News Archives
June 2007

June 28, 2007
Owner looking to sell or close bindery
SCARBOROUGH, ON — Danny Follett, owner of Follett’s Trade Bindery in Scarborough, Ont. for the last 20 years, is getting out of the business. “I’ve got a couple of offers to buy the company. But if I can’t sell, I’ll close up and auction the assets off. I’ll be making that decision next week.” Follett said he just can’t make any money any more. He cites three reasons in particular: 1. New bindery start-ups “undercutting prices by up to 25%,” the rise of the Canadian dollar drying up business from the U.S., and the Internet demolishing the annual report market, which has always been a mainstay for the bindery. “Annual report work is a quarter of what it was just five years ago,” he said. The company’s 50 employees have been informed of the situation. Follett, now 53, has been in the bindery business since he was 17. He has no immediate future plans other than “to take some time off.”

PIA opposes Asian paper tariffs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Printing Industries of America have come out against the U.S. Department of Commerce’s move to charge tariffs on imported coated free sheet (CFS) paper from Asia. In March, the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the ongoing anti-dumping investigation, which could see tariff rates ranging from 23 to 99% for Chinese suppliers, 0 to 30% for South Korean suppliers and 10.85% for Indonesian suppliers. In early June, the PIA filed comments with the U.S. International Trade Commission opposing the expansion of the investigation and the imposition of such countervailing duties altogether. The proposed tariffs, says PIA president & CEO Michael Makin, puts American printers at a disadvantage. “Restricting access to such papers will eventually lead to hikes in paper prices.” The PIA, says Makin, is pro free trade — even when it comes to the printing trade and the dent Chinese book printers have made in the North American market. What does this mean for Canadian printers — particularly when there has been no corresponding move from the Canadian government to impose similar tariffs? Though Makin doesn’t see a horde of American printers coming up to Canada to buy cheaper Asian stock, he does admit that, “Canadian printers will be able to access these papers at a competitive advantage,” and perhaps pass those savings on to their American clients.

June 26, 2007
Another printer closes shop
MARKHAM, ON — Thirty-four-year-old commercial printer, The M2000 Group Inc., in Markham, Ont., is bankrupt. Staff was laid off in mid June. The receivership auction of assets, organized by Canam-Appraiz, will take place tomorrow at M2000’s Markland Street location. M2000 offered design, prepress, offset and packaging printing of mostly promotional materials.

June 25, 2007
xpedx lands in Toronto
TORONTO and LOVELAND, OH — U.S.-based xpedx, which bills itself as the largest paper merchant in North America, has landed in Toronto in a big way. In August, xpedx Canada, Inc., a new subsidiary of paper manufacturer International Paper (which also owns xpedx in the U.S.) will open two new facilities in the Toronto area. Its new Canadian National headquarters will be located in Brampton, Ont., and will also house a 150,000 sq. ft. distribution centre and an xpedx Paper & Graphics store. A second 10,000 sq. ft. Paper & Graphics store will open in Markham, Ont. A third store, slated to open in 2008, will be located west of Toronto. “We have no immediate plans to expand further in Canada,” said Jeff Higgins, xpedx’s director of marketing services. “But we have a three year plan and we’ll be looking at other locations across the country.” The xpedx stores will carry paper brands from a variety of different manufacturers. Whether Toronto merchants currently selling IP brands will do so after the xpedx stores open “is up to International Paper,” says Higgins. The two xpedx locations will employ from 60 to 75. An announcement naming the general manager of xpedx Canada is forthcoming.

June 21, 2007
Pazazz opens print-management office in China
MONTREAL—Montreal-based Pazazz Printing has opened a corporate office in Shanghai, China, to help serve North American clients manufacturing products in Asia. Pazazz president and CEO Warren Werbitt expects most of the work handled by the Shanghai office will be management of packaging or labour-intensive print jobs. “We’ve made a lot of contacts over there and have created a network of local [printing plants.] So I can quote on, handle and deliver jobs anywhere. Or if it’s a time-sensitive job we can print it at home,” he says. Clients will go through the Montreal office, which will contact Shanghai, which will subcontract the work out. Some soft proofing will be done over the Internet, but hard proofing sent by Fed-Ex will be used as well. The Shanghai office employs two. Pazazz also has a sales office in New York City.

Print exports down: Did someone lose a Mexican contract?
OTTAWA—Industry Canada has released the most recent set of import and export totals (top 10 countries) for the print industry. The numbers are not adjusted for inflation.






