News Archives
April 2003

April 29, 2003
PLM, Phipps Dickson form alliance targeting Quebec market
MARKHAM, Ont.—PLM and Montreal-based Phipps Dickson have entered into an alliance to target the commercial printing and direct-mail markets in Montreal and grow their businesses in Quebec. The companies will market and sell their combined, fully integrated services including digital premedia, sheetfed, half web, full web, bindery and direct mail services for promotional and print-on-demand jobs. Phipps Dickson, a premedia and sheetfed printer, will be the point of contact for clients in Montreal, but the two companies plan to assign dedicated personnel to the joint effort.

April 25, 2003
Flash Reproduction expands, moves to new space
TORONTO—Flash Reproductions is celebrating its 35th anniversay by buying a new company, adding equipment and moving to new premises. The company is negotiating the purchase of an offset print shop with $2 million in sales and is moving to a 25,000-sq.-ft. location in the Etobicoke area of Toronto. The deal is expected to be signed next week—stay tuned for updates. The move will consolidate all of Flash's operations, which include, ISO Graphics International and Screen Graphic Production in one location. Total sales are expected to hit about $8 million after the move and consolidation, owner Carl Pauptit told PrintCan. New equipment being added to the plant includes a 6-colour Speedmaster CD 74 from Heidelberg and a Creo 8-up CTP system. Services offered by Flash include offset printing, screen printing and bindery services.

Sales up at Quebecor, Davis+Henderson
MONTREAL and TORONTO—Sales at Quebecor World grew 5% to $1.53 billion during the first three months of 2003 from $1.46 billion in 2002. Net income, however, took a 47% dive to $24.5 million from $46 million last year. Much of the blame for the poor profit showing was put on continuing price pressures, higher energy prices and underperforming operations in Scandinavia and Spain. In North America, revenue grew 2% to $1.23 billion. In a related announcement, Quebecor World says it plans to purchase and cancel up to 10 million of its subordinated voting shares, which have slumped to a point where they are significantly undervalued. In other financial news, Davis + Henderson has announced that revenue for the first quarter rose to $62 million from $56 million in 2002, but net income inched up to $11.8 million from $11 milllion.

April 22, 2003
Coast Trade Binderies closes doors
VANCOUVER—Coast Trade Binderies, a 38-year-old trade bindery closed its doors late last month, a victim of softening economic conditions. Equipment was sold at auction earlier this month. Sue Nex, current co-owner and daughter of founder Gordon Nex, said the business had employed 13 and had generated about $400,000 in annual sales, but during the past few years it had ceased to be a money-making enterprise. Gordon Nex retired last year and transferred the company to his children, who operated the company under the name Bindery Solutions.

Tim Upton retires
TORONTO— Tim Upton, whose career in the graphic arts industry spanned nearly half a century has retired from his current position as sales manager at Howard Graphic Equipment. He began his career in 1958 when he joined Sears Graphic Equipment in Vancouver and later Toronto. In 1984, he joined the newly formed Heidelberg Canada as vice president of sales, a position he held until 1993 when he moved to HGE. His plans for retirement include travel and spending more time with his family.

April 18, 2003
Print West successfully rides into Calgary
CALGARY—Print West, the largest graphic arts show in Western Canada, took a successful run into the Roundup Centre on the Stampede Grounds in Calgary for a three-day event that closed on Monday. Xerox was the largest exhibitor at the show where it showed for the first time in Canada the DocuColor 3535, the first commercial printer/copier that uses the new Xerox EA (emulsion aggregate) toner. Also present at the show were A.B. Dick, Ikon with Canon machines, Minolta, GBC, Quantum with Hamada presses and Standard finishing equipment and other leading manufacturers and distributors. The seminar and workshop schedule included sessions on sales, production and exporting to the U.S. led by Duncan McGregor, retired president of the former Arthurs-Jones and current consultant; Mike Stevens, owner of Express Press in North Dakota; and Tom Quinn from the Canadian Consulate General. This is the first time in Calgary for Print West which has had previous outings in Vancouver. The next Print West show is scheduled for 2005.

DATA Business Forms adopts new name
BRAMPTON, Ont.—The DATA Group of Companies is the new name adopted by DATA Business Forms to provide a more comprehensive description of the company's operations. According to the company, the traditional name was limiting the way the way it was being perceived in the marketplace and the new name is expected to provide better support for its marketing positions. The name, DATA Business Forms, will continue to be used for the business forms and label divisions as will other divisional names: Focus, ImageNet, Ticket Division, Sundog Printing and Multiple-Pakfold, but all will be identified as members of the DATA Group of Companies. Current company operations inlcude eight plants, six warehouses and 11 ImageNet digital print centres.

April 15, 2003
Digital printing driving industry growth says OPIA speaker
RICHMOND HILL, ON—Last Thursday evening a fair-sized crowd gathered at OPIA's annual Technology Forecast dinner to hear Rochester Institute of Technology professor Barbara A. Pellow's pronouncements on "Printing in the new e-conomy." Her main message to printers? There are many opportunities for digital technology to add value to print and that's where printing's future lies. Pellow said, digital printing is driving industry growth—with about a 16% compound annual growth rate—and those who can master its technological challenges, including variable printing and database content management will be best-positioned for survival and profitability. "Companies that will succeed are focused on offering value-added services [like database management] and de-commoditizing print," she said.

