News Archives
April 2005
April 29, 2005
CPIA fights federal paper singling out print as polluter
OTTAWA—CPIA is refuting several aspects of a recently released government document, Options for a Strategy for Federal Action for Reducing VOC (volatile organic compounds) Emissions from the Printing and Publishing Sector. According to Bob Kadis, CPIA government affairs chairman and general manager of Bowne of Canada, the paper lumps several sectors under the “printing and publishing sector” including chemical producers, plastic manufacturers, and fabricated metal manufacturers, which makes for a cumbersome and inaccurate definition of the industry. Kadis says the report paints a picture of the industry as a polluter when, in fact, overall printing only contributes 2.6% of VOC emissions of all manufacturing sectors and print specific operations are about 17% of that amount. Also, the absence of a cost-benefit model makes the voluntary participation in introducing alternative low-emission processes virtually impossible for small- to medium-sized print companies. CPIA will be addressing the issue, among other print industry interests, at Government Affairs Day in Ottawa on June 1, providing the current government is still in place.

B.C. print industry pulls for Work Safe program
VANCOUVER—The BCPIA is in talks with the Director of Industry and Labour Services to start a Work Safe program for B.C.’s printing industry. The association has drafted a proposal similar to a program offered in Ontario through the OPIA/WSIB, which has provided substantial rebates on assessments for participating companies. BCPIA is hoping it may become one of the Workers’ Compensation Board’s pilot Partners in Injury and Disability Prevention Incentive Programs, in which participation by individual companies would be voluntary. The BCPIA hopes that a Work Safe program concentrating on safe practices, training, disability management and return-to-work programs would lower insurance assessments, making B.C. printers more competitive in Canadian and U.S. markets.

April 26, 2005
Printing bankruptcies down
OTTAWA—The number of printers who declared bankruptcy in 2004 dipped to 37 from 45 in 2003, according to annual statistics from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Thirty of the bankruptcies were declared in Ontario and Quebec. Last year, the largest print industry category, commercial printing, suffered 20 bankruptcies. In 2003 the same category recorded 37 bankruptcies. Other categories and their 2004 statistics include commercial screen printing with six bankruptcies, quick printing with three, digital printing with five and manifold business forms printing with three. If these statistics seems like grim findings, consider that the total number of bankruptcies has dropped from 58 in 2002.

Merge in the works for US printing associations
CHICAGO, Ill.—After a leak on a US printing news website, Printimage, The National Association of Quick Printers, has confirmed that it is in talks to work together with the NAPL (National Association for Printing Leadership.) A statement from Printimage says discussions between the two organizations have included collaborating on specific educational programs to establish a more formal affiliation between the two associations. It says Printimage considers the NAPL a strong potential partner, but the Board of Directors has not made a definitive decision on what direction a potential future relationship will take. Printimage says its programs would be of interest to almost 40% of NAPL’s members who also fit its membership profile.

April 22, 2005
Canadian campaign for PC papers growing
TORONTO—What began four years ago as a wide-eyed effort by BC environmental group Market Initiative to save old-growth forests is proving to have a significant impact on magazine and book printing. The initiative was catapulted into mainstream success in 2003, when Vancouver publisher Raincoast Books used Friesens and Transcontinental to print the mega 935,000 run of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on 100% post-consumer (PC) recycled paper. The next Harry Potter installment is due out in July with expected sales of 1.2 million copies, all of which will be printed on 100% recycled paper. Just in time for today’s Earth Day celebrations, a story in the Globe & Mail reports that with the help of Harry Potter as well as famed Canadian author Alice Munro, Market Initiative’s push is on target. Since Munro asked her publisher to print her work with PC paper in 2001, 17 other publishers have adopted ancient forest-friendly paper. The report states that the English-Canadian book and magazine industry has gone from practically zero to 75% committed to shifting away from ancient or endangered forest fibre as a paper source. Market Initiative is now planning to influence newspaper producers, the second largest consumers of printing paper in Canada, to reduce using stock from old-growth forests.

