Transcontinental Inc. released its fourth-quarter results (ended October 31, 2009), which saw the company grow 15 percent in operating income, despite a nine percent decrease in revenues compared to the same quarter in 2008. The company, in its 2009 fiscal year, saw an overall three percent operating income decrease and six percent decrease in revenues when compared to 2008.
“I am particularly proud of our operating performance in the fourth quarter — one of the best in our history — and the steady improvement in our financial results over the course of the year in very turbulent conditions,” said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer in a statement. “We are making it through this serious recession by doing better than most of our main competitors and gaining back much of the ground lost compared to 2008."
The company saw a decline in the printing sector in the past year, with revenues dropping from $1.54 billion to $1.4 billion between 2008 and 2009. Its Marketing Communications sector rose from $341.7 million to $373.5 million.
Due to the North American recession, the company was unable to reach its goal of five percent organic growth in sales per year, which was set in its Evolution 2010 plan, introduced back in 2005. Instead the company shrunk 11 percent in 2009, compared to the growth of two percent in 2008.
“We also signed financing agreements for a total of $888 million despite the tight credit situation, and we did so at competitive rates," continued Olivier. "I see this as acknowledgement by investors of our financial credibility, as well as their confidence in our growth strategy and prospects for the future. We plan to maintain our prudent balance between profits, costs, debt and investments."
As PrintAction today opens up the Fifth Annual Environmental Printing Awards to entries, the magazine is announcing the inaugural Best of Show Award, which is to recognize the most-progressive submission from across all categories and entries.
Click to download submission guidelines (530kb PDF), including all 17 category descriptions.
Entry deadline: March 8, 2010
Awards Gala: April 8, 2010, Eglinton Grand, Toronto
Event speaker: Peter Robinson, CEO of The David Suzuki Foundation
Transilwrap Company Inc. has entered into a co-operative arrangement with Azuna LLC to be the exclusive supplier of Azuna's patented 3D printing technology. The line of Azuna’s clear polypropylene is designed to create “eye-catching visuals” for point-of-purchase, packaging, signage, publishing inserts, direct mail, cards and other printed materials.
"We are thrilled to add the Azuna line of products to our portfolio of printable plastics," said Michael Reid, National Market Manager for Transilwrap of Canada Ltd. "Our customers are continually looking for special effects that broaden the scope of and go far beyond traditional marketing and advertising."
The Azuna technology is unique because it is not based on applying challenging lenticular prepress and printing processes. According to Transilwrap, the "magic" of applying Azuna technology is based on the substrate, which can be applied to a surface through UV litho, converntional litho-, screen printing, or UV digital flatbed production. Azuna is also a completely recyclable product.
For more than 75 years, Transilwrap has been manufacturing and converting plastics for the thermal laminating, printing, industrial, specialty packaging, and graphic arts markets. The Illinois-based company has a Canadian division headquartered in Scarborough, Ontario, with additional offices in Delta, British Columbia, and St. Laurent, Quebec.
Koenig & Bauer AG today announced plans to cut an additional €300 million in costs by 2013 “to counter falling sales and accelerate a return to profit.” Claiming to be the world's third-largest printing-press maker, KBA is now seeking total cost cuts of €580 million, after originally announcing a 3-year target of cutting €280 million.
As a result of the new cuts, which will include some 300 more jobs, the company states that by mid-2010 its workforce will be at around 6,200. KBA reported a €87.1 million- loss in 2008.
"We must cut capacity," commented CEO Helge Hansen, in a press release about the new cuts, adding, "It's a tough business." The company’s statement explained that “printing-press sales are falling as Internet publications squeeze Western demand for newspapers and magazine.”
KBA also pointed to its strong growth in the Asian market, as Hansen said the company is now considering opening up a manufacturing plant in the region's largest country. "China and the other emerging countries bring in volume, but not necessarily profit," said Hansen. "They help retain jobs, but they don't help in terms of a positive balance."
KBA forecasts a 35 percent sales drop this year, when compared with 2007 levels. "There's no going back to the old levels," said Hansen.
After selling its Australia-based paper manufacturing interests to Nippon Paper Group of Japan, in February 2009, PaperlinX yesterday announced plans to close its Wesley Vale operation in Tasmania as well as portions of its Burnie operation in Australia.
