News Archives
April 2008

April 29, 2008
Quebecor World loses US$2.2 billion in 2007
MONTREAL—Quebecor World reports a net loss of US$2.2 billion in 2007 compared to a profit of US$28.3 million in 2006, in the company’s year-end financial report released today. Quebecor World generated US$5.7 billion in revenues in 2007, compared to US$6.1 billion in 2006. The company says its 2007 results reflect several plant closures in North America, price pressures, and underperforming European assets as major factors, as well as its three-year restructuring plan. Quebecor World received creditor protection in early 2008, and says it is developing a five-year business plan to be completed in the second quarter. The company also announced it has appointed Randy Benson as Chief
Restructuring Officer. Most recently Benson was CRO for Hollinger Inc and before that, at Ivaco Inc. He has also worked for Parmalat Canada and Call-Net Enterprises-Sprint Canada.

February shipments up
OTTAWA—February printing shipments enjoyed a good month continuing on the healthy trend from fall 2007, according to figures from Statistics Canada. Note that these numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Shipments 2008 2007 Change
February $744.7 million $735.9 million 1.2%
Year to date $1.47 billion $1.44 billion 2.6%

Heidelberg and the CPISC promote young printers
OTTAWA—Heidelberg Canada, the CPISC and Skills/Compétences Canada are co-hosting a Team Canada Selection Event to guarantee Canada has a competitor in the upcoming WorldSkills Competition next year. WorldSkills, designed to showcase the talents of young people from all over the world, will feature 45 categories, including web design and printing.

The Selection Event will take place at Heidelberg Canada this August 25-26. For more information, visit

April 24, 2008
Bankruptcies up slightly in 2007
OTTAWA—A total of 39 print shops filed for bankruptcy in 2007, according to the latest figures from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies, nine more than in 2006. The province hardest hit was Ont., where 23 printers filed. Que. had nine recorded bankruptcies. Four were counted in B.C., two in Sask., and one in Man. In 2006, bankruptcy hit 30 printers, the lowest since 2001, when 47 were counted. For the previous years, 45 printers declared bankruptcy in 2005, 37 in 2004, 45 in 2003, and 46 in 2002.

Trade Watch—Another slow month on the trade front
OTTAWA—February data from Statistics Canada shows another slow month of trading activity, with both imports and exports falling, just as they did in January. Exports to the U.S. dropped to $76.92 million, from $93.73 million at the same time last year. Imports from the U.S. were also down, coming in at $65.19 million compared to $88.35 million in February 2007. Imports from China dropped slightly to $13.40 million, down from $14.04 in the same period in 2007. The trade balance was $15,445, down from $25,710 in 2007. That’s a change of -39%.

EXPORTS 2008 2007 Change
February $95.50 million $ 115.83 million -17.6%
Year to date $200.07 million $240.80 million -16.9%

IMPORTS 2008 2007 Change
February $ 90.90 million $114.53 million -20.6%
Year to date $184.62 million $215.09 million -14.2%

April 22, 2008
Grafikom to set up digital centre
TORONTO—Grafikom is in the process of creating a digital print centre in the Grenville plant, says CEO Gord Griffiths. The location, to be known as Grafikom Digital, will receive a $7 million investment over the next five years, and will contain variable digital colour presses, and a mailing and fulfillment operation. It will print and process 1:1 marketing materials and direct mail, complementing existing digital operations in Edmonton and Calgary. The digital operation should be up and running in the third and fourth quarter of this year. Marc Fortier, formerly of PLM group, has been brought to Grafikom as vice president of strategic development and is being tasked with setting up the digital group. All offset and traditional bindery equipment will be moved from Grenville to another plant in Toronto, previously known as MIL. The Grenville location is not being closed, as previously reported on PrintCan.

Canadian printers among Agfa GreenWorks winners
RIDGEFIELD, NJ—In celebration of Earth Day today, Agfa Graphics North America has announced that its GreenWorks program will honour seven Canadian companies. An extension of Agfa’s Environmental Recognition Awards Program, GreenWorks recognizes Agfa customers dedicated to environmental responsibility, which includes using its Azura chemistry-free digital plates or Amigo low-chemistry plates. GreenWorks printers are also those that have worked to reduce waste, use alternative energy, and recycle.

