games. A spokesperson for the company says that almost all of the newspapers were ordered prior to the Games and are being printed on a production schedule. Retail print orders are printed for next-day delivery. NewspaperDirect has also distributed digital newspapers at the 2000 Sydney Games, the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and in 2004 in Athens.
Printera has mixed first quarter results, works on financing
TORONTOPrintera Corp.’s revenues for the first quarter ended December 31, 2005 were $6.3 million, down from $7 million in 2004. Net loss added up to a half million dollars, but the custom label producer’s gross profit increased from $1 million to $1.3 million. Printera’s year-end results saw a net loss of $13.4 million in 2005 and a 17% gross profit increase to $5.7 million. 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. Last month the company announced that discussions and negotiations with its lender to extend financing agreements that expired on December 31, 2005 were progressing, but not yet finalized. The lenders have kept all financing in place in support of reaching new agreements. Printera expects to complete the process in the second quarter.
Winpak reports good 2005 sales, capital project in 2006
WINNIPEGWinpak, which manufactures and distributes packaging materials and packaging machines, had 2005 sales of US$436.7 million, up from US$393 million in 2004. The company’s net earnings decreased by about US$2.9 million to US$23.1 million. In June Winpak sold its paper-based bag business. The traditional converting plant in Toronto from which the bag business operated is being vacated and the premises are up for sale. The company says it was affected by high prices for raw materials as well as the hurricanes that hit the U.S. gulf coast, which had an impact on pricing in the fourth quarter. Plans for capital projects in 2006 involve expenditures approaching US$47 million over three years, including about US$27 million in 2006. The expenditures will enhance Winpak’s operations in Quebec, Georgia, Illinois and Manitoba and include a second major converting line, printing presses, a new manufacturing plant in Illinois and a third proprietary eleven-layer extrusion line.
February 14, 2006
Cenveo expected to sell Canadian division to cut costs
MONTREALCenveo is expected to make an initial public offering for its Montreal-based envelope provider Supremex Inc., which will be converted into an income trust fund. The deal will reportedly be worth between $300 million and $350 million. Robert Burton who became chair and CEO of U.S.-based Cenveo last year, has announced plans to reduce costs for the company this year by more than $75 million. The company had sales last year of more than $1.7 billion, which included almost $200 million in Canada
Transcontinental’s publishing division beefs up online presence
MONTREALPrinting and publishing giant Transcontinental has become co-publisher of the newly launched Canadian version of the popular online men’s magazine, AskMen.com. The company will be the exclusive seller of advertising on the Canadian website, which boasts 800,000 unique visitors per month. Transcontinental will also contribute Canadian editorial content to the site, providing articles from its suite of magazines, including The Hockey News, to complement the original content produced daily by AskMen.com. General manager for new media at Transcontinental, Yves Daoust said that the agreement helps realize the full potential of the company’s magazine readership by complementing it with an enhanced online presence and derivative products and services.
February 9, 2006
Cuttell Brothers to close doors
TORONTOCuttell Brothers, the fine finishing shop founded in 1934, has gone bankrupt and is expected to shut down completely at the end of this week. Rod Clark, the owner since April 2005, says that the shop was suffering from general declining business and not enough capital. He added that with the closures of large customers, such as Arthurs-Jones and Baker Graphics, a large volume of the company’s business disappeared. The shop employed more than 25 people.
Strathcona Mill struggling to sustain operations
NAPANEEStrathcona Paper Holdings and Strathcona Paper Marketing are in a stay period under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA.) The protection application was filed by parent company, Roman Corp. and is being monitored by KPMG receivers. The paperboard company specializes exclusively in manufacturing and supplying medium to heavyweight boxboard. One of the primary components of the CCAA is to allow a stay of proceedings, often referred to as protection from one’s creditors. The major component stops creditors from taking precipitous action against the operations whilst the debtor organizes and restructures its affairs. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
February 7, 2006
Osprey Media purchases Eastern Ontario printer, publisher
MARKHAM, ONOsprey Media Income Fund, which publishes 59 daily and non-daily newspapers as well as magazines, directories and shopping guides, has bought the assets of 1000 Islands Publishers in Gananoque, Ont. 1000 Islands operates a commercial printing and bindery business and publishes The Gananoque Reporter, a paid circulation weekly. President and publisher Paul Scott will remain with the company for a transitional period.
St. Joseph turns 50, makes top 50 list
TORONTOSt. Joseph Communications is celebrating its fiftieth year and a spot on Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for the third year in a row. St. Joseph, Canada’s largest privately owned communications company with more than 2,000 employees across Canada, began in 1956 as a one-person basement letterpress operation. In the 1980s it expanded from sheetfed to web heatset and in the 1990s it forayed into graphic design and creative advertising. In 1997, the company purchased Canada Communication Group from the government and in 2001 and 2002 it acquired Multi-Vision Publishing and Key Media. The Best Managed, a national awards program established in 1993, recognizes Canadian companies that have implemented world-class best business practices and created value in innovative ways. It is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, National Post and Queen’s School of Business.
February 2, 2006
Quebecor World target of labour protests in 14 countries
TORONTOQuebecor World was the target of labour protests in 14 countries, including Canada, on January 30, during a Global Day of Action at the giant printer. Though a protest in Brazil, where workers backed by an international delegation of union leaders shut down a plant, garnered much media attention, workers in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec also mounted largely symbolic campaigns to show solidarity with their Brazilian brethren. In Magog, Que., for example, they wore stickers proclaiming “Solidarity at Quebecor World.” In the U.S., workers held rallies in parking lots and marched through plants. Other countries that participated included Chile, France, Spain and Sweden.
The Global Day of Action is part of a campaign that began in 2002 to improve working conditions at Quebecor World plants across the globe. One of the goals of the campaign, says Amy Masciola, senior research analyst for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is behind the campaign, is to encourage Quebecor World to sign a global labour standards agreement promising to adhere to international standards such as prohibitions against child labour, the right of workers to organize, and freedom from discrimination based on race or gender.
A company like Quebecor World, says Masciola, often has progressive labour rules in its home markets, such as Quebec, that do not extend to other countries. In Racife, Brazil, for example, Quebecor World refused to recognize the union, says Maciola. There have also been injuries at the plant, in particular one in which a worker suffered severe facial injuries. On Monday, following the strike, Quebecor World agreed to recognize the union and to begin negotiating with labour representatives.
Schawk announces digital division
TORONTOSchawk Inc. is establishing Schawk Digital Solutions, a business unit dedicated to developing digital asset management, workflow management and online proofing software for its global clients. The new division will cater to clients the consumer product goods, retail, pharmaceutical, publishing, and media and entertainment. It will focus on aligning technology products and services with strategic business objectives to render functions such as marketing more efficient. Schawk is a large prepress and graphic services company that also offers brand management services to Fortune 500 companies. It has three locations in Canada: Schawk Toronto (prepress); Schawk Cactus (large format) and Anthem (creative and branding services).