News Archives
June 2008

June 26, 2008
Pazazz and Cober Printing get triple certified
MONTREAL and KITCHENER, ON—Cober Printing and Pazazz have just announced new environmental certifications, making the shops triple-certified. Pazazz, which became FSC-certified in 2006, has received The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification. Cober Printing, which became FSC-certified in 2007, obtained PEFC and SFI certification in May.

Ontario shop gets new HP Indigo 5500
VAUGHAN, ON—Skylar Media Group has recently invested in a new HP Indigo 5500 5-colour press. The shop specializes in everything from marketing campaigns to fulfillment programs and has been in business for 28 years. Kyle Kotack, CMO and vice president of Skylar says the company will use the Indigo for book and brochure work.

With the new Indigo are; left, Larry Kotack, president of Skylar Media Group, and Kyle Kotack, vice president and CMO.

New Komori Spica for Alberta shop
CALGARY—Full-service print and mail house provider Alberta Print Services has added a Komori Spica 429P to its shop floor. The press is equipped with Print Quality Control, CIP4 data compatibility, an automatic perfector and the Komorimatic dampening system.

Standing with the Spica 429P is Alberta Print Services’ Rory Wanvig, and K-North’s Aymen Eldardiry.

June 24, 2008
April shipments take a dip
OTTAWA—April printing shipments fell from 2007, just as they did in March, according to figures from Statistics Canada. Note that these numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Shipments 2008 2007 Change
April $827.0 million $848.8 million -2.6%
Year to date $3.10 billion $3.14 billion -1.5%

Quebecor World gets approval to sell European business 
MONTREAL–Quebecor World is going ahead with the sale of its European operations after it received final court approval, the company reported on Thursday. Quebecor World announced in May that it was selling its business in Europe to investment group Hombergh/De Pundert Group in the Netherlands. The transaction is expected to close by the end of June.

Douglas Printing grows
EDMONTON—Douglas Printing has expanded with two new printing divisions, DouglasXPress, and Maximum Imaging. Douglas XPress will handle short-run sheetfed jobs and Maximum Imaging will do large-format display graphics. Target Advantage, a direct mail shop, which was purchased about two years ago by the company, will be devoted to digital printing, full service mail, and data management. Target Advantage, Douglas XPress and Maximum Imaging will all be housed in a new building about five miles from Douglas Printing’s main facility.  The company was founded under the name Coronet Printing in 1986, and was renamed in 1995. It has 25 full-time employees and is a member of the Blake Group of Companies.

New Printmaster for Ontario shop
MISSISSAUGA—Business documents manufacturer Multiple Pakfold is the new owner of a Printmaster QM 46-2 with a numbering unit from Heidelberg. The company has locations in Montreal and Mississauga, Ont., and has been in business more than 56 years.With the Printmaster from left to right are: Mario Raposo, director of operations; Dave Wong, press operator; Dwaine Sully, press operator and Bob Griffen, general manager.

June 23, 2008
Prodigy building up for lease
Brampton, ON—Prodigy Graphics has put its building on Parkshore Dr. on the market, either for sale or for lease, PrintCAN has learned. Asking price for the building and adjacent four acres behind the structure is $14.75 million. But company controller Gordon McCauley says the company is simply exploring its options in relation to the real estate, the value of which has likely peaked, given current economic conditions. Options include leasing the building—which might mean a move for Prodigy—a sales and leaseback agreement, or an outright sale. No firm plans are in the works until Prodigy gets a sense of how much value it can derive from its property. Another option is to develop the empty land and lease it out. In other Prodigy news, McCauley confirmed that Andy Patel is no longer the owner of the company, and Najib Jamal, president, is the current owner. He could not confirm Patel’s whereabouts, but Patel is believed to be out of the country.

June 19, 2008
Quebecor World streamlines operations
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has merged its magazine, book and directory divisions into one. Now called the publishing services group, it will help to streamline operations and better serve customers, the company says. Kevin J. Clarke, who has been president of the book and directory publishing group for the past five years, will head up the new division. Earlier this week, Quebecor World also announced it had integrated its U.S. retail insert, catalogue Sunday magazine and direct divisions into its marketing solutions group. The premedia and logistics divisions are also now one division.

