Archive for February, 2015

  • Issue 683 –27 February 2015

    The war between PaperlinX in Europe and the paper mills is a fine example of the old adage,… ‘don’t fight city hall.’ Under the former managing director, Andrew Price, there was a period of arm wrestling between the merchant and the mills over who has the power to sell to whom at what price. Whatever the pros and cons of the argument, it appears that PaperlinX is no longer in a financial position to carry on the fight.

    You are one of more than 7000 industry professionals across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing editor.

  • Debt down as PMP kicks the habit

    Once one of the most heavily indebted printing companies in the industry, PMP has halved the amount it owes over the past year to a new all-time low.

    With sales revenue of $427.3 million and $40 million debt to this half year, the company, notable the largest printing enterprise in the region, is on its way to being able to pay its long-suffering shareholders a dividend. With $20 million of new print and distribution contracts, especially from SA book printer Griffin Press, PMP believes the selling price of print has stabilised after many years of price cutting.

    PMP NZ did particularly well with earnings up 17%, mainly due to cost controls and a surprising 6% increase in sheetfed printing revenues.

    Peter George, CEO, PMP

    According to Peter George, CEO, (pictured) the ability for the company to reduce debt to such a degree is a clear indication of its cash generating ability.

    “Over the past few years PMP has gone through a period of major transformation as we have largely completed the first two of our three strategic priorities: cost- base reduction and financial risk minimisation. Debt has also been substantially reduced with net debt at June 2015 expected to be $17M  –  $22M providing the platform for the company to be net debt free by June 2016 in accordance with our three year goal.

    “We are continuing to focus on the third strategic priority, which is to build a more profitable and sustainable PMP by focusing on the company’s core expertise in print and distribution.

    “In Australia we have recently won a number of print and distribution contracts with annualised revenues of circa $20M. The benefits of these will commence in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.

    “We are improving our relevance to retailers who recognise the value of catalogues as an effective selling tool, either as a mass marketing medium or as part of a targeted campaign. The relevance is evidenced by the relative market stability of catalogues delivered over recent years. Industry statistics reflect that catalogue volumes have remained stable when compared to 2009 levels at 7.9 billion items. Our capability to assist retailers to target versions of their catalogues to specific geographic and demographic audiences continues to develop.

    “The current subdued retail environment has encouraged retailers to experiment with how often they issue their catalogues and how many pages they contain as they identify the most appropriate mix for their business. Nevertheless, while this has impacted catalogue distribution in the first half of fiscal 2015, catalogues continue to be a critical element of retail marketing and we expect this core part of our business to strengthen in line with the retail sector as it has done through previous economic cycles.

    “The company continues to position itself to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise from any structural realignment of the print industry.”

  • Europe paper war drags down PaperlinX

    A shocking performance by the troubled European assets of PaperlinX in the half year to December31 has taken the gloss off a good performance by the local Spicers company under new CEO Andy Preece.

    Direct sales at what, Robert Kaye, Chairman, describes as “unsustainable prices” by paper mills to PaperlinX customers in the UK and Benelux countries raised the stakes as demand dropped more than expected.  The paper war is a result of ongoing tensions between former management and some of the largest mills in the industry, with Andre Price, former managing director, taking paper mills to court.

    "This is a disappointing result out of Europe." Robert Kaye, Chairman.

    A strategic review underway is likely to see PaperlinX offload its European paper companies that continue to bleed money, with Kaye indicating that the results are putting pressure  on the Group’s cash situation. Negotiations are underway to sell either the whole of the Europe business or some of its operations. Given the company’s parlous financial situation the assets are likely to go in a fire sale situation.

    The half year report said that despite consistently positive performances from Spicers ANZA and Spicers Canada, the results are negatively skewed by the underperformance of the European business, which experienced a very tough  six months and in particular the  second quarter. “We have continued to lower our cost base through restructuring and cost reduction initiatives and achieved a drop in trading expenses but this has not been enough to offset  the fall in sales in Europe which has impacted the Group’s performance. This also led to pressure being placed on our European lending covenants,” said Kaye.

