News Archives
April 2002
April 30, 2002
OAQP plans to change its name
ST. CATHARINES, Ont.—The Ontario Association of Quick Printers (OAQP) is in the process of a name change. The association, which has members from British Columbia to Quebec and the United States, feels its name does not reflect the organization’s diversity. Although the current name suggests quick printers, members also represent printers from commercial operations and in-plants. The board feels a name change may attract new faces. And while this plan is a year in the works, the board is still smoothing out legalities. Rumour has it that National Imaging Association is the proposed title.

Embassy Graphics wins Spirit at Work award
WINNIPEG—Prepress house Embassy Graphics was one of seven worldwide recipients of the Willis Harman Spirit at Work Award. The Association of Spirit at Work acknowledges companies that have implemented practices or policies that nurture spirit in the workplace to improve the quality of life. “We’re trying to redefine the business model,” says Bryan Payne Jr., president of the Winnipeg company. “We allow people to bring who they are and what they do to work everyday. It tends to have more of an impact than just having a job.” The company utilizes a decentralized approach that eliminates management hierarchy. Payne says Embassy focuses more on how things get done than form or hierarchy.

April 26, 2002
Moore, Quebecor sales down in QI
Toronto—Moore Corp. saw its sales decline to US$529 million in the first quarter of Q1, ended March 31, from US$574 million in 2001. The company cited a decision to dump some unprofitable accounts in its outsourcing and forms and labels business, the sale of subsidiaries Colleagues and Phoenix, and the devaluation of foreign currency for its sales slump. Earnings for the quarter rose to US$12.5 million, compared to a net loss of US$201 million in 2001. At Quebecor, sales were off 7% in the first quarter to US$1.46 billion from US$1.57 billion in 2001. Net income, however, was up 8% to US$46 million from US$43 million. Sales were off 9% in North America and 7% in Europe, but up 37% in Latin America. Quebecor cited tanking magazine ad pages in North America for its results, but said that figures for March show an improving trend in that area, and it is also beginning to benefit from restructuring initiatives announced last fall.

Printer sought for Inuktitut Bible
KITCHENER, Ont.—After spending 23 years translating the Bible into Inuktitut—one of three official languages of Nunavut—the Canadian Bible Society is searching for a printer. “We are catering to a rather small population,” says Hart Wiens, director of scripture translation. “So print-on-demand, short-run, digital printing seems to be the best route for us.” In the past, several printers have done work for the Bible Society including Friesens and Imprimerie Gagné, now a division of Transcontinental. Nelly Safari, design and production manager, expects both of these companies to be in the bid for the job. The project is expected to be completed by 2004.

April 23, 2002
Halifax Herald installs Swiss web press
HALIFAX—The Halifax Herald is building a 60,000 sq. ft. printing plant that will house a new OF370 web press built by Swiss manufacturer WIFAG. The OF370, a shaftless, page-changing press, will be installed in July of 2003 and become operational at the end of the year. Ian Scott, assistant general manager of The Halifax Herald Ltd., said the new installation will enhance colour and quality, lower costs by reducing the size of the newspage and position the company for future growth. The new press will be used primarily to print Herald newspapers, but the company does intend to branch into commercial work. Weekend preprints and inserts, currently printed by other shops and valued at under a $1 million, will be repatriated when the new press is up and running. The WIFAG press, the first installed in Canada according to Scott, will replace letterpress equipment.

Printers battle with the rumour mill
KITCHENER and CONCORD, Ont.—The print industry rumour mill has been in overdrive lately about closures and financial difficulties. PrintCan has learned that while business has slowed from last year, both Allprint Ainsworth, in Kitchener, and Print Three, in Concord, are operating as usual. “It is very frustrating and unfair,” says Allprint president Klaus Ertle. “I actually heard recently that we were shut down. It’s absurd.” Rumours have been fluttering about that the Kitchener printer was having financial difficulties. “We’re still around,” Ertle assures. “Don’t worry about it, we’re going to be around for a long time.” The grapevine had owner George Getzler’s Concord location of Print Three worse off yet, with the company in receivership. “We’re having some financial problems but I would imagine that there are a lot of people out there right now in the same situation,” he says, adding that the company is cutting back and eliminating costs where it can.

