December 20, 2007
Strong dollar pulls down Transcontinental’s quarterly earnings
MONTREAL—Transcontinental saw a 24% drop in quarterly earnings for the period ending Oct. 31, as a result of the high Canadian dollar. The company pulled in $38.6 million, compared to $51.1 million in the same period last year. For the year, revenue was up 2% to $2.33 billion, compared to $2.28 billion in 2006.
Transcontinental’s printing division saw some big developments in 2007, including the purchase of PLM Group, the contract to print the last Harry Potter book, and the renewal of its contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Transcontinental has also indicated it is not considering buying the entire operations of struggling Quebecor World, according to the Canadian Press. “We always look at evaluating all opportunities in North America, but only opportunities that enhance our niche strategy,” said CEO Luc Desjardins.
New CEO at Prodigy Graphics
TORONTO—Najib Jamal is the new CEO of Prodigy Graphics, the company announced yesterday. He replaces Andy Patel, who left earlier this year. Jamal, the former president and chief operating officer at the Toronto-based trade printer, has hired Frank Heller as a consultant. Heller is the former CEO and chairman of Datamark, and more recently was head of A-1 Equipment Rental.
Transworld Paper to close
OAKVILLE, ON—Paper merchant Transworld Paper is closing its doors early next year, PrintCAN has learned. The Oakville, Ont.-based company has been in business 20 years and employs 18 people.
December 19, 2007
Jacques Mallette new CEO of Quebecor World
MONTREAL—Jacques Mallette is the new CEO of Quebecor World, replacing Wes Lucas, effective immediately, the company announced Monday. According to a statement released by Quebecor World, Lucas left to pursue other opportunities in the U.S. Mallette has been with the company since 2003, most recently in the role of executive vice-president and CFO.
New VP of sales at Grafikom
TORONTO—Rael Fisher has been appointed to the newly created position of vice-president of sales at Grafikom. With more than 20 years experience in the graphic communications industry, Fisher will be responsible for Grafikom’s network of sales representatives in several major Canadian cities, part of the U.S. and abroad.
New Brunswick paper mill shuttered
MIRAMICHI, N.B.—UPM-Kymmene, the world’s biggest paper manufacturer, is permanently closing the Miramichi paper mill in N.B. as part of an initiative to cut newsprint and magazine capacity as well as yearly costs. Citing the high Canadian dollar as a major factor in the decision, UPM said closing the mill is the only viable option. Miramichi, has a yearly capacity of 450,000 tonnes of magazine grade paper, and has been idled since August. About 540 people are expected to lose their jobs.
December 13, 2007
Quebecor World European asset sale cancelled
MONTREAL—Quebecor World is not proceeding with the sale of its European business to Dutch group RSDB after the buyer’s shareholders refused the deal. The share purchase and implementation agreement was agreed on by RSDB’s supervisory boards and management, but depended upon the approval of RSDB shareholders.
Quebecor World, which announced it was selling to RSDB last month, said it still believed the overall terms of the transaction were fair to all shareholders, and will seek other options for its European business, such as consolidation opportunities. According to the Financial Post, Quebecor World’s shares plunged this morning as a result of the unsuccessful deal, to $1.32, off 94¢ or about 42%.
AbitibiBowater and CEP reopen collective agreements
MONTREAL—Following a meeting in Montreal last week, the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union announced it would reopen collective agreements with AbitibiBowater to try and solve the company’s problems, which include the recent shuttering of eight Canadian mills. The CEP said it believes there are options which don’t include cuts to benefits and wages, and listed early retirements, and changes to outdated work practices as two examples, according to the Fort Frances Times newspaper. About 35 AbitibiBowater CEP locals from 17 pulp and paper mills and dozens of paperworkers attended the two-day meeting.
December 12, 2007
Industry veterans pass away
December 11, 2007
HP buys NUR Macroprinters
MISSISSAUGA, ON—HP has signed an agreement to purchase NUR Macroprinters, manufacturer of industrial wide-format digital inkjet printers, the company announced yesterday. With the acquisition of NUR, based in Israel, HP will be able to sell midrange UV technologies and platforms, as well as broaden its collection of digital presses and wide-format printers. HP will obtain all the assets of NUR for $117.5 million, with $14.5 million to be held in an indemnity escrow account. NUR will be integrated into HP’s Large Format Printing Business within the Imaging and Printing Group.
Winnipeg shop invests in two Jeti printers
WINNIPEG—Intergraphics has added two new Gandinnovations
printers to its Winnipeg pressroom, the Jeti 1224 UV flatbed and the Jeti 3324 solvent roll-to-roll. The company, which specializes in screenprinting, digital printing and dymoflex, has been in business since 1969 and has sales offices in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
December 6, 2007
Sharp Business Forms goes out of business
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Sharp Business Forms has gone into receivership, PrintCAN has learned. Tender packages were sent out following a viewing on Monday, and the deadline for offers is tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. As of today, the shop was still operating.
Romano talks about state of printing at DIA event
TORONTO—Frank Romano, noted industry educator and commentator, told a crowd of more than 130 industry representatives at the annual DIA Christmas lunch that most short-run digital work has come at the expense of offset, but that process is now done. Now toner-based digital presses will have to deliver improvements in speed, sheet size and quality, or create new markets with applications such as variable data printing, in order to grow the digital printing sector. But he also noted that new offerings from manufacturers are coming soon, as well as competition from the inkjet side.
Toronto shop adds a Canon C1 to its pressroom
TORONTO —Digital-X-Press (DXP) has added a Canon C1 digital press to its Toronto shop. The company, which specializes in large-format digital printing, postcards and vehicle wraps, has been open since 1997 and has five full-time employees and two part-timers.
December 4, 2007
Sun Chemical announce price hikes on packaging inks
NORTHLAKE, IL—Sun Chemical announced yesterday it will raise prices 8% on packaging inks in North America, effective January 1. Citing increases in the cost of raw materials and supply shortages as the major culprits, the company also named the weak U.S. dollar, rise in oil prices and actions by the Chinese government to curb environmental impact as other contributing factors.
AbitibiBowater reports 8 Canadian mill closures
MONTREAL—AbitibiBowater is shuttering eight struggling Canadian paper mills, either permanently or indefinitely, the company announced last week. The Communication, Energy and Paperworkers union estimates that at least 1,000 workers will be affected, according to cbc.ca. Among the mills closing permanently are; Belgo, in Shawinigan, Que., Dalhousie in N.B., and Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ont., while Donnacona in Que. and Mackenzie in B.C. will both be idled indefinitely. AbitibiBowater says the closings will reduce capacity annually by nearly one hundred tonnes, and cited the strong dollar, high fuel prices and a slow U.S. economy as some contributing factors. According to a Conference Board of Canada report issued last week, Canada’s paper products industry stands to lose about $400 million this year.
Total Graphics installs a Fuji PlateRite Ultima
VAUGHAN, ON—Package converter Total Graphics is the new owner of a Fuji semi-automatic PlateRite Ultima 24000S. The Vaughan, Ont., company had to increase its platesetter throughput level to accommodate the recent installation of a 64” KBA Rapida 162A 6-colour press.