News Archives
April 2004

April 30, 204
CPIA study to push for accelerated depreciation
OTTAWA—The CPIA has commissioned a study on the implications of the tax act on the printing industry as it relates to capital cost allowance. The study, by Ernst & Young, will be presented to the House of Commons Finance Committee in coming weeks, according to president Pierre Boucher. He says after years of lobbying for accelerated depreciation, the March budget was disappointing, but the fact that it does include a review process of the tax act as it relates to capital tax allowance is encouraging. “Having a change in the budget demonstrates that the government is once and for all taking the issue seriously and is prioritizing it. They’ve left the door open to say that further amendments are required and needed,” says Boucher.
The CPIA was expecting March’s budget to include accelerated depreciation on computer-assisted manufacturing equipment, such as CTP devices and digital presses. As the provision stands now, computers can be written off at a rate of 45% per year, compared with the previous rate of 30%. The write-off for computer-related equipment will be increased to 30% from 20%.

NorskeCanada has first quarter loss despite rise in sales
VANCOUVER—NorskeCanada, the continent’s third largest producer of groundwood printing papers, had a first quarter loss of $46.3 million, nearly twice as much as last year’s loss of $24.8 million for the same period. Quarterly sales, however, rose to $399.2 million this year, from $385.8 million in the first quarter of 2003. The company blamed the loss on the heavy maintenance of its mills and consequent shutdown of two mills. Despite the loss, stronger pulp prices, lower overhead costs and performance improvements in the company’s paper recycling division were positive factors that increased sales. The company operates five mills and has about 4,000 employees.

April 27, 2004
Anstey moves next door
TORONTO—Anstey Book Binding is moving to a new location, but will stay at its current address. The bindery is moving to a unit on the north side of their industrial building on Hollinger Road. Anstey’s president Neil Stewart says that the company has invested about $100,000 in a more modern facility with better climate control to improve the quality of work, the control of materials and the working environment for employees. The company expects to be fully operational in its new location as of May 5.

OAQP’s AGM: membership down, board members elected MISSISSAUGA, ON—The Ontario Association of Quick Printers has lost six Ontario members and another six out-of-province members due to shut downs this past year. The decrease in membership was revealed last week at the Association’s annual general meeting. Still going strong with 80-90 members, the organization elected its board of directors for the coming year. Keeping his spot as Association president, will be Dean Baxendale, president of First Impressions Communications in Toronto. Other board members include Willie Cahill of Willie’s Quick Print; Brian Deslauriers of Digitalprint.net; Greg Fitz of GBF International; Glenn Gibson of Gibson’s Digital Print Depot; Mohamed Haniff of Medallion Press; Rod Joanisse of Econoprint; Doug Purssglove of Holiday Print & Promotions; Marc Raad of Hewlett-Packard; and Norm Ruttledge. The Association also honored original founders, Sandy Donald, Graphic Monthly publisher and Print Ontario manager, and Jack Seedhouse, president of Zippy Print & Imaging as lifetime honorary directors.

April 23, 2004
Cheque printers in the black
TORONTO—Two cheque printers have announced higher sales. Canadian owned Custom Direct, which operates in the U.S., recently announced its first quarter results. The company’s sales were US$29.87 million, up 3% from last year’s first quarter sales of US$29 million. Net income for the period was US$3.7 million. Custom Direct also shipped over 5% more boxes of cheques in the first quarter compared to last year. In Toronto, Davis + Henderson also announced solid financial results for the first quarter. First quarter sales increased from $62,067,000 in 2003 to $68,589,000 this year, an increase of $6.5 million, or 10.5%. Net income increased from $11.8 million to $12.9 million. The growth is attributed to program enhancements and the continued migration of orders to ChequeAdvisor and ChequeCentral, the company’s call centre and Web-based programs. Davis +Henderson has also approved a change in the titles of its two most senior officers: Sanford McFarlane and Bob Cronin will share the title of co-CEO.