April 19, 2002
Sherman Graphics resurfaces
MARKHAM, Ont.—After entering into receivership in February, Sherman Graphics Inc. has resurfaced as Sherman Graphics Group. In a previous PrintCan report, the Markham company cited declining sales and difficult economic conditions as the primary factors for its closure. Arnie Sherman, vice president of the company, says management and services have remained the same at the reborn company. The company provides full print services including prepress, press and finishing capabilities. Sherman says the family-owned company has been operating since 1945.

Moore partners with UnitedHealth Group
TORONTO & STAMFORD, Conn.—Moore has signed a multi-year contract with UnitedHealth Group, an American company that offers services and products to improve health and well-being. Moore will provide integrated print management solutions across all of UnitedHealth's business units. Moore president Robert Burton said in a prepared statement that the multi-million dollar contract gives Moore the opportunity to offer one-stop printing solutions.

Graphic Monthly nominated for KRWs
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—PrintCan's sister printed publication, Graphic Monthly, has been nominated for three KRW awards handed out by the Canadian Business Press. In the running are: Front End Challenge, by Lana Castleman (August 2001); 10 Prepress Troubleshooting Tips, by Bob Atkinson (December 2001); and Minding the Shop, by Brenda Sanderson (August 2001). Masthead magazine, Graphic Monthly's sister title, also received two nominations.

April 16, 2002
Trustees appointed at Imaging Excellence
TORONTO—Scott Brockie, owner of Imaging Excellence, has confirmed that trustees have been appointed to help him restructure his company. But Brockie says they were self-appointed and not placed on the company by the courts. He says a proposal for creditors will be filed soon. Imaging Excellence is currently in the midst of a restructuring plan that will see it close down its 35-year-old location in downtown Toronto and consolidate its operations into a 20,000 sq. ft. location in Etobicoke. Brockie says the restructuring is necessary for several reasons, including the need to cut costs and become a more efficient operation. It did not help that Imaging Excellence had installed a 6-colour, 40" press earlier in the summer, just as the economy turned soft. The shop's revenue has been estimated at between $7 and $8 million.

BCE to reprint annual report
TORONTO—Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) is reprinting its 2001 annual report after it was found to have editorial and financial errors. Industry sources have told PrintCan that Thorn Press, a division of St. Joseph Printing, is the printer. When contacted, Paul DeRocher, general manager, would not confirm or deny that the Toronto company printed the report. Seven-hundred-thousand copies were originally printed and will now be shredded. Since securities law requires annual reports to be mailed 30 days prior to the annual meeting, BCE has 2 1/2 weeks to print and bind new copies before its meeting in Montreal on May 29.

April 12, 2002
Heidelberg to be sold by 2003
HEIDELBERG, Germany—Heidelberg's parent company, German energy conglomerate RWE, says it will sell off its Heidelberg shares by the end of 2003. RWE controls 50% of the stock plus one share. At current market values its holdings should fetch 2.2 to 2.3 billion euros. The company orginally announced it would divest itself of its non-core assets at least two years ago, but at the time it did not set a deadline for the sale. Thomas Fichtl, Heidelberg's press officer, said no announcement has been made as to whether RWE will sell off its shares in batches or as a block. However, Fichtl added that "a change in the share structure of Heidelberg will not be followed by a change in strategy or commitment to customers." Heidelberg's strategic direction was always developed by Heidelberg and it will continue to do so in the future, he says. Speculation about potential buyers has been swirling in the industry since the news broke, but any graphic arts company seeking to acquire a majority stake in Heidelberg will face European anti-monopoly laws. The other major Heidelberg shareholders are a finance holding company, which controls 24% of the stock, and a commercial bank, which owns 4%.

Lamcom receives financing from CDP
MONTREAL—Lamcom, a digital printer specializing in large format graphics, has received $485,000 from CDP Accès Capital, an organization that supports small- and mid-sized Quebec companies. Daniel Lefebvre, Lamcom president, says the financing will be used specifically towards the purchase of a Vutek UltraVu, a high resolution digital printing system capable of producing wide format graphics. The 27-year-old company received previous financing from CDP in 1997, when it extended operations to digital printing. Lefebvre says the partnership has contributed to the company’s growth over the years, most recently, allowing Lamcom to move into a 45,000 sq. ft. facility. The company has 50 employees and maintains 70% of its digital business in the Montreal area.