$104.1 million

$120.6 million


Year to date

$459.7 million

$468.8 million

- 1.9%

Exports dropped in April. One of the largest declines, by over $12 million, was to Mexico.






$98.8 million

  $89.7 million


Year to date

$433.2 million

$353.7 million


April was also a slow month for imports, better than the year previously, but down from the March 07 total of $130.9 million.

June 19, 2007
Sector Council to compile database of print training providers
TORONTO—A little more than a year into its mandate, the Canadian Printing Industry Sector Council (CPISC) has identified three objectives and put a three-year research plan in place. Marie Eveline, executive director of the sector coucil, told a group of about 60 industry representatives at the first annual CPISC forum, that the council will be a sought-after forum for labour market intelligence, it will assume a leadership role in skills development; and it plans to improve the image of the industry as a career choice. Specific plans over the next three years are to create a set of national training and skill standards recognized across the industry, to compile a compendium of training program and providers, and to develop labour-market intelligence with up-to-date statistical information about the industry. The sector council was established in April 2006, and is one of 30 sector council in operation. Its main purpose to identify and implement human resources initiatives that address the needs of the industry.

Alberta’s shipments up and down
OTTAWA—Statistics Canada has released the latest data for domestic print shipments, updating to April 2007. Note that these numbers are not adjusted for inflation.






$949.60 million

$888.50 million


Year to date

$3.45 billion

$3.48 billion


Alberta’s shipments have yo-yoed since the beginning of the year. In January 07, Alberta shipped $75.30 million. In February that figure dropped to $72.9 million — only to swing back up in March to $89.9 million. The latest figures (April 07) show another  — albeit small — drop to $88.9 million

June 14, 2007
CanWest will launch printed directories
OTTAWA — TV broadcaster and newspaper owner CanWest Mediaworks is venturing into city directories — starting with three markets in which it already publishes daily newspapers. In August, CanWest will launch an annual print and an on-line directory for the Ottawa Region. The print version will be in a 8.5" by 11" format, with both colour and black-and-white interior pages. It will offer complete business, government and community info listings, as well as glossy maps. About 400,000 copies will be delivered directly to businesses and households. In late 2007 or early 2008, CanWest will debut similar on-line and print directories in Regina and Saskatoon. The print run for the Saskatoon directory will be around 126,114, while that of the Regina directory will be 86,608. The printing contracts are out for tender. CanWest has no immediate plans to extend its network of directories beyond these three markets, but it does own 27 other daily and weekly newspapers across the country, including in Vancouver, Montreal and Windsor, Ont.

Transcontinental solid in second quarter
MONTREAL — Transcontinental Inc. has released its second-quarter numbers today and reports a 2% increase in consolidated revenues, to $580.7 million, compared to $570.9 million for the same quarter in 2006. This solid performance was helped in part by Transcontinental’s five-year contract with Hudson’s Bay Co. to print flyers for Zellers, The Bay and Home Outfitters. The contract started in February and is valued at $350 million, of which $75 million is new business for Transcontinental. As well, in April the company’s Ste. Hyacinthe, Que., plant started printing flyers for the  Provigo grocery chain as part of its flyer contract with Provigo owner Loblaw Companies Ltd.  The annualized value of the Loblaws contract is more than $60 million. 

Ontario printer opts for an eight-colour perfector
LONDON, ON — Commercial printer Accell Graphics in London, Ont., has installed a new Komori Lithrone S829PC, eight-colour with automatic perfector and tower coater — the first in North America in this configuration.  The press was sold to Accell by dealer K-North. Pictured here are, left to right, Steve Ranson and Rob McGillis of K-North and Accell owner, Warner Tenkate.

June 12, 2007
Over 200 will be laid off when Quebecor’s Vancouver plant closes
VANCOUVER—Quebecor World has decided not to amalgamate operations at its 50-year-old Marine Drive plant with those of its Port Coquitlam plant as was reported by PrintCAN on May 10, 2007. The decision means 170 unionized workers and 30-40 non-unionized staff will be laid off by the end of the year. “We were under negotiations with the union to harmonize the union contracts of the two plants, but those negotiations failed,” said Tony Ross, vice president, communications, Quebecor World. Ross said that the initial plans called for moving one-third to one-half of the Marine Drive staff to Port Coquitlam. Harmonization would have meant a cut in pay for some of the Marine Drive workers to place them at par with lower pay rates at Port Coquitlam. In a press release, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union expressed disappointment with Quebecor for abandoning its workers. “[Marine Drive] is profitable,” stated union Local president Alex Charles in the release. “The employer called all of the staff together to congratulate them on meeting their sales targets for the year and two days later assembled them again to tell them the place was closing.” Ross would not comment on the profitability of the plant, but said the property had been sold and so the plant has to close. But why did Quebecor sell the property? “Business reasons,” answered Ross.