April 19, 2005
St. Joseph changes name
TORONTO—Like Sean (P. Diddy) Combs and the artist now-known-again as Prince before it, St. Joseph Corporation is changing its name to keep in stride with its evolving image. The company will now be known as St. Joseph Communications. Chairman and CEO Tony Gagliano says in a statement that over the last twenty years, St. Joseph has grown from a 100-person, Toronto-based company to Canada’s largest privately-owned communications company. He says the new name better defines the communication solutions it offers and positions it for the future. The company has also changed the names of its four business platforms—St. Joseph Content, St. Joseph Print, St. Joseph Documents, and St. Joseph Media—to help customers and associates identify with a common brand.

Staples to compete for quick printing biz
MONTREAL—Staples Business Depot plans to open separate high-quality copy centres in the Montreal area that will cater to medium-sized businesses and independent professionals. The stores, which are scheduled to begin cropping up this August, will be one-fifth the size of regular Staples big-box stores. A new name and identity for the locations is still under development. If the Montreal pilot stores are successful, the company plans to open 75 to 100 outlets across Canada as well in the U.S. and other countries around the world. Canadian Staples president Steve Matyas said in a report in the Globe & Mail that the new stores will have three times the staff as rivals and will invest in the latest digital-copier technology.

April 15, 2005
Thistle Printing buys Griffin House
TORONTO—Thistle Printing has acquired Griffin House Graphics from the U.S. firm ADP Graphic Communications, which has owned the company since 2000. The Griffin House operations have moved into Thistle’s facility, but will remain its own entity. More than half of the Griffin House staff, including the shop’s original owner, Tony Griffin, have been retained, according to Thistle Printing general manager Brian Hockaday. Thistle Printing is listed on Graphic Monthly’s Gold List with 2004 sales of $11.8 million. Look for the Gold List in the upcoming May/June issue of Graphic Monthly.

Chelsea closes in B.C.
DELTA, B.C.—PrintCAN has learned that commercial print shop Chelsea Printers closed shop in February due to bankruptcy. The assets of the shop are being auctioned off by Marvel Auctions on Wednesday, April 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the shop’s location on Cliveden Ave. There will be a preview the day before from noon to 6:00 p.m. Up for sale are several presses, press accessories and office equipment.

April 12, 2005
Quebecor closes Quebec plant
MONTREAL—Quebecor World is closing its commercial sheetfed facility in Laval, North of Montreal. Approximately 150 jobs will be cut and another 50 staff will be offered transfers. The company will move prepress and sales operations from the Laval plant to other plants in the East Group printing unit, which includes about 2,500 employees at 10 facilities in Quebec. In a released statement, Quebecor spokesperson Tony Ross said the Laval facility was unsuccessful in a fiercely competitive market that is dominated by dozens of independent operators and has seen significant price reductions during the last several years.

April 8, 2005
Transcontinental to close Peterborough plant
MONTREAL—Transcontinental will be ending production at its Peterborough facility by October, cutting 140 jobs there. The closure is a means of consolidating book printing operations in Canada. The Peterborough plant’s business will be transferred to other plants within its Book Group, primarily in Louiseville, Que., where the company plans to build a new, larger and highly-automated facility. Construction on the new plant is due to start immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and business is scheduled to start in 2006. The Peterborough plant has annual revenues of about $24 million and exports more than 80% of its production to the U.S. A company spokesperson says there will be opportunity for Peterborough employees to transfer to the new Louiseville plant, which will have 30-50 new positions available when it opens.

Relizon boasts contracts, deals with rumours
BOUCHERVILLE, Que., and DAYTON, OH—Relizon, a North American provider of document outsourcing, billing and marketing fulfillment services has taken on US$68 million in new business, including contracts with Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada Post, Shell Canada and Bell as well as several U.S. firms. In a released statement, the company quotes 2004 industry analysis from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures that the document outsourcing market in the U.S. and Canada was US$35.4 billion and growing at a compounded annual rate of 3.5%. At the same time, the U.S. online publication,, has reported that Relizon is on the auction block. A spokesperson from Relizon headquarters in Dayton says that the company has nothing to announce at this time. The company’s U.S. business communications group and Relizon Canada are subsidiaries of the same company.

