News Archives
January 2007

January 30, 2007
Suspected stolen car damages Manitoba shop
WINNIPEG—Bernie Sexton, president of Gutenberg Press, says he suspects car thieves are to blame for the damage done to the outside walls of his print shop. Sexton, who runs a 12-person shop that specializes in printing custom ticket rolls, arrived at work last Wednesday to find cinder blocks and car parts strewn about the property—a mess apparently caused by the “demolished” car Sexton found behind the building. Nothing inside the shop was damaged, but Sexton guesses repairs to the outside will cost “a couple of thousand.” No charges have been laid.

Label printer expands with American firm
WILLOWDALE, Ont.—CCL Industries, a label and specialty package manufacturer, has announced its acquisition of an American label printer. The company acquired Illinois Tool Work’s (ITW) sleeve label division, which designs and prints shrink and stretch labels for the North American and European markets. ITW had revenues of just under US$13 billion in 2005. CCL Industries, which employs 4,900 people in 13 countries, produces shrink-sleeve and in-mould labels and reported revenues of $669 million in 2005.

January 25, 2007
Custom Direct may sell subsidiaries
TORONTO—Custom Direct Income Fund, which owns a large cheque-printing operation, is considering selling some or all of its holdings. In a bid to increase its value to shareholders, the company has partnered with Genuity Capital Markets to examine its options. In a statement released Monday, the company said the examination would take several months, though there is “no assurance” any sale will take place at that time.

Craftsmen give awards to Ontario’s top graphic arts students
TORONTO—Four Ontario students have been honoured by the IAPHC (the Craftsmen) for their outstanding work in the graphic arts field. The Chia Tse Memorial Awards were handed out at a dinner ceremony last night at the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. The winners, who were each given iPods, were:

  • Mary Huang from Ryerson University
  • Craig Boyle from the Ontario Graphic Communication Training Centre
  • Ali Mohammed from Eva’s Phoenix Print Shop
  • Carol Bumeueller from Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Keynote speaker Myrna Penny of PrintLink Canada congratulated the award winners, and gave a presentation on human resources issues within the print industry.


Mary Huang (left), a fourth-year Graphic Communications Management student, is given her award by Chris Kular, one of her instructors in the Graphic Communications Management program at Ryerson University.

January 23, 2007
Production Values – An expected decline
OTTAWA—Recent data suggest that, as far as print shipments go, 2006 will probably not match 2005’s production levels. Statistics Canada released the industry’s most recent domestic shipments information last week.

SHIPMENTS

2006

2005

Change

November

$942.7 million

$997.2 million

-5.5%

Year to date

$9.64 billion

$9.88 billion

-2.5%

December would need to show a drastic upswing in print shipments—an unprecedented 29% increase to $1.07 billion—just to match 2005 levels. Canada has not seen a billion-dollar month in printing since October 2005.

Union wants Ottawa to protect forestry jobs
OTTAWA—After a year of continued corporate consolidation and mill closings, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union has called on politicians to publicly address the forestry industry’s job crisis. The best way to do that is with financial investment, said CEP president Dave Coles. Launching a national Day of Action yesterday, Coles said in a released statement that all Canadians should be concerned because “forest sector jobs support hundreds of communities across Canada that are an integral part of the Canadian economy.”  

January 19, 2007
More fake $20s surface after counterfeit arrests
MONTREAL—Despite having collected more than $350,000-worth of fake $20 bills from a now-defunct counterfeiting operation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say there’s still work to be done. The RCMP, acting in concert with several Quebec law enforcement agencies, shut down a Montreal-area counterfeiting operation in December and seized its digital print press. Since then, an additional 9,000 fake bills connected to the operation have been recovered, and authorities believe more to be in circulation across the country. The false bills can be identified by the defective metallic square on their top left corners that do not change colour from green to gold.

FedEx Kinko’s jumps into DM, online printing
PROVO, Utah—One of North America’s most prolific print companies recently announced a new online print service, as well as its entry into the direct mail market. The direct marketing program will offer design, production, address clansing and verification, while the online print service allows customers to submit files digitally to be printed at store locations. According to FedEx Kinko’s Brian Philips, executive vice president and COO, these new services are meant to allow “small- and medium-size businesses to have access to the same marketing tools as large corporations.” These programs are among the first steps the company is taking after announcing plans to refocus on small- and mid-size companies and what it terms “mobile professionals.”

January 17, 2007
Transcontinental Inc. closes East Coast shop
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, Nfld.—The city where The Robinson-Blackmore Print and Publishing Company was partly founded has seen one of its commercial print shops closed by Transcontinental. According to CBC.ca, the twelve-person shop is having its production volume move to the provincial capital of St. John’s. The company says it will make provisions for those employees wishing to relocate.

Trade Watch— Stable November
OTTAWA—Industry Canada released newly updated trade information for the print sector today, showing imports and exports for November 2006.  

EXPORTS

2006

2005

Change

November

$134.4 million

$138.5 million

-3%

Year to date

$1.4 billion

$1.6 billion

-8.9%

Most of our export buyers kept things even, purchasing at levels consistent with 2005. Only Australia made a significant jump, buying $1.4 million. It is its second consecutive month of million-dollar spending in Canadian print.

IMPORTS

2006

2005

Change

November

$126.0 million

$128.5 million

-1.9%

Year to date

$1.2 billion

$1.1 billion

8.9%

The major importers kept November’s numbers on par with those from 2005 as well. The only significant increase came from Germany, which upped its output to $1.4 million from just under $900,000.