    “This is a disappointing result out of Europe. In December when we announced the Strategic Review, the Board flagged it was taking a more cautious stance on the outlook for  the European business and we had no choice but to consider the position regarding non-ANZA assets.”

    Since then PaperlinX has sold Spicers Canada for C$63 million ($AUD 645 m) after writing down the goodwill  by C$3 1.7 million.

    “The sale of Spicers Canada provides liquidity into the Group to ensure the Strategic Review can continue and ultimately can deliver the  best outcomes for shareholders,” said Kaye. “The Review is progressing and we remain positive about the prospects of securing transactions  with  one or more interested parties in relation to  our European businesses.

    “Once the Review is finalised and the recommendations are implemented, it is likely that PaperlinX will have a reduced portfollio.

    “The Board is confident that the newly appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Preece, will lead the Group forward with  a  renewed  focus for growing our  diversified offer and managing the  structural shift in Commercial  Print. Andy has a track record of building positive relationships with key stakeholders and  delivering strong results  despite difficult trading conditions,” said Kaye.

  • Industry vet returns to launch ‘business in a box’

    The latest Canon wide-format printer, ColorWave 700, is a refreshed version of an old favourite being introduced to the local industry by Haydn Wills, who, as product manager, has years of experience with the technology.

    The ColorWave 700 has spread its wings beyond the boundaries of CAD printing with capabilities for high-resolution graphics suitable for print franchises that want to offer new wide format services, like posters, roll-up banners and more, in addition to standard plan and map printing. It is now a brand new engine built on a depth of experience.

    "… to help our customers become more competitive," Haydn wills.

    Haydn Wills remembers  Océ’s early venture into wide format with the TCS400 inkjet. That was ten years ago before he headed off to explore other parts of the graphic arts industry as well as spend a couple of years teaching at a university near Shanghai. Now he’s back to introduce the latest version of the innovative ColorWave for Canon Professional Print.

    “Océ large format printers are the benchmark in productivity and simplicity for plan printing.  What we have here is effectively a whole business in a box. Colour and black & white are converging in our world and we are meeting that market demand once again by expanding our core large format capabilities to help our customers become more competitive. The Océ ColorWave 700 offers a unique combination of plan, map and graphical application versatility. It offers high speed, productive printing and operational simplicity that meets the rapidly changing needs of a professional print providers,” he said.


    The Océ ColorWave 700 with Océ MediaSense technology, lets shops print on media up to 0.8 mm outputting up to 1,800 A1 CAD drawings or 640 high quality posters per 8-hour working day. It can also print on low-cost uncoated media or high-end specialties to meet customer demands.

    Commercial printers can use the Océ ColorWave 700 to consolidate their large format plan and map printing along with graphical applications onto one easy-to-use system. It can replace multiple colour inkjet printing systems and improve efficiency.

    Significant technology advancements now deliver results for applications like colour posters, roll-up banners, disposable Point of Sale, modern canvas, wallpaper, etc. A new flexible and simplified service costing model makes it easier for commercial printers to cost graphical applications.

    To help save valuable production time, the Automatic Print Assistant selects the print mode, image position and media roll automatically. Six media rolls with 1,200m capacity ensures uninterrupted production. Media rolls can be quickly changed with the built-in roll loading station. The optional Onyx workflow also helps to match specific production needs.

    The Océ CrystalPoint technology ensures waterfast prints with sharp lines, high readability of fine details and smooth, even area fills. The high-quality prints have a silk-shine look and feel, independent of the type of media used.


  • PaperlinX shifts the focus back home with new CEO

    Turnaround whiz, Andy Preece, will be based in Melbourne as he takes on the top role at the paper merchant, following the termination of former MD Andrew Price’s European adventure.

    PaperlinX MD & CEO, Andy Preece

    Reflecting the changing dynamic and focus of the company, and the business, the new managing director and CEO will be effectively operating from Australia, with an appropriate amount of time spent in Europe. PaperlinX is currently fielding offers for some of its European businesses, following the sale of Spicers Canada.

    The role will be to grow the new diversified businesses in hardware and printing supplies while continuing to tighten up its management and operations. Preece’s track record in turning the local Spicers into a profitable diversified business obviously appealed to the board.

    According to Robert Kaye SC, PaperlinX Chