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Back from the brink: PIAA turnaround

Wednesday, 27 June 2018
By Print 21 Online Article
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‘We’ve had to absorb huge restructuring costs’: PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay.

Printing Industries CEO Andrew Macaulay says a ‘dramatic improvement in performance’ in 2017 has seen the peak national body post an operating loss that’s $400,000 less than the previous year. This is the second year in a row that the peak body has taken a hit as a result of fundamental restructuring.

“We’ve pulled it back from the brink. The actual operating loss was about $800,000, which is down $400,000 on the 2016 figure of $1.2m,” says Macaulay. “We’re now in the situation where we can look towards a much-improved performance this year,” Macaulay says.

The Association reported an operating loss of $1.4 million in 2017, $571,000 of which was the result of revaluation losses on land and building assets.  

“The fact of the matter is that over the past two years, we’ve had to absorb huge restructuring costs that should have been incrementally absorbed over the past decade. Whilst we’re not as advanced as we’d like to be, the reality is that we can’t just wave a magic wand. We have, however, turned it around and moved the association onto a sustainable footing,” he said.

Following the crisis year of 2015 where the Association’s future was under threat, Macaulay was appointed with the brief to get the PIAA onto a sustainable footing. He’s driven a sometimes-unpopular agenda that has seen staff numbers drop from 25 to six and state offices closed down.

Macaulay insists core industrial relations services to members have improved out of sight while he’s stepped up lobbying efforts with federal and state MPs. “Members don’t need offices all over the place but they do need access to services and we’re offering a broader service now than we did with 25 staff members.”

He shafts home the fall in membership over the past year to massive consolidation in the industry. “This directly reflects the state of the printing industry. But against that, some members who left the organization during the trouble in 2015 have now started returning.

“Our 130-year old association is back, alive and kicking goals. And it’s all due to the foresight of a new generation board that is driving transparency and is aware of what the industry needs.” He believes, a new look board of directors is set for generational change and effective succession planning.

5 Responses to “Back from the brink: PIAA turnaround”

  1. June 27, 2018 at 4:03 pm,

    John B

    Extremely pleasing to see the hard work of the new team at our industry association getting results. I rejoined to use the new IR services this month, and it was fast, courteous and professional. Welcome back PIAA!

  2. June 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm,


    A massive, continuing loss subsidised by the shareholders liquidating real estate assets to fund operations, on track to burn through the assets and be out of business in 24 months.

    Certainly sounds like a peak printing organisation.

  3. July 03, 2018 at 11:12 am,

    John B

    Evidently Banksy cannot read, nor listen to facts. The audited financials explicitly confirm that no property has been sold by the PIAA in FY17, and the Board made an unequivocal statement at the AGM on Friday that they are preserving real estate assets of the organisation. The audited financials also clearly show a significant improvement, year on year, of financial performance. We are seeing sound stewardship of our assets and association, by a new generation of printers. Grinding an axe there Banksy?

  4. July 03, 2018 at 3:47 pm,

    free falling

    John B,
    I think Banksy can read, and he’s actually reading between the lines!!
    I’d rather hear how the PIAA is tracking by someone independent, not by the CEO who’s obviously pumping up his own tyres…………. His comments sound a little exaggerated.

  5. July 03, 2018 at 4:02 pm,


    I never said they sold assets this FY, but it’s undeniable the money they got from the sale of Auburn a few years ago is being used to fund current operations and the losses associated with them, same as last year. Where else is the money coming from? Prudent cash management? All the printers rushing to throw money at them for membership?

    BTW, the asset sales are also funding an extra $100k in staff bonuses and funding to extreme right wing Liberal Party think tanks. Happy about that are you? I bet.

    The accounts are also mysteriously silent on a $500k+ financial impairment related to property that has contributed to the $1.4m loss. What was this related to exactly? The notes that are supposed to explain it are silent. But that’s ok right? Just more “sound stewardship” I guess.

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