Rémi Marcoux receives Order of Quebec
MONTREAL—Transcontinental founder and executive chairman of the board Rémi Marcoux, received the National Order of Quebec yesterday in Quebec City. The award, presented by Quebec Premier Jean Charest, honours individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on the province or who have enabled Quebec to stand out in a specific field. Marcoux founded Transcontinental in 1976 with 30 employees and sales of about $4 million. Prior to that, he had been working at Quebecor as vice president and chief operating officer.

Trade Watch—imports up, exports fall in April
OTTAWA—April data from Statistics Canada shows another slow month of trading activity, with exports falling, just as they did in March, and imports making a gain of 5.2%.  Exports to the U.S. dropped to $82.85 million, from $96.84 million at the same time last year. Imports from the U.S. were up, coming in at $76.07 million compared to $74.32 million in April 2007. Imports from China also rose slightly to $18.27 million, up from $15.80 million in the same period in 2007. The trade balance for the January to April period was $7,805, down from $38,181 in 2007. That’s a change of -79.6%.

EXPORTS 2008 2007 Change
April $98.72 million $111.22 million -11.2%
Year to date $407.44 million $498.38 million -18.2%

June 17, 2008
Big changes coming for publications mail
OTTAWA—Canada Post is making some dramatic changes to its letter carrier presort (LCP) pricing policy for publications mail, effective January 12, 2009. Publications are currently charged based on the number of copies going to each postal station and on levels of sorting. That will change to pricing based on distance traveled from the time the publication enters the mailing system. Three distinct price points will be introduced: local, within a city; regional, meaning within a province or in Atlantic Canada; and national, if the publication crosses a provincial border. Canada Post will reveal prices for the three regions on July 14, 2008. 

According to the Canadian Business Press (CBP), which opposes the amendment, “This poses a big challenge not just for the publisher, but also for publication printers who are not located in one of Canada’s major metropolitan areas,” the organization said in a statement. CBP estimates that prices could vary by more than 30% and that publications distributed nationally will be the hardest hit.

New board of directors for CPISC
OTTAWA—The Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) elected its new board of directors at the organization’s general meeting last week. Co-chair Duncan Brown, who is national director of CEP Graphical Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, will be returning, and so will Jeff Ekstein, CEO and president of the Willow Printing Group in Concord, Ont. Bob Elliot, president of the CPIA/ACI and Abe Giesbrecht, training coordinator at Friesens, were also elected.

June 12, 2008
Transcontinental reports favourable second quarter results
MONTREAL—Transcontinental saw growth of 2% in revenues and 11% in net income in the second quarter of 2008, ending April 30. Consolidated revenues were $595.1 million, up from $584.7 million in the same period last year, and net income rose from $34 million in the second quarter of 2007 to $37.7 million in the second quarter of this year. Transcontinental’s printing division has seen some big developments in the second quarter of 2008, most notably the signing of a six-year contract to print Roger’s complete magazine portfolio beginning in February. That deal is valued at about $35 million annually. The company also bought permission-based e-mail marketer ThinData in March.

Broadway Printers sold to Thunderbird Press
VANCOUVER—Thunderbird Press has purchased 97-year-old family run Broadway Printers. Rather than deal with large tax increases on its two Vancouver locations, the unionized company sold its business to Thunderbird for an undisclosed amount. According to Tom Blockberger, president and fourth-generation owner of Broadway, about half of its 22 workers will be employed by Thunderbird, and the rest will receive a union buyout. Thunderbird Press is located in Richmond B.C., and has been in business for 35 years.

June 10, 2008
Cops bust major counterfeit operation
MARKHAM, ON—RCMP officers busted the largest counterfeit cash operation in 20 years on May 30, seizing more than $4 million in bogus currency along with the shop’s printing equipment. The phony Canadian banknotes were all $20 bills from the Canadian Journey series, which feature watermarks and a holographic strip on the left-hand side. Police are keeping mum on what type of gear they found, as well as the exact location of the operation, but did say they got to the fake cash before any hit the streets. According to the Toronto Sun newspaper, most phony cash distributed in Canada is printed on colour photocopiers and computer-driven inkjet presses. A 24-year-old Toronto man and a 26-year-old Markham, Ont. man were arrested.