These cost-cutting efforts will result in PaperlinX becoming a pure paper-merchant company, focusing on the distribution of various paper, large-format and packaging materials. The paper-manufacturing closures are expected to effect around 250 Australian jobs.
PaperlinX made the announcement as it outlined progress on “new regional asset-based borrowing facilities,” which is an effort to restructure its approach to obtaining credit facilities. According to a statement, since July 2009, PaperlinX has secured a US$40 million facility in the United States; a NZ$35 million facility in New Zealand; and is in the process of finalizing a C$50 million facility in Canada and a A$80 million facility in Australia.
C.J. Graphics hosted an open house celebration last Friday which featured a food drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank and a live auction. Vendors, clients and other members of the industry attended the event at the plant on Park Lawn Road in Toronto, which also featured a travelling magician and a gallery display. Host and Auctioneer Jay Mandarino took bids for about 20 items donated by various suppliers and with all $5,100 going to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
This is the 24th annual open house party by C.J. Graphics, which started at the company's 645 King Street East location with only 125 people. According to the company, more than 1,400 guests made an appearance and donated more than 3,410 lbs of food (more than double of last year's total).
Below are pictures from the event.
Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses USA, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced that the parent corporation plans to establish a new company which will be focused on printing and paper converting machinery, starting July 1, 2010.
The new entity will be formed by the merger of MHI Paper & Printing Machinery Division and Printing & Paper Converting Machinery Sales Co. New Mitsubishi printing presses sold in North America, Central America and Mexico by MLP U.S.A. all originate from the Paper & Printing Machinery Division.
The new company will handle all business activities associated with Mitsubishi sheetfed, commercial web and newspaper presses, as well as paper converting and box-making machinery. It will be responsible for design, manufacturing, procurement, marketing, quality assurance and after-sales service.
The company explains the change as "an opportunity to implement even more dynamic strategies for product development and localized marketing. By dedicating resources to this area of business, the new company will be able to respond precisely to today's diversified customer need and expand the Mitsubishi brand to emerging markets."
Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. this week filed its plans for reorganization, which would see the company emerge from Chapter 11 in the spring of 2010. The company announced it would be seeking bankruptcy protection last January in both U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions.
Patrick J. Moore, Chairman and CEO, said, "The filing of our Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement is an important step toward Smurfit-Stone's successful emergence from the reorganization process. Our employees, customers, suppliers and other supporters have been instrumental in our ability to reach this important milestone. We will remain focused on tackling the many challenges that remain ahead."
The company stated it has prepaid all of the $43 million in loans outstanding in the U.S. and expects to prepay the approximately $7 million remaining of the Canadian term loan by the end of December. Smurfit-Stone will also merge all the Canadian assets under one entity, which will be held as a subsidiary.
Smurfit-Stone's total assets had a net book value of about $5.28 billion and total debt of about $6.6 billion as of September 30, 2009.
German press maker Koenig & Bauer continues to make inroads into the Chinese offset-press market, including its most recent deal to install a 3-tower KBA Comet with the Beijing Daily Group by summer 2010.
As North American and European markets for press sales all but evaporated for manufacturers in 2009, KBA made a clear effort to push into the Chinese market by having a 900-square-metre booth at China Print and the recent completion of an 11-day seminar tour across the country. These initiatives helped KBA to keep its 2009 export level stable at 83.4 percent, relative to 84.2 percent the year prior.
The German company’s press exports into Asia and the Pacific Region increased from 19.1 to 23.5 percent, while exports into North America and Europe decreased to 7.9 and 34.8 percent, respectively. (In 2008, 52.2 percent of all KBA exports went into Europe.) While at China Print in May 2009, which had over 70,000 tradeshow visitors, KBA states that it signed around 20 orders, mostly for its flagship Rapida 105 press. Shortly after the show, Shanghai Dadong Printing signed a contract to bring the first Rapida 75 – launched at drupa 2008 – into China. KBA states there are now a dozen 29-inch Rapida 75 press lines in operation or soon to be installed in various Chinese cities.