April 10, 2003
Ashton-Potter lands contract with U.S. Postal Service
Toronto—Ashton-Potter, MDC's Canadian stamp-printing operation, has inked a minimum four-year deal with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to print, finish and package its postal stamps. Ashton-Potter expects to expand its product line to meet the terms of the new contract, including producing all definitive products, coils, booklets and sheets. The USPS awarded three master contracts whose total value—including the Ashton-Potter agreement, and deals with two other suppliers—is in excess of $336 million. If the three, two-year options to extend the contracts are exercised, the 10-year total of the contracts would add up to around $841 million.

Metropolitan giving away state-of-the-art scooter
VANCOUVER—In an effort to promote its stochastic services, Metropolitan Fine Printers is giving away a Segway Human Transporter—the new hi-tech, upright electric scooter—to one of its customers. Metropolitan customers who purchase stochastic printing by April 30 will be entered in the draw for the scooter. The snazzy device, which retails for approximately US$5,000, has a top speed of about 20 kph, and turns on a dime, balancing on two wheels using a gyroscopic system that monitors the user's centre of gravity. Apparently, Nikos Kallas, son of Metropolitan president George Kallas, recently caused quite a stir while tooling about the city's Coal Harbour seawall on the Segway.

April 08, 2003
Heidelberg Centre opens at Ryerson
TORONTO—The Ryerson University Heidelberg Centre—School of Graphic Communications Management officially opened last night during a star-studded industry affair. Claude Lajeunesse, president of Ryerson, presented a Ryerson Chair, specially designed for the event by a Ryerson grad, to Richard Armstrong, president of Heidelberg Canada. In addition to Heidelberg, which has made a large donation of equipment and funding to the centre, and for whom the building is named, many companies, associations and individuals from the industry have contributed money to build the school. But as Tony Gagliano, co-chair of the graphic communications management campaign, noted, the building is a testament to the drive and dedication of Mary Black, chair of the school, who spearheaded the $10 million project over several years. The three-storey centre is a 30,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility with about 200 students.

Custom Direct Income Fund files IPO
TORONTO—MDC Corp. is selling 80% of its wholly owned Custom Direct, a U.S.-based direct-to-customer cheque business. An income fund—Custom Direct Income Fund—was created last October to go public with an IPO and buy the assets from MDC. The initial IPO was shelved in early December and reactivated last week. Walter Campbell, senior vice president of finance at MDC, says the units of the fund will be offered at $10 each and the company is aiming to raise $125 million by the end of April. Custom Direct is based in Maryland and booked sales of about US$103 million last year. The IPO is offered only in Canada, but Custom Direct will continue to be U.S.-based. Existing management is expected to move with the income trust to its new operations and MDC is retaining a 20% interest in the business, which it has agreed not to sell until December 31, 2003. Last year MDC spun off Davis+Henderson in a similar move.

April 04, 2003
Datamark buys The Sheraton Group
MONTREAL—Datamark Systems Group announced earlier this week that it has bought The Sheraton Group, including Sheraton Business Forms and Sheraton Labels. The Calgary-based Sheraton Group, with reported annual sales of $9.5 million, manufactures, distributes and sells forms, self-adhesive labels, ribbon roll products, commercial printing and document management services. It has sales offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. According to Datamark, this acquision enables it to expand into Western Canada and compete more effectively on a national scale. Datamark reported sales of $128.7 million last year, making it the 16th largest printer in Canada, according to Graphic Monthly's Gold List, an annual ranking of the largest printers in Canada. Its services include forms, labels, airline products and commercial printing.

NEBS Business Products adds new payroll division
MIDLAND, Ont.—NEBS Business products has acquired the payroll division of Parkwood Computer Services and formed a new division: NEBS Payroll Service to offer payroll services to small businesses across Canada, including NEBS own customer base of more than 200,000. NEBS will also run the Web-based payroll application,, which enables business clients to enter their weekly payroll information online and print their own reports and pay stubs, while NEBS handles all calculations, deposits pay and remits taxes. NEBS services include cheques, business forms and greeting cards and it has sales of about $50 million per year.

April 01, 2003
National holiday declared commemorating printer, rebel
Ottawa—Conceding to increasingly vocal demands by Canadian citizens for a mid-winter national holiday, the federal government has recognized it's a long stretch from Christmas to Easter without a break and has declared March 12th William Lyon Mackenzie day. The holiday will celebrate the birthday of one of Canada's most notable printers and agitators for responsible government. "We considered a number of candidates to honour," said Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. "But Hockey holiday or Curling Day didn't have the same ring to it and Mackenzie's birthday falls at exactly the right time," she said. "Besides," she added, "could you really say that curling is as important to Canada's citizenry as being a printer? I don't think you could. Umm, did I forget to mention that he led the Rebellion of 1837 that helped smash the elitist Family Compact and paved the way for Parliamentary democracy?"

*Sheila are you reading? It's wishful thinking on April 1. Have a great day!

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