January 11, 2007
Job cuts signal the end of Quebecor’s magazine changes
MONTREAL—Five hundred fifty jobs will be cut with the closure of Quebecor World’s printing plant in Lincoln, Neb., scheduled for the end of Q2 in 2007. The company announced the closure yesterday, saying the changes to its magazine operations were now “essentially complete.” The past weeks have seen the company streamlining its American magazine and catalogue operations. The closures of four facilities were announced, and several plants have been retooled to take up the excess workload. Overall, the company has cut more than 1,050 jobs.

U.S. catalogue mailings on the rise
NEW YORK—With the passing of the holiday shopping blitz, marketers are anxiously eyeing response rates to their print and online campaigns. Marketers (and printers) may be encouraged by the Direct Marketing Association’s 14th annual Multichannel Marketing in the Catalog Industry report. It showed 66% of the 3,800 respondents increased their catalogue circulation in 2005, and 41% expanded the size of their catalogues. Overall, 74% cited catalogues as their biggest sales channel, though Anna Chernis, a research manager with the Direct Marketing Association, told DMNews.com that catalogues were often used in tandem with Internet marketing programs.  

January 9, 2007
Continuing consolidation in Quebecor’s catalogue platform
BEAUCEVILLE, Que.—The L’Eclaireur catalogue and magazine printing facility has been closed and at least some of its equipment is set to be redistributed among Quebecor World’s remaining facilities. The announcement came yesterday as part of the company’s efforts to consolidate “its Quebec-based magazine and catalogue printing into fewer and more efficient facilities.” The closure affects approximately 155 jobs.

Changes to Allegra in Ottawa
OTTAWA—Michael Kanstrup used to work as an account manager at Allegra Print and Imaging’s Albert Street location in the nation’s capital. That location closed, Kanstrup says, after the previous owner, Eric Darwin, decided not to renew his franchise license and became an independent shop. Kanstrup opened his own Allegra business—a digital shop running mostly Xerox equipment—on December 15 just up the road from the old one. It complements Allegra’s second location on Bank Street, and has three full-time employees. Darwin now owns and operates Cielo Print in Nepean, Ont.  

January 4, 2007
Grafikom teams with The UPS Store
OAKVILLE, Ont.—National commercial printer Grafikom will be the preferred supplier of offset and commercial printing to The UPS Store customers thanks to a new partnership announced today. The Toronto-based print company will also create a print web portal in conjunction with The UPS Store that will allow customers to order print products online for delivery anywhere in Canada.

Online printer wants into mining biz
VANCOUVER—Printlux.com, an online-only print operation formed in 1995, is looking to get out of the print business. It seeks to purchase of cluster of mining claims near Sudbury, Ont., and change its name to Allana Resources Inc. The company is eyeing the Marble Mountain property for its gold, cobalt and copper mining value. It is set to pay $255,000 and a quantity of shares over three years for the 1,100-hectare lot. The company’s shareholders are set to vote on the deal at a January 31meeting. According to its last annual report, Printlux.com’s revenues for its last fiscal year were down 67%. The company reported a yearly net loss of $447,351 and an accumulated deficit of $2.35 million at that time. 

January 2, 2007
Montreal folding carton shop to close
MONTREAL—Cascades Boxboard Group will be closing its Montreal folding carton operation by the end of Q1 2007. Company president Eric Laflamme said in a statement that, after two years of cost cutting, closing the facility is necessary to remain competitive. Approximately 118 employees will be affected by the closure. Some of the plant’s equipment will be sold to finance the closing, though Laflamme says some equipment will be moved to other business units “to continue upgrading and computerizing our other plants.” Business from the Montreal facility will be redistributed among the company’s other facilities in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the United States. 

Board game maker folds Nova Scotia plans
PARRSBORO, N.S.—It’s “game over” for Headz Games’ plans to move its printing operations to the East Coast. Earlier this year, the board game company announced it was shifting assembly and printing operations from China and British Columbia to the small town of Parssboro, Nova Scotia. Since then, company owner Kerry Martens—the plan’s architect—resigned. The new management has decided not to proceed with the move, saying on its website the plan was not economically feasible. Employees in Nova Scotia have been laid off and real estate dealings with the provincial government have ceased. 

EXPORTS

2006

2005

Change

October

$145.6 million

$147.0 million

-0.9%

Year to date

$1.3 billion

$1.4 billion

-9.5%

October is historically a busy time for Canadian printers that ship to the U.S. This year was no different—October exports to that country hit a two-year high of more than $127 million.

IMPORTS

2006

2005

Change

October

$139.2 million

$121.9 million

14.1%

Year to date

$1.1 billion

$1.0 billion

10.1%

American printers received more than $105 million of Canadian business in October—another two-year high. China also continued to make its presence felt, slipping slightly below September levels to $20.2 million.

Production Values—October up, 2006 down
OTTAWA—Though it was a step up from September, Statistics Canada’s October 2006 figures show less Canadian print business being bought domestically than in 2005. October’s printing shipments totaled $898 million nationwide, a 10.8% decline from October 2005. Year-to-date figures reached $8.6 billion at that point, down 2.8% from $8.9 billion last year.

North Island Publishing MastheadOnline gutenbergs' guide PrintCAN Print World 2010  
Canada’s Estimators' & Buyers' Guide Design City Graphic Monthly