April 09, 2002
Domtar closes St. Catharines plant
ST. CATHARINES, Ont.—Low demand and a declining market has prompted Domtar to shut down two paper machines at its St. Catharines, Ont., mill. "Unfortunately, even though we tried to do everything we could to bring down the costs and develop new products, [the plant] just wasn't making the cut," says Richard Descarries, manager of regional communications at Domtar. The plant will shut down in September and its closure will affect 210 employees. Some of the paper production will be outsourced to other Domtar facilities, including Ottawa/Hull. The St. Catharines mill had a capacity of 50,000 tons of paper per year, but Descarries says the company was losing about $2 million per year from that plant alone. "By maximizing our performance on the other machines, we are reducing some of our operating costs. In shutting down the plant, we will actually start to regain some of the lost revenue," he says. One machine in Wisconsin was also shut down.

R & M Trade Laminating expands to Alberta
Vancouver—R & M Trade Laminating is opening a new shop in Calgary, Alta. "It's going to be a smaller version of our 6,000 sq. ft. Vancouver plant with similar equipment and services," says president Rob Varnel. Although the new facility, expected to be complete by September, will be scaled down to start, Varnel hopes to match the original Vancouver operation. "The print market in Alberta is almost bigger than B.C. right now, in terms of total dollar volume," he says. It has taken the company eight years to develop its reputation and market on the west coast but Varnel says the process shouldn't take quite so long this time around. "We had to educate people on who we are and what we do. So in time, the new plant could easily match our Vancouver operation." R & M currently has seven employees and annual sales of around $1 million.
April 05, 2002
Gord Griffiths to head Mail-Well print group
TORONTO—Gord Griffiths is moving to Denver, Colo., to head up the Mail-Well Print Group. Griffiths, a print industry veteran who launched the Caxton Group early last year, says "Caxton is a marketing services company. I'm not the best person to run it and I really want to get back to printing. I'm getting back to what I'm good at." In his new position, which starts Monday, Griffiths will spearhead an US$800-million organization with 30 plants in North America. "They have really good people in Denver and I'm really happy to be working for a company like Mail-Well," he said. Griffiths was previously president of St. Joseph Printing and Quebecor Canada. Reflecting on his Canadian tenure, Griffiths said he loved his time at Quebecor and respected the company's aggressive expansion plans and its integrity of leadership. He will remain chairman of the Caxton Group.

Davis & Henderson sale yields $470 million for MDC
TORONTO—Earlier this week Davis & Henderson became a widely-held public company with no majority shareholder. MDC Corp., which until recently owned D & H, has realized gross proceeds of about $470 million from the sale before commission and expenses. D & H, a self-described outsource cheque supply program management company, will be structured as a corporation held by an income fund that distributes monthly earnings to unit-holders. The fund will be guided by three trustees. Bob Cronin, president and chief operating officer of Davis & Henderson, said the new independent status of the company will not impact its future plans and the company will continue to focus on its core business of managing the cheque supply for financial institutions. D & H recorded revenue of $215 million in the first three quarters of 2001.

Uniserve auctions printing equipment
CALGARY—Uniserve International Products has entered into unreserved receivership and will auction off its printing equipment on Tuesday, April 9. Among the items for sale are 10" and 16" flexographic web presses and two 52" cutters. General equipment including padders, slitters and sealers will also be for sale. The auction will take place at Uniserve's Calgary location with a preview being held on Monday, April 8. For more information about the auction visit www.tradewestsales.com or call (403) 291-3203.
April 02, 2002
St. Joseph invests in broadcast network
CONCORD, Ont.—St. Joseph Printing is investing in Canbo Broadcasting, which owns and operates Inner Peace Television Network, the first single-faith digital network in Canada. “We like the niche that Canbo is into and we think they have a unique place in the market,” says Frank Gagliano, vice-chairman of St. Joseph and CEO of Canbo. “This gives us an exclusive in North America, certainly in Canada, and we see this as an area where we can explore the opportunities.” Gagliano says the move to digital broadcasting meshes with the company’s content creation and Internet initiatives. The company will have controlling interest in Canbo and will provide financial support during the start-up period.

Printera loses major account
TORONTO—Aluglass Packaging, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Printera, is losing a major print contract. Industry sources have told PrintCan that the contract in question is with Molson’s Brewery and that the company is moving its work to NorthStar Print Group in Watertown, Wis. Lou Elmaleh, president and CEO of Printera, confirmed the loss of a contract but declined to name Molson as the client. The contract represents $12 million of Printera’s $52.5 million annual revenues. “We are currently working on replacing that business,” says Elmaleh. “We were in the process of getting a lot of new accounts, but now [the impact] won’t be as evident because it will have to replace some of the lost business.”
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