Graphic Monthly nominated for three awards
MISSISSAUGA—Graphic Monthly, PrintCan’s ink-on-paper sister publication, has been nominated for three Kenneth R. Wilson awards. The awards are bestowed by the Canadian Business Press and recognize excellence in Canadian business writing. The nominations include Best News Story, for E-billing vs. Print, by Joanne Chianello; Best Profile of a Person, for Printer of the Year by Lana Castleman (both October, 2003); and Best How To Article, for Heading South (April, 2003), by Lana Castleman. Graphic Monthly was Canada’s only print-industry magazine to receive nominations.

April 20, 2004
Coach House Printing threatened by student housing
TORONTO—Coach House Printing, a small offset printer that produces books for its affiliated publishing house, Coach House Books, may be edged out of its current location by Campus Co-op, the University of Toronto student co-op residence, of which the shop is a tenant. The Co-op is currently planning a building project for the space, which would provide new housing for 70 students and generate revenue for the financially troubled Co-op. Campus Co-op management says plans for the new structure haven’t been finalized yet and it will try to take in the historic value of the press as much as possible. However, there could be problems with zoning regulations if a business is included in the housing plans. Coach House owner Stan Bevington told PrintCan he is undecided as to whether the printing business will relocate if the student residences take over. Coach House, which is actually located in an old coach house near the U of T campus, prints about 250 short-run titles per year. The publisher and print shop was founded by Bevington in 1965 and over the years has printed titles by the likes of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Allen Ginsberg.

Office Depot takes stand against Asia Pulp and Paper
TORONTO—Office Depot, the world’s largest office supplies company, with stores in Canada under the name The Office Place, will no longer buy products from Asia Pulp and Paper Company (APP) or products from companies who use APP products. The Florida-based company told a local newspaper that the decision was made because APP’s logging operations are destroying rain forests in Sumatra, an island in Indonesia. Office Depot is acting in support of the World Wildlife Federation’s attempts to get the Singapore-based paper company to stop clear-cutting. Mike Morten of Buntin Reid, a paper distributor in Mississauga owned by Domtar, says APP is low-balling the North America paper market with a cost base that is derived from irresponsible environmental practices and not paying off debt repayment. Almost simultaneous to the news release of Office Depot’s decision to boycott, Asia Pulp & Paper released a Sustainability Action Plan that includes creating a 165,000-hectare conservation park in Sumatra and establishing new operating procedures to address illegal logging. The Plan aims to make its forestry operation self-sustaining by 2007 and the company says it will invest US$7 million over the next five years to protect critical habitats. In a written statement APP says the F.S.C. standards demanded by the WWF are currently followed by less than 5% of the world’s pulp and paper suppliers. The WWF still objects to APP’s plan to cut 445,000 acres of jungle in Sumatra over the next two years. Greg Lin, general manager of APP in Mississauga, one of the company’s two Canadian operations, says that he has had calls from concerned customers questioning the company’s environmental practices and has sent them information on APP’s new environmental efforts. He says that Canadian sales of APP products have not been affected by the Office Depot boycott.

April 16, 2004
Spexel goes under
BEAUHARNOIS, QC—Spexel, a paper producer specializing in fine papers and security papers, declared bankruptcy last Friday. René Leduc, a trustee in bankruptcy for the company, confirmed that the closure was caused by the federal government’s decision to purchase the security paper for $20 bills, the company’s principal product in terms of revenue, from another paper supplier in Europe. Leduc says that the decision came down to a matter of the foreign company having more advanced technology, an issue that he believes Spexel could have met if it had been able to invest an extra $2 or $3 million into technology upgrades. The mill, just outside Montreal, had been producing Canada’s currency paper since 1932 and was the only mill in Canada certified to produce the paper. Approximately 100 employees were let go from the plant.

