News Archives
May 2005


May 31, 2005
Quebecor rumoured to be eyeing rival across the pond
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Speculation is swirling in the European business press that Quebecor is plotting to takeover London area-based printing giant, Polestar, which operates 20 sites across the U.K., Spain and Hungary. Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau’s comment at the company’s recent AGM, in which he stated, “our competitor is owned by an investment firm that is unlikely to be in the print market five years from now” has raised some brows. Polestar CEO, Barry Hibbert has reportedly said there is nothing firm on the table from anyone. Quebecor spokesperson Tony Ross declined comment.

May 27, 2005
Cenveo holds defensive line as Burton goes for touch down
ENGLEWOOD, CO—Cenveo, parent company of Canadian divisions, MM&T, MM&T Packaging, and Supremex, with combined annual sales of approximately $300 million, is the object of a takeover attempt by Robert Burton, the former chief of Moore. Burton Capital Management and other members of its group control 5.4 million of 49 million Cenveo shares and Burton is looking to replace the board of directors, which would result in his appointment as chairman and CEO. He is threatening a “large number of lawsuits” if Cenveo sells without approval from Burton’s group. Burton’s vision for the direction of Cenveo is to make it the low cost producer in the printing industry.

PLM/Optium offers women’s health day
MARKHAM, Ont.—As part of a series of technical complimentary seminars that PLM and Optium offer, the company has tapped into a subject that draws a large number of its clients: women’s health. For the third year, a Women’s Day seminar will be held for PLM and Optium customers, which has grown in popularity every year. This year organizers expect a 200-person turnout. Speakers will present lectures that range from holistic health to dressing for success.

May 25, 2005
OAQP and DIA courting
TORONTO—The Ontario Association of Quick Printers (OAQP) and the Digital Imaging Association (DIA) are in preliminary talks to merge. Dean Baxendale, president of the OAQP, says the two organizations would complement each other and be able to capture educational and peer group interactions on a much larger scale, specifically with information on digital workflow, direct-to-plate applications and business information for the new print solutions providers. He feels consolidating associations makes sense since the number of printing companies has declined. Over the next three months a committee will discuss the viability of the merger and come up with strategies to execute it. The committee then plans to make a recommendation to members for a vote.

Quebecor World on the hot seat again
AURORA, Ont.—Just weeks after signing a monumental agreement on workers’ rights, Quebecor World has been hit with a $130,000 fine for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker’s legs were crushed and partially severed at the company’s Aurora plant, north of Toronto. The incident occurred when the worker climbed into a compactor baler machine to inspect an oil leak and directed a second worker to push a manual cycle button to move the ram into a full reverse position to locate the leak. The ram unexpectedly cycled, injuring the worker’s legs. The Ministry of Labour investigation found the injured worker was given information and instruction on general lockout procedures, but not specific lockout procedures for the compactor baler, which would have prevented the ram from moving and coming into contact with the worker’s legs. The injured worker underwent a series of operations and is expected to make a full recovery.

May 20, 2005
Ben’s Printing sells to Mail Boxes Etc.
TORONTO—Ben’s Printing, a 35-year-old print shop, which was owned and operated by Benjamin Bernstein, has been acquired by Mail Boxes Etc. Bernstein has left the business, although about five staff are still employed at the location. The shop has undergone renovations including the addition of a Mail Boxes Etc. centre, which includes courier services and mail boxes. The location will serve as a printing hub for all 50 Toronto Mail Boxes Etc. locations. The company plans to set up similar printing centres across the country to service all of its 275 Canadian locations.


PLM reports modest growth
MARKHAM, Ont.—PLM reports it first quarter sales were $29.8 million, 3.5% higher than a year ago. The increase was driven by higher contributions from digital services and sheetfed printing, partially offset by a reduced contribution from web sales. However, net earnings dropped to $0.7 million from $0.9 million for the same period last year, reflecting an increase in depreciation and a small loss on dollar conversion, compared to a gain a year ago. The company expects its digital services to continue to drive print revenues. It says its web services dipped because of a weakness in demand for financial printing.

May 17, 2005
Relizon still top dog with Canada Post
BOUCHERVILLE, Que.—Relizon has landed a five-year contract renewal with Canada Post worth an estimated $80 million. The company will provide Canada Post with design and personalization of paper and electronic documents, development of barcode return service labels and courier envelopes, and document warehousing and distribution. Relizon has had a 20-year relationship with Canada Post and has won its 2004 Supplier Award of Excellence for the eighth time since 1995. Relizon is an American company that owns two separate, incorporated and independently-operated units in Dayton, Ohio and Boucherville, Que., which holds the Canada Post contract. Relizon ranked number 10 on Graphic Monthly’s Gold List of the top 100 printers in Canada in 2004 with sales of $205 million. Look for the Gold List in the June issue of Graphic Monthly.

Canadian Harry Potter goes stateside
VANCOUVER—Canadian Printers won’t be enjoying the lucrative Harry Potter print run this time around. Raincoast Books has confirmed the sixth edition of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, will be printed exclusively in the U.S. A Raincoast spokesperson said the decision relates specifically to the company’s global agreement with security issues. He added that Raincoast was delighted with the quality of work that Canadian printers Friesens and Transcontinental produced for the previous installments in the Harry Potter series. Although Raincoast isn’t releasing the name of the U.S. plant printing the Canadian edition, nor the size of the print run, the publishing company has stated that it is planning the largest print run in Canadian history. The Canadian print run for the 2003 printing of the fifth Harry Potter title was 935,000. U.S. publisher, Scholastic Inc., announced earlier that it was printing 10.8 million copies of the American edition of the book. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be available to the public on July 16 at 12:01 a.m.