Much of KBA’s success in the market can also be attributed to its annual traveling seminar series, with the 2009 version wrapping up this October – in Harbin, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Dongguan and Taibei. A company statement about Chinese progress explains, “The economic and financial crisis notwithstanding, 2009 has been KBA’s most successful year to date in the Chinese market… [it] became clear that sales this year would break all records, with almost one-third of KBA’s sheetfed output destined for China.”
For a number of years, Goss International (now buoyed by the July 2009 share-based investment from Shanghai Electric) has led the way into China in terms of web-offset presses. Just last week, KBA announced a major web deal with Beijing Daily Group, which is purchasing a KBA Comet – with three reel stands, three towers and one folder – to focus on producing a free Beijing subway newspaper, launched in 2008. Three more printing towers are to be installed after the press is up and running, which is scheduled for summer 2010. Earlier in 2009, KBA signed a deal with China’s Dazhong Daily Newspaper Group for a 2-section Commander press line to print the Dazhong Daily – with a weekday circulation of 400,000 copies.
KBA is also building a press presence in many other emerging print regions, as detailed below with notable 2009 deals, beyond China:
Russian printer buys KBA Performa 66 (March 2010 start up);
First KBA Colora enters Ecuador with El Telégrafo in Guayaquil;
Abu Dhabi-based United Printing starts up a multi-unit KBA Continent press;
KBA’s first sheetfed press enters Uruguay (Rapida 105);
A Saudi Arabian printer signs deal to install world’s largest sheetfed offset press (Rapida 185);
Tellurian Publication House of Dubai buys Rapida 75;
Delta Printing Press in Dubai buys three Rapida 105s;
After the recent startup of a 6-colour Rapida 105, Aria Printing of Iran installs 8-colour Rapida 106;
Color Lines of Dubai buys multiple Rapida presses;
Brazil-based Editora Abril starts up its 48-pp KBA Compacta 618;
Litografica Gonzales of the Canary Islands buys KBA Compacta 215.
Unisource Worldwide today announced it has completed the acquisition of Euro-Papier, one of Europe’s largest paper suppliers with an emphasis on the eastern portion of the continent. Based in Belgium, Euro-Papier, which will be renamed Graph Comm International, has 12 country offices – Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Graphic Communications, Unisource's print and paper brokerage, is said to sell more than 1-million tonnes per year of coated and uncoated paper. Euro-Papier claimed to annually deliver over 470,000 tonnes of paper from its 38 warehouses and selection of more than 5,000 products. The company has around 800 employees.
"This acquisition significantly strengthens our market position throughout Europe," Al Dragone, Unisource CEO, stated in a press release. "We will continue to pursue strategic acquisitions that expand our operations both within and outside North America.”
Altec Integrated Solutions Ltd. of British Columbia has completed the certification process to become a member of Bosch Rexroth Canada’s Electric Drive and Controls Systemintegrator program.
Bosch Rexroth is a division of the larger Bosch Group, which has 35,300 employees and generated around €5.9 billion in sales last year. The company develops pneumatics modules and motion-control systems to automate manufacturing equipment, including rotary, sheefed, flexography, gravure or large-format presses. Bosch Rexroth is also positioned to address automate issues on punching, folding, cutting, perforating or laminating equipment.
Altec, meanwhile, began operations in 1999 within the Greater Vancouver Area, specifically in Port Coquitlam. The company began in machine automation and industrial design for the forest products industry, entertainment, food and beverage and municipal services industries; and is now expanding with the ability to develop customized Bosch Rexroth automation modules.
As well, partners in Bosch Rexroth Systemintegrator program, such as Altec, can offers manufacturing-focused services like project planning, programming, system startup, electrical and mechanical installation and maintenance.
Winnipeg-based Canadian Printing Equipment Ltd. becomes the exclusive dealer for C.P. Bourg technologies in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as authorization to sell the finishing equipment in British Colombia.
Canadian Printing Equipment (CPE) has extensive experience in selling short-run finishing equipment through its history with Standard Horizon. CPE is now transitioning away from Horizon to focus on C.P. Bourg technology. This line-up will include C.P. Bourg’s new BSF sheet feeder, which can feed toner-based presses with up to 15,000 letter-size sheets per hour. The system can also work with a maximum sheet size of 14.33 x 22.5 inches. CPE will also carry C.P. Bourg's line of perfect binders, collators and 3-knive trimmers.
