News Archives
March 2006

March 9, 2006
WebCom’s Willy Wilkins wins lifetime achievement award

Willy Wilkins

TORONTO—Willy Wilkins of Webcom in Toronto was recently honoured with the Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. association PIA/GATF. “I’m always involved in doing something for the industry, but never thinking about it. This is a really great way to be thanked,” said Wilkins, who added that she was thrilled and humbled upon hearing that she was being given the award. Established in 1950, the award honours business leaders who have gone far beyond the standard obligations to become a significant force in shaping the business of producing printed communications.
Wilkins entered the printing industry in 1981 as regional manager for the Graphic Arts Industries Association. Upon retiring in 1992, she held a position on the sectoral advisory committee for International Trade working directly with the Ministry of International Trade and Foreign Affairs, during which she organized talks with the PIA to create stronger trade relations between Canada and the U.S. She served as chairman of the board for WebCom, which was founded by her husband, Warren Wilkins, and is still an advisor to the board. Wilkins is an advisor for the MacKenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum and is working on developing a public exhibit depicting the history of pioneers and printing firsts in Canada.

Transcontinental partners up for sweet
printing gig
MONTREAL—Transcontinental and Yellow Pages Group will launch a hybrid guide that is a combination of glossy magazine and telephone directory this month. The guides, to be available in Toronto and Montreal, will have a 100-page glossy magazine front half with magazine style articles and advertising. The back half of the publication will consist of 120 pages of directory listings. Each issue will have a theme, the premiere edition to be home renovations. The hybrid publication will be branded as special editions and bundled with Transcontinental titles Style at Home and Décor. The guides will also be circulated door-to-door in strategic markets, through subscriptions and at newsstands. The second edition of the guide is planned for September and is to be themed around caring for aging parents. 

March 6, 2006
Ed-Web closure under attack
EDMONTON—Ed-Web, a coldset commercial shop, owned by Central Web Offset, recently shut down its operations and laid off 20 employees, drawing accusations from the Alberta Federation of Labour that the closure was a union-busting tactic. The AFL says the company has shifted the print work to a new press at Central Web operated by non-union employees. Five bindery workers and 15 press operators who are members of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers union Local 255-G were laid off from Ed-Web on February 21 and the facility has since sold off the equipment. Tom Caston, part owner of Central Web, says the closure of the plant was strictly economic. He says many of its jobs were not profitable due to the high Canadian dollar and that the company walked away from several accounts in closing the shop. The union and the AFL are appealing to the province’s Labour Relations Board. Ed-Web was purchased by Central Web in Fall 2004. Central Web was listed on Graphic Monthly’s 2005 Gold List with sales of $33.5 million. 

Cascades divestitures seal Paperlinx deal
OTTAWA—Paperlinx Canada has agreed to sell Cascades Fine Paper Group’s fine paper merchant business in Alberta and B.C. in order to acquire Cascades. The Canadian Competition Bureau filed a consent agreement with the Competition Tribunal requiring the sale to resolve the bureau’s concerns arising from Paperlinx Canada’s acquisition of Cascades. Cascades completed the sale of its fine paper distribution business to Paperlinx for $81 million on February 28.

March 02, 2006
Two local printers to start a POWER group
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Two Ontario print-shop owners are taking the initiative to start a small cohesive group of like-minded printers to meet and exchange ideas. The group is to be called POWER (print owners who excel rapidly). Rod Joanisse, former president of the OAQP and owner of Econoprint in St. Catharines, and Doug Purrsglove, owner of Holiday Print in London, aim to set up a group of four to eight owners that meet three times a year to help each other grow their businesses, bring ideas in both management and marketing, and help each other solve problems. Joanisse says there are similar small groups in the U.S. called T.I.P. (top instant printers) that were formed by printers who got to know each other over the years at various association events. He says that although associations in Ontario are helpful, they have to address a large group’s concerns, whereas the POWER group will be able to focus on specific issues that the individual printers in the group are facing. Joanisse is looking for print shop owners who have been in the commercial printing business for at least five years, have sales between $750,000 and $2 million, are available to meet three times a year on weekends, are willing to share financial information in confidence with the group, have a front-counter system for estimating and writing orders and like to golf. He expects a yearly fee of about $100 per member to cover minor expenses and administrative costs. Joanisse can be reached at rod@econoprint.net.

Davis + Henderson’s Q4 and year end results are stable
TORONTO—Davis + Henderson Income Fund reported fourth quarter sales in 2005 of $69.2 million, essentially unchanged from last year’s fourth quarter sales of $69.1 million. Sales growth from program enhancements were balanced by the impact of lower cheque volumes. Net income for the quarter was $15 million compared to $15.1 million a year ago. Annual 2005 sales were $276.5 million, slightly higher than the company’s 2004 sales of $275.6 million. Net income for 2005 increased 11.9% to $60.8 million, largely due to a corporate structure change completed in July 2004. The company says new sales initiatives essentially offset the impact of a decline from reduced order volume. Its long-term financial objective is to deliver stable and modestly growing distributions by growing sales in the 3% to 5% range.

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