May 13, 2005
Curwin Friesen on 40 under 40 list
ALTONA, Man.—Curwin Friesen, president and COO of Friesens Corp., has landed on the Globe & Mail’s prestigious annual Top 40 Under 40 list. Friesen was among the top 40 picked from more than 1,200 applications from across Canada. The winners are selected by a panel of 31 business and community leaders on vision, leadership, innovation, achievement, community involvement, and strategy for growth. Friesen, who has no relation to the founding family of Friesens Corp., has worked at the company for nine years and has been president for three. “It’s an individual honour that really needs to reflect a team of people. We’ve got a lot of great people here at Friesens that make this company run…I hope they share in the pride of the award,” says Friesen. With 550 staff, Friesen’s Corp. is one of the largest employee-owned companies in Canada. He sees the company continuing with its niche of book printing and plans to expand in the Canada and the U.S.

Ottawa shop closed doors
OTTAWA—PrintCAN has learned that Union Engraving & Printing has closed down. The shop recently filed for creditor protection, but its doors were locked early this week. In December PrintCAN reported that the shop had filed a voluntary notice seeking creditor protection after a half-web installation landed it in a tough financial spot.

May 10, 2005
Quebecor to sell commercial division
MONTREAL—Quebecor World announced today it no longer considers its commercial group to be a core business and is pursuing exclusive negotiations to sell the business and similar facilities in Canada. In its first quarter results, Quebecor World says that its overall performance was hampered by this division. Commercial revenues in the first quarter totaled US$540, down from US$605 in the first quarter of last year. Consolidated revenues for the quarter were US$1.62 billion, compared to US$1.55 billion last year, but net income for the quarter was US$16.3 million, down from US$35.8 million in 2004. The drop is attributed to impairment of assets, restructuring and other charges.

Quebecor World, Teamsters make nice
MONTREAL—After a year of dueling press releases and allegations of misconduct, Quebecor World and the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has issued a joint statement detailing an agreement between the two, in which employees will have the right to form and join a union through a supervised secret election. The agreement maintains that Quebecor World will not interfere with any efforts to form a union. The union has agreed to operate in a non-adversarial manner and will focus on collective bargaining and union representation. George Tedeschi, president of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said that the agreement is a significant step forward for workers’ rights in the printing industry and in the union’s relationship with Quebecor World. Quebecor president and CEO, Pierre Karl Peladeau said that the company has always maintained that its employees have the right to join a union free from intimidation by any party and that they should be able to make that decision by means of a secret ballot election.

May 6, 2005
Printing takes on the darling buds of May
MISSISSAUGA, ON—We’ve come a long way since printing was strictly ink on paper. Lately we’ve seen ink on cookies, ink on potato chips, and recently gaining in popularity, ink on flower petals. Calgary inventor John Glynn has created Floragrafik, a technology that allows words and graphics to be embossed on flowers. In the past four years, the floral printing technique has been covered by Global News and has graced the lapel of Don Cherry during a Coach’s Corner segment with the words “Go Canada” printed on his boutonniere. Now a growing number of florists across the country are being trained in producing Floragrafik bouquets. Glynn says his process takes about a minute per flower petal to print a personalized message. He hopes his technology will take off in the U.S. market and Germany, which he says are the two biggest consumers of cut flowers in the world. Floragrafiks isn’t the only enterprise taking advantage of this market; Speaking Roses International, a U.S. company, prints images and words on flowers that it buys direct from Amsterdam and South America and ships all over the world. Speaking Roses CEO Blaine Harris says the company receives orders electronically at its Salt Lake City, Utah, headquarters with requests for messages, pictures and logos to be printed on flowers. The information is then sent to a laser system, which interacts with a printing device to produce the personalized petals. The company’s fulfillment centres worldwide require different inks depending on the humidity and temperature of a facility’s location. This being one of the busiest weekends in the flower industry, Harris says the company is in overdrive producing its more than 2,000 Mother’s Day orders.

May 03, 2005
Industry celebrates at OPIA gala

TORONTO—More than 220 industry members gathered on Friday night for the annual OPIA gala where several awards were handed out, including the 2005 Excellence in Print Awards and an Outstanding Service Award. Three companies took home the highest honours for printing excellence: General Printers in the sheetfed category, St. Joseph Communications in the web category, and PLM Group in the specialty field. As well OPIA gave its Outstanding Service Award to Mary Black, chair of the Graphic Communications Management department at Ryerson University. In other business, Mike McInnes was re-elected chairman of the association.

Davis + Henderson sales take a dip
TORONTO—Davis + Henderson reports that sales for the first quarter of 2005, ended March 31, slid to $66.2 million, down 3.4% from $68.6 million in 2004. In its quarterly report, the company says the decline can be partly attributed to having two fewer business days in this quarter compared to last year. Additionally, the report says, personal cheque daily order volumes were lower during the quarter compared to 2004, impacted by reduced promotional activities by some customers relating to line of credit and account acquisition activities. Davis + Henderson’s financial objective is to achieve annual sales growth of 3% to 5% over the long term, but based on first quarter numbers, the company expects sales growth to be below 3% in 2005.

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