Hallmark closes Toronto plant
TORONTO—Hallmark Cards is eliminating 335 jobs in the U.S. and Canada over the next nine months, and has already shuttered its facility in Toronto, the company announced last week. A total of 195 jobs were lost at the Toronto plant, and the Kansas-based company says it has offered the non-unionized workers severance packages. A company spokesperson says the cuts are not due to a lack of interest in printed greeting cards, but rather a way to incur greater cost savings. Most of the equipment and work will be relocated to Hallmark’s plants in Kansas, and some operations will be outsourced to Mexico and Asia.

Quebec shop installs second digital press
BOUCHERVILLE, QC—Trade printer Profecta Labels has added an HP Indigo ws4500, its second digital press, to its shop floor. The company installed an Indigo ws4050 last year. The shop, which serves Canada and the northeastern U.S., had been running two full shifts on the ws4050 when it decided it had enough volume to add another Indigo. Profecta has been in business since 1997 and prints labels for the automotive, wine, and pharmaceutical industries.

With the new HP Indigo is Profecta Labels president Pierre Roberge.

June 5, 2008
Newsstand awards honour Canadian magazines
TORONTO—St. Joseph Media’s Toronto Life magazine led the pack of winners at the 2008 Newsstand Awards Tuesday evening. Held on the final day of Mags University at the Old Mill Inn & Spa, the awards were handed out in five categories in partnership with the Circulation Management Association (CMA), Masthead magazine, and The Great Canadian News. Transcontinental was also a major sponsor of the event. Glen Morgan, president and CEO of Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership was named Newsstand Marketer of the Year. The winning magazines were:

Best Newsstand Issue, small circulation: This Magazine, Sept/Oct 2007, printed by LGM/Transcontinental

Best Newsstand Issue, mid-size circulation: Vancouver City Guide 2008, printed by Transcontinental

Best Newsstand Issue, large circulation: Toronto Life, Oct. 2007, printed by St. Joseph Printing

Best Newsstand Issue, extra-large circulation: Hello! Dec. 31, 2007, printed by Quebecor World

Newsstand Magazine Cover of the Year: Toronto Life, Sept. 2007, printed by St. Joseph Printing

Print Three wins gold at Frankie Awards
TORONTO—Print Three Franchising Corporation picked up the gold at the annual Frankie Awards in Toronto in May, in the Direct Marketing category for its Real Estate One-to-One campaign. Presented by the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the awards honour companies in 15 categories, and entries are judged on effective use of medium, message clarity, quality and execution. Print Three’s winning entry was created and designed by ad agency Eden Advertising and Interactive, and marks the first time the company has won gold at the Frankie’s. Print Three has 60 locations across Canada and provides digital and web-to-print for corporate clients.

Friesens opts for a Presstek
HUDSON, NH—Friesens has added a Presstek 52DI digital offset press to its Altona, Man., facility. Friesens says the press is ideal for printing short-run, high-quality covers for its Book and Yearbook divisions because of its size and automation. The 52 cm press has a maximum sheet size of 510 x 360mm, supports 300 lpi printing and stochastic screening, prints on a wide variety of substrates, and according to Presstek, is economical in quantities as low as 250 copies.

With the 52DI at drupa are: Curwin Friesen, Friesens president and CEO, left, with Byron Loeppky, Friesens production manager.

June 4, 2008
Ultimate president passes away at drupa
MONTREAL—Founder and president of Ultimate Technologies David Watson passed away on May 31 from a heart attack at the age of 60. Ultimate was celebrating its 20th anniversary at drupa and Watson had carried out a compass session earlier in the show. Credited with inventing digital imposition 20 years ago, he launched the first version of Impostrip at drupa in 1990.  Watson also helped lead the industry in the move away from using tape and knives in prepress and was set to see Montreal-based Ultimate automate imposition for the digital market. His wife, Joanne, will take over leadership of the company.

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