News Archives
March 2008

March 27, 2008
Canadian magazines launches fall in 2007
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Canadian magazine launches were down 15% in 2007, Masthead magazine reported in its annual tally of closures and launches. There were 63 launches and 21 closures last year, with 54% of the launches on the consumer side, down from the 10-year average of 60. The 21 closures last year were 12% fewer than in 2006, when 24 magazines went under. The business-to-business sector took the biggest hit, with only five new launches.

Photo Imaging Techniques goes out of business
MARKHAM, ON—Photo Imaging Techniques has gone into receivership PrintCAN has learned. The Markham, Ont., based shop specialized in large-format work for the retail, display and advertising markets.

Photo Imaging was founded in 1993 and went completely digital in 1999.

March 25, 2008
American Banknote buys Keystone Manufacturing
TORONTO—American Banknote has acquired plastic card printer Keystone Manufacturing for an undisclosed amount. American Banknote is the parent company of the ABNote Group, which prints plastic cards, passports, and lottery tickets, and provides distribution, print production and secure warehousing. Toronto-based Keystone prints smart and memory cards, as well as driver’s licenses. Keystone president Bud Kronenberg, along with the management team, will remain at the helm.

Trade Watch—Another slow month on the trade front
OTTAWA—January data from Statistics Canada show another slow month of trading activity, with both imports and exports falling, just as they did in December. Exports to the U.S. dropped to $82.88 million, down from $104.95 million at the same time last year. Imports from the U.S. were also down, coming in at $61.56 million compared to $74.07 million in January 2008. Imports from China rose slightly to $15.35 million, up from $15.19 in the same period in 2007.






$104.29 million

$124.96 million







$90.15 million

$100.56 million


March 20, 2008
The Economist wants out of Quebecor World contract
MONTREAL—The Economist magazine has notified Quebecor World that it does not plan to renew its contract when it expires in September 2008, the company reported yesterday.

Lawyers for the Economist Newspaper NA have filed a motion in U.S. bankruptcy court stating that the magazine wants to provide Quebecor World with a notice of termination by March 31, 2008. The Economist does not say in the filing why it wants to end the contract, but does mention that the creditor protection Quebecor World has received from a Quebec court has made it difficult for the magazine to exercise “its undisputable contractual right to terminate the printing agreement…”

In a statement issued by Quebecor World, the company says it is still in talks with The Economist in the hopes an agreement can be reached. Quebecor World has been printing The Economist since 1999, and has renewed that contract several times.

Three HP Designjet Z6100s for Toronto printer
TORONTO—Digital on-demand printing and document management company Reprodux Copy Centres has upgraded with the addition of three HP Designjet Z6100 printers to its shop. The new equipment replaces two HP Designjet 5000 printers and one HP Designjet 5500. The company, which has eight locations in Ontario, caters to the construction industry, and was started in 1963. Reprodux is a family-owned business and employs 100 people.

Owner of Reprodux J.J. Long with one of his new HP Designjet printers.

March 18, 2008
Revenue up, profit down for Komunik in third quarter
MONTREAL—Komunik reported a spike in revenues but a decline in profit in its financial results for the third quarter ending January 31, 2008. Komunik, which acquired Datamark in June 2007, reported that revenue for the third quarter was $26.9 million, compared to $2.5 million in the same period last year. Profit declined to $0.76 million in the third quarter, down from $2.25 million in the same period in 2007. Komunik attributes the third quarter low profits to a lower level of activity in the third quarter, lower margins and higher costs.

B.C. print shop installs a Heidelberg PM46
VICTORIA, B.C.—Hillside Printing has added a late model Heidelberg PM46 to its pressroom. The press is equipped with plate changers, blanket washers, an IR dryer and laser cut ink fountains. Hillside specializes in both offset and digital print and has been in business since 1981.

Standing beside the Heidelberg is pressman Doug Hartwell and press foreman Lee Haskell.

March 13, 2008
Transcontinental reports favourable first quarter earnings
MONTREAL—Transcontinental saw growth of 4% in revenues and 69% in net income in the first quarter of 2008, for the period ending January 31. Consolidated revenue was $596 million, up from $572 million in the same period last year, and net income rose from $20.2 million for the first quarter of 2007 to $34.1 million in the first quarter of 2008. Transcontinental’s printing division has seen some big developments in the first quarter of 2008, most notably a $210 million contract to print Roger’s complete magazine portfolio, beginning Feb. 1, 2009.

First Alberta install of Presstek 52DI at ColorRightNow
CALGARY—Calgary-based ColorRightNow has installed the first Presstek 52DI press in the province. The company, which does short and long runs, design and finishing, says that it’s already reduced makeready times by 60% and expects to bring between $30,000 to $40,000 a month in outsourced four-colour print back in-house with the DI. ColorRightNow was established in 1997 and has more than 50 full-time employees.