April 5, 2005
PLM and Datamark report earnings up
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Markham-based PLM Group recently announced 2004 year-end and fourth quarter results. Sales for the fourth quarter rose 15% to $33 million from $28.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. Sales for 2004 increased 8.6% to $117.3 million compared to $108 million in 2003. The record growth is attributed to the company’s strategic acquisitions of 2003, such as Mailer Magic and Optium, as well as an increase of 2.6% in commercial printing segment volumes. PLM’s 2004 net earnings grew to $2.9 million from $2.7 million. CEO and chairman Barry Pike says premedia, large-format digital printing and direct mail were the company’s growth leaders for the year.
Datamark Systems Group also released upbeat year-end results. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2004 increased to $30.1 million from $29.8 million for the same period in 2003. Sales for the entire year were up to $115.9 million compared to $114.2 million in 2003, with the increase reflecting higher sales of labels and commercial printing and a stabilization of its carbonized airline tickets. Management is still exploring reorganizing the company into an income trust, but the company states that there is no assurance that a conversion transaction will occur.

Kodak takeovers: KPG done, Creo one step closer
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Eastman Kodak has completed its acquisition of Kodak Polychrome Graphics by buying out Sun Chemical’s 50% interest in KPG. KPG is now part of Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group (GCG.) Kodak plans to implement a new GCG organizational structure, consisting of two operating units: Graphic Solutions & Services, which will include workflow and prepress, digital printing and consumables; and Transaction & Industrial Solutions, which will include continuous inkjet, wide-format inkjet and document scanners. The price tag for KPG was $817 million, which Kodak plans to fund through internally generated cash flow. KPG revenues for 2004 were approximately US$1.7 billion. Kodak expects the buyout to add about US$1.1 billion to 2005 revenue.
Kodak also plans to add Creo’s operations to the Graphic Solutions & Services portfolio, once that acquisition is complete. PrintCAN reported in January that Kodak had signed to purchase Creo for US$980 million as a means of pushing more aggressively into the commercial printing market. This week Creo received Ontario court approval for its takeover. However, the deal still faces scrutiny south of the border regarding whether or not the merger will breach U.S. competition regulations, hurting other plate suppliers’ businesses. Both companies are working at sealing the deal by this summer.

April 1, 2005
Prodigy and Howell rumours put to rest
TORONTO—Andy Patel, president of Prodigy Graphics, has told PrintCAN that he does not own, or have any interest in, The Howell Group. Rumours about Howell’s ownership have been swirling for weeks and information about the actual owner of the company is still under wraps. Rick Wilkinson, former owner of Howell-Versatel also confirmed that Patel is not involved in the company. Wilkinson said he sold the business last summer although he remains a director and chairman of the board of The Howell Group. He also confirmed that Howell and Prodigy have a sales and marketing strategic alliance regarding 40” work. PrintCAN has learned that another director of The Howell Group is Beaumont Chorny. Ed Rooney took over as president at Howell last November.

Transcontinental steps into U.S. newspaper market
MONTREAL—Transcontinental has inked a ten-year contract to print the New York Times for the Ontario market and the regions of Buffalo and Rochester, New York. Printing, which will begin this fall at Transcontinental’s Interweb facility in Toronto, includes 15,000 - 20,000 copies a day from Monday to Saturday and 30,000 - 35,000 copies on Sundays. During the company’s AGM, held this week, president Luc Desjardins said the contract represents a foothold in the U.S. market for producing outsourced newspaper printing, which is part of the company’s targeted U.S. expansion strategy. As part of the deal with the New York Times, the paper will be delivered by the same distribution company that delivers the Globe & Mail. Transcontinental prints almost 200 newspapers in Canada including 19 dailies.

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