The Canadian winners are:

AMPA Printing—Markham, Ont.
Astro Printing—Cornwall, Ont.
Chinese Computer Typesetting—Scarborough, Ont.
HIMS Desktop Publishing—Scarborough, Ont.
Lightning Graphics—Scarborough, Ont.
Litho Mille Iles—Terrebonne, Que.
Thermo Trade and Litho Inc.—Toronto

New HP Scitex Turbojet for Toronto shop
TORONTO—Large-format printer Icon Digital has added an HP Scitex Turbojet 8300 to its shop floor. The company says it went with the Scitex because of its ability to print on a range of stocks and for its speed. Icon works with the advertising and retail industries, and specializes in vehicle wraps, outdoor advertising and posters.

Pictured left to right are, Peter Evans, vice-president and Juan Lau, president, Icon Digital.

April 17, 2008
Concept Paper operations on hold
VANCOUVER—Concept Paper, the employee-owned paper merchant, has suspended its operations while it considers restructuring. It has filed a notice of intention to make a proposal to review its plans and to seek new equity and financing. The company, formed just a few years ago, had been encouraging an e-commerce model of paper distribution. Earlier this year, it introduced Golden Sun Offpaque paper from China into the Ontario market. No further details were available at this time; check back for updates.

Heidelberg does some restructuring
TORONTO—Heidelberg has just announced that it has re-aligned its sales organization. Equipment and consumables sales have been merged, now headed by Don Robinson, vice president of sales for Canada. Robinson previously headed up sales and service for sheetfed presses and finishing. A new product management and marketing team has also been formed, led by Jean-Francois Colpron, vice president of product management and marketing. He was previously vice president of prepress and consumables sales. Along with these changes, more technical staff is being brought on board to support the service business.

Don Robinson Jean-Francois Colpron

Shorewood Packaging to close Brockville plant
BROCKVILLE, ON—Shorewood Packaging is closing its Brockville plant at the end of the year, resulting in a loss of nearly 300 jobs.
The company, which also has a facility in Smith Falls, Ont., blames the economy and the high Canadian dollar and said employees can expect a series of layoffs throughout the year, culminating with the eventual closure. Shorewood manufactures paperboard folding carton packaging, and does prepress and printing for a variety of markets, including the sporting goods and beauty industry. The Brockville plant opened in 1976.

April 15, 2008
Transcontinental-LGM Graphics workers vote to strike
WINNIPEG—Member of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada have voted 99% in favour of strike action at Transcontinental’s LGM Graphics plant. According to CEP Local 900G, the union that represents 300 print and design employees, Transcontinental was proposing to eliminate pensions and premiums, and cut overtime and vacation when the employee contract expired at the end of last year. The union also said Transcontinental was prepared to close the plant, if workers did not agree to these conditions, affecting 141 jobs. A strike date has not yet been set.

Domtar sells paper lines to Smart Papers
MONTREAL—Domtar is selling its text, cover and writing papers lines to U.S.-based Smart Papers, the company announced last week.  Domtar grades affected by the sale include Nekoosa Linen, Skytone, and Feltweave. The deal is expected to close April 21.

April 10, 2008
Canadians win in Sappi contest
BOSTON—Canadian printers picked up several silver and bronze awards in the Sappi Fine Papers 12th Annual North American Printers of the Year competition. About 2,000 entries in eight categories were considered with the stipulation that they must be printed on Sappi paper. The Canadian winners are:

Magazines—Transcontinental Yorkville-O’Keefe, Toronto

Catalogues— Blanchette Press, Richmond, B.C.

Books—Blanchette Press, Richmond, B.C.

Printer’s Own Promotion—Hemlock Printers, Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C.; Imprimerie Litho Chic, Quebec City; Performance Data, Montreal

Calendars—Halcraft Printers, Halifax,
Acuity Digital Imaging, Toronto; Performance Data, Montreal

Gold winners will be chosen from a group of 48 silver winners at an awards presentation in Dallas from May 16-18.