To support the C.P Bourg line, which is distributed in other Canadian regions by Robert E. Thistle, CPE has four service technicians located across the west. Claiming that its employees have a combined industry experience of more than 90 years, CPE buys and sells various pieces of prepress, press and bindery equipment, including UV coaters.
The company also provides warrantee-level service and has developed an extensive remarketing service for equipment, which it brokers to dealers around the world.
Fred Simper passed away on November 20 at the age of 87, after decades of bringing cutting-edge prepress technologies into the Canadian printing market through his 18 years of service with VariTyper Corp. and ultimately his own company.
By the time desktop publishing began to impact the marketplace in the late-1980s, Simper had become one of the most-knowledgeable prepress experts in the Canadian marketplace, often traveling to Hanover, New Jersey, to consult with VariTyper. His last job title at VariTyper was Phototypesetting and Software Systems Coordinator.
Simper tested his entrepreneurial spirit in 1979 and, in May 1982, incorporated a firm called International Phototypesetter Exchange, which eventually evolved into Fred Simper Graphic Arts Equipment (FSGA). Based in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, the company initially focused on the rebuilding and marketing of phototypesetting machines.
By 1986, FSGA moved into Cathode Ray Tube-based phototypesetters and then, in 1992, Simper started to broker imagesetters and drum recorders. By 1994, FSGA specialized in the rebuilding of Linotronic and Agfa imagesetters, which remained a focus into the 2000s – in addition to Raster Image Processors.
Simper was also a regular feature writer for PrintAction magazine. He began writing for industry magazines in 1977, focusing on typesetting and electronic publishing topics. Some of his article titles included: The History of RIPs; Which do you need: An Imagesetter or a Large Format Laser Printer?; Advantages of a Drum Recorder, When Compared with a Capstan Imagesetter; How to Buy a Used Imagesetter; Comparison of Drum Recorders and Light Sources; and Everything’s Going Digital.
Dr. Jürgen Rautert is leaving Heidelberg and its 4-person Management Board, as the press manufacturer prepares to split – beginning April 1, 2010 – into three new divisions: Heidelberg Equipment, Services and Financial Services.
Rautert joined Heidelberg in 1990 shortly after finishing a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He ultimately became responsible for overseeing sales within the company’s Management Board, a responsibility that now falls on the shoulders of CEO Bernhard Schreier. Rautert was appointed to Heidelberg’s Management Board in 2004 and was initially responsible for products, engineering and manufacturing before taking over sales in July 2008.
Under the new structure, Marcel Kiessling (on January 1, 2010) will be responsible for the new Heidelberg Services division, while existing board member Stephan Plenz takes charge of Heidelberg Equipment and CFO Dirk Kaliebe looks after Heidelberg Financial Services. (Schreier, again, is to look after the international sales network.)
Kiessling (48) has been with Heidelberg for 20 years, as he ascended to lead sales in Germany and then, in 2004, took over the North and South American sales regions as President of Heidelberg Americas Inc, which oversees the company’s Canadian operations. In 2001, Kiessling was appointed Chairman of the Management Board at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH.
Heidelberg states its new corporate structure allows the company to “significantly expand” the new Heidelberg Services division. "We will expand our service portfolio and, in addition to our current range of services and Heidelberg spare parts, we will also strengthen our services in the areas of Saphira consumables, Prinect software and integration, and consultancy for print media companies," said Schreier.
Graphic Systems Services (GSS), a privately held corporation located in Springboro, Ohio, has acquired the assets and intellectual property of the Didde Web Press business from Stolle Machinery Company LLC.
Founded in 1995, GSS provides parts and service support for the Harris/Schriber product line of which there are over 6,000 presses and roll collators installed around the world. The company will now provide similar support for owners of Didde presses, which have been in the market for well over 50 years.
Stolle Machinery produced over 7,500 Didde machines for business-form, direct-mail, label, and commercial printing companies. All the assets of the Didde entity will be relocated to GSS headquarters, which is a 100,000-square-foot facility with machining, assembly, engineering and service.
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