Press operators Russ Chopek, left, and Darin Law stand with the new 52DI at Calgary’s ColorRightNow.

March 11, 2008
Transcontinental acquires ThinData
MONTREAL—Transcontinental has purchased permission-based email marketing services firm ThinData, the company announced today. The acquisition of ThinData furthers Transcontinental’s commitment to strengthen its database management, and direct and e-marketing capabilities. ThinData, which has 60 employees and is based in Toronto, will be integrated into the Premedia Group at Transcontinental.
Some of ThinData’s customers include the Canadian Blood Services, Air Canada and the CBC. It has been in business for more than 12 years.

New Fujifilm gear for Winnipeg shop
WINNIPEG—The Prolific Group has invested in two Fujifilm Javelin 8600S thermal CTP engines, one with multi-cassette autoloader and the other with single-cassette autoloader. The company has also updated with the addition of two Epson Stylus 9800 printers, Trueflow PRO workflow, and MegaRip to its prepress department. The Prolific Group employs 165 people and specializes in large and small format digital print; cold and heat set web as well as bindery services and in-house mail. The company has been in business since 1975 and has several plants in Western Canada.  

Standing with one of the new Javelin engines from left to right are: Gary Thompson, account manager; Fujifilm Canada, Keith Gauthier, prepress manager; the Prolific Group, Al Alexandruk, president; the Prolific Group, and Mike Lesyshen, technical manager, The Prolific Group.

March 6, 2008
December shipments up
OTTAWA—December printing shipments enjoyed another good month following a healthy November, which boasted the highest shipments of the year, according to the figures from Statistics Canada. Year-to-date figures are only a hair behind the 2006 numbers. Note that these numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Shipments 2007 2006 Change
December $752.9 million $730.2 million 3.1%
Year to date $9.77 billion $9.79 billion -.12%

New KBA Rapida for Quebec shop
POINTE-CLAIRE, QC—Commercial printer Litho Quebec has just added a KBA Rapida 105 41” six-colour sheetfed press, with UV capabilities to its pressroom. The new press will enable the shop to print with a number of UV inks and coatings, and improve makeready times and automation.
Litho Quebec has been in business for 36 years and employs 51 people. It specializes in business stationary, printing packaging, and invoices, and also offers die cutting, saddle stitching and folding.

With the new Rapida at KBA headquarters in Vermont from left to right are; Karl Belafi Jr. from KBR Graphics, KBA’s Eastern Canadian distributor; John Reithel, KBA regional vice president; Gary Zacard, co-owner of Litho Quebec; Bruce Zacard, co-owner of Litho Quebec; and Holger Garbrecht, KBA CEO and president.

March 4, 2008
Enviro Printing Awards hand out honours
TORONTO—A passionate speech by Stephen Lewis about the looming environmental “apocalypse”—tempered with hope and applause for the role of a forward-thinking printing industry—was the inspiring warm-up act to the third annual Environmental Printing Awards held in Toronto last week.

Lewis, the former UN Special Envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, spoke movingly of global problems he has devoted much of his life to combating. But he also spoke about the important work the private sector, and the printing industry in particular, is doing to tackle issues such as global warming and deforestation. “You tell the world what you’re doing,” he said, adding that industry is often ahead of weak-willed governments in acting.

The Environmental Printing Awards attracted 130 entries in 14 categories. Among the gold winners were Metropolitan Fine Printers, Kempenfelt Graphics, CardPak, Taylor Label, Informco, The Lowe-Martin Group and Hemlock Printers. Suppliers receiving gold honours included HP Canada, Heidelberg, Sun Chemical, and Enviro Image Solutions. Antony Marcil, CEO of Forest Stewardship Council Canada, received a gold award for Environmental Innovator. For a full list of gold, silver and bronze winners, and sponsors, click here.

The awards were held at the Palais Royale ballroom on Toronto’s lakefront with 400 in attendance.

St. Joseph Communications one of Canada’s Best Managed companies for fifth consecutive year
TORONTO—St. Joseph’s Communications has been named a Requalified member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program for the fifth year in a row, the company announced last week.

The 50 Best Managed award recognizes excellence in marketing, sales, commitment to people and an investment in technology in companies with revenues of more than $10 million. Recipients of the award, which is sponsored the National Post, CIBC, Deloitte and the Queen’s School of Business, were honoured at a celebration in Toronto on Feb. 25, 2008.

New iGen3 90 and Nuvera 120EA for Ontario shop
BRANTFORD, ON—Ball Media Corporation has added an iGen3 90 and a Nuvera 120EA to its Brantford pressroom. Both presses are integrated with XM-Pie software for variable and statement applications, and will complement Ball Media’s other digital equipment.
The company specializes in book printing, variable and direct marketing as well as large-format, saddle stitching, automated trimming, and lamination. It employs 12 people full time and has been in business since 1994.

Ball Media employees pose with their new iGen3 90.

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