Grafikom consolidates two Toronto plants
TORONTO—Grafikom is closing its Grenville plant and moving its operations into its MIL plant, Grafikom CEO Gord Griffiths has confirmed to PrintCAN. The two plants will operate under the name Grafikom Toronto. Griffiths called it an efficiency move, and said job losses are likely, though he couldn’t confirm when or how many.

General Graphic Equipment owner passes away
TORONTO—Reg Johnson, owner and founder of General Graphic Equipment passed away in his sleep last night, PrintCAN has learned.
Johnson began his career at Louson-Desonite and later moved on to co-found Aristo Graphics. In 1990, he started General Graphic Equipment, which specializes in buying and selling prepress, graphic, bindery and printing equipment.

April 8, 2008
Quebecor World signs new multi-year contract
MONTREAL—Quebecor World announced yesterday that it has signed a new multi-year deal with Wenner Media to print its three magazines. The agreement, which will see Quebecor World print the magazines Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal and US Weekly, will increase the company’s volume with Wenner Media by 10%. Quebecor also says it will grant Wenner Media access to its co-mail platform, which will lower postage costs and improve on delivery.

Refurbished AB Dick 8810 for Calgary shop
CALGARY—Sharper Cards has added a refurbished AB Dick 8810 to its shop. The company purchased the gear from Pressdown Graphic Equipment and The Service Depot in Calgary installed it. Sharper Cards employs more than 50 people and has been in business for about 20 years.

Sharper operations manager David Thirkell, left, and Mark Dyck from The Service Depot, with the AB Dick 8810.

April 3, 2008
St. Joseph CEO to receive prestigious award
TORONTO—St. Joseph Communications CEO Tony Gagliano is set to receive the Canadian of the Year Award early next week. Presented by the Canadian Club of Toronto, Gagliano is being honoured along with David Pecaut, a partner in the Boston Consulting Group, for co-founding the annual arts festival Luminato. The Canadian of the Year Award is given out annually to those deemed to be outstanding in their field, whether it be sports, art, politics or business.

Ideal Printing Company closes
WOODBRIDGE, ON—The Ideal Printing Company went into receivership this morning, president Eli Miller has confirmed to PrintCAN. The shop, which specialized in commercial printing as well as packaging and labeling, had about 17 employees and reported revenues of $7.2 million in 2006. More details will be reported as they become available.

Ontario shop assets tendered
MARKHAM, ON—Last week PrintCAN reported that Photo Imaging Techniques in Markham, Ont., had gone into receivership. We have since learned that the shop went out of business the week of March 17th, and that its assets were being tendered. Photo Imaging specialized in large-format work for the retail, display and advertising markets.

April 1, 2008
Quebecor World signs contracts, closes Quebec plant
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has signed agreements and renewals that will see 33 new magazines titles added to its Targeted Publications Platform, the company announced yesterday. Some of the highlights of the deal include 16 magazines for Cleveland-based agricultural publisher Meister Media and a multi-year renewal with Affinity Group in California, to print all of its 30 titles.

In other Quebecor World news, the company says it is immediately closing its plant in Magog, Que., as part of its global restructuring program. The facility, which had recently been operating at only 20% capacity, produced retail inserts and magazines for the North American markets.  About 300 full-time employees will lose their jobs, including 200 already on temporary layoff.

Canadian Tire ditches printed catalogue
TORONTO—Canadian Tire announced last week it is doing away with its printed catalogue, saying a version will still be available online. The company says extensive research has shown that with its customers spending more time online, readership of the catalogue was dwindling, and it no longer made sense to continue producing the book.

The Canadian Tire catalogue launched in 1928 and was printed by Quebecor World. 

Kodak donates gear to Ryerson
ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Kodak has donated a bundle of equipment to Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management, the company reported this week. Kodak has provided the school with its Prinergy Workflow system, Veris digital proofer, and Kodak Matchprint inkjet proofing. “Kodak’s support will allow us to provide students with a greater understanding of the importance of accurate colour and the benefits of implementing a seamless workflow,” said Abhay Sharma, Graphic Communications Manager and chair of the Ryerson program. 

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