Datamark shareholders vote to finalize deal
MONTREAL—Shareholders of Business forms, label and commercial printer Datamark Systems have approved the proposed sale of the company to Montreal neighbour Komunik, a direct and email marketing company.  The $36.5 million deal was announced in February. Official closing of the deal was expected today.

Edmonton plant scores a western first
EDMONTON—The McCallum Printing Group in Edmonton is the first in western Canada to install a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105-6+LX (six colour with coater). Standing by the new press are (left to right): company CEO Richard McCallum and Reg Stanton, vice president manufacturing.

June 7, 2007
Isabelle Marcoux says print has strong future
TORONTO—Isabelle Marcoux, vice chair of the board at Transcontinental Inc., says the printed format has a strong future, but that it will face pressures to adjust from new technologies and social issues like the environment. Marcoux made the comments during a lunchtime address to 200 magazine executives at Mags University, a national publishing conference. The Internet and new consumer behaviours will force publishers to redefine themselves, such as finding ways of coupling print with the web, and concern for the environment will lead to changes such as recycled paper. But she also noted that print has certain advantages, such as providing strategic context for editorial and advertising and cited the ability to deliver things such as perfuse strips to readers. Advertisers, she noted, also want to be assured that they are reaching the right audience and magazines provide the perfect model for that.Isabelle Marcoux speaking at Mags University yesterday.

PLM clarifies position
MARKHAM, ON—Following a PrintCAN report on June 5 (PLM looking for investors), Peter Bradley, PLM Group Ltd.’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, would like to clarify the company’s position. He stated that PLM does not need a third-party investor to facilitate growth because the company “has one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry….[Rather,] that as a possible alternative to internal financing, PLM is seeking a strategic partner to aid in [future growth]….Such a partnership could take any one of a number of forms including the sale of the company.”

Phipps Dickson Integria buys 50% of fulfillment house
MONTREAL—Sheetfed printer Phipps Dickson Integria is expanding yet again.  Phipps Dickson and Integria merged into one entity (with two separate plants in the Montreal area) four months ago. Now the company has partnered with Montreal’s Nikobia Graphic Services, a specialist in print project management and quality control solutions, to buy fulfillment house, Harling Marketing.**** “Customers want a one-stop shop to take them from creative to final destination,” said Gaetano DiTrapani, co-owner of Phipps Dickson Integria. DiTrapani expects the new acquisition to result in an increase within the fist year of 15% to 20% in fulfillment business and 5% to 10% in printing sales. ****Nikobia’s president Randy Yates has taken on management of Harling and has already moved Nikobia’s operations into Harling’s Montreal facility.****Besides the Montreal location, Harling has a plant in Mississauga, Ont. Combined, the Harling plants employ 35 and offer customers fulfillment, database and inventory management, and warehousing.

June 5, 2007
PLM Group looking for investors
MARKHAM, ON—Commercial print public company PLM Group Ltd. has set up a special committee, comprising independent members of its board of directors, to investigate strategic partnerships and joint ventures. "We’re casting our lines in the water to see what comes back," said Peter Bradley, PLM’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Bradley cited the need for money to fuel the next phase of growth and said that at this point nothing will be ruled out including an outright sale of the company. "If anything happens, we expect it to happen within the next 90 to 120 days. If it doesn’t happen, we’ll continue on just as we have before." PLM is number 15 on Graphic Monthly Canada’s Gold List of the Top 100 Printers in Canada and had annual sales of $125 million in 2006.

Graphic Monthly Canada wins writing kudos
TORONTO—Graphic Monthly Canada has won two Kenneth R. Wilson writing awards. Freelance contributor Nancy Clark won a Silver in the Best How-to Article category for her piece, "Think inside the box" from the February 2006 issue. And former associate editor Kate Calder finished in the top five in the Best Industrial/Manufacturing Article category for her piece, "Finishing Options that wow" from the August 2006 issue. The annual KRW awards are given out by the Canadian Business Press and reward excellence in writing and graphic design.

First in Canada for Ontario shop
WOODBRIDGE, ON —Ainsley Chandler Litho, in Woodbridge, ON, is the first printer in Canada to install a Komori Lithrone S629C half-size press. In front of the new press are company president Tom Hind (second row, in striped shirt) and his staff.

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