Transcontinental Rimouski breathes sigh of relief
MONTREAL—Transcontinental is planning to invest $1 million in its plant in Rimouski, Quebec, enabling the plant to focus on newspaper printing and removing fears concerning the plant’s stability. The money will buy new equipment and expand a building in Pointe-au-Père, near Rimouski, which had been closed for a year to reduce costs and save jobs. The building, equipped to print flyers and other products for the retail market, will now specialize in newspaper printing. The expansion is expected to be completed by June. Eighty-five people work at Transcontinental Rimouski.

April 13, 2004
T & D Enterprises closes
PETERBOROUGH, ON—T & D Enterprises, a printing machinery, parts and service facility, is closing its doors after 25 years in business. Founder, Ted Gould, attributes health concerns and the changes in the industry to the shutdown. His son, Scott Gould, will also be leaving the industry. The shop, which employed seven people and serviced customers around the world, will be having a clearance sale from its warehouse over the next several weeks. The custom-built facility is also up for sale. Gould says a possible auction will be listed in the Toronto Star in coming weeks.

Drupa draw winner gives back to industry
TORONTO—Bob Kadis, senior vice president, finance and administration of Bowne of Canada was the winner of Ryerson’s School of Graphic Communications Drupa draw. The prize worth $3,080, included airfare for two to Germany, accommodation for three nights, plus a four-day pass to the world’s largest printing and publishing trade show. Kadis opted to donate the prize money back to the school.

April 6, 2004
PLM invests in digital future
MARKHAM, ON—Commercial printer, PLM Group has been investing heavily in digital equipment and making structural changes to its facilities as part of an overall expansion. Barry Pike, chairman and CEO, says PLM hopes to grow from last year’s sales of $108 million to approximately $135 million. The company recently purchased a Kodak NexPress 2100 SE and since the beginning of this year, PLM has added cut-sheet laser capacities and inkjet firepower with the VersaMark JetBlack imaging system. The new equipment comes soon after PLM’s 2003 acquisitions of Mailer Magic and Optium. PLM recently centralized its digital services into a two-storey, 30,000 plus square-foot facility. The company has also invested $6 million on a large-format KBA Rapida 162 A sheetfed press and peripheral equipment to be installed in August. Pike says the new KBA press is an important initiative for PLM as it enters the large-format sheetfed niche and will be complementary to the digital printing provided by Optium.

St. Joseph profit drops
TORONTO—St. Joseph fourth quarter revenues were down 7.3% to $72.7 million. Loss for the quarter was $3.1 million, compared to net income of $2 million before extraordinary gain in the same period last year. For the full year, the company’s revenues were $298.1 million compared to $309 million in 2002. Annual income dropped $3.6 million from $8 million. CEO Tony Gagliano attributed the disappointing results to difficult industry fundamentals and uncontrollable external factors within the public sector, including a prolonged federal government leadership change. As a result, St. Joseph has made cost reductions, such as layoffs at its Ottawa facilities, which PrintCan reported last week. On a positive note, Gagliano said that the company’s media segment had a solid fourth quarter, which has offset some of the issues confronting the printing segment.

April 2, 2004
Transcontinental picks up assets in Texas
MONTREAL—Transcontinental CC3, has acquired certain assets of Liberty Graphics, a local commercial printer and direct marketing services provider based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, with annual revenues of more than US$9 million. Transcontinental will hire more than 40 employees with extensive printing and lettershop experience. The assets acquired now make Transcontinental CC3’s existing 95,000-square-foot facility in Dallas-Fort Worth one of the largest direct marketing service providers and printers in the Southwestern United States, capable of producing more than 500 million litho printed forms and laser personalized letters per year.

St. Joseph employees laid off
OTTAWA—PrintCan has learned that approximately 30 people have been laid off from the St. Joseph’s location in Ottawa. St. Joseph CEO, Tony Gagliano said the reduction in staff is due to a slump in the Ottawa market in relation to the high tech sector and the government, which have reduced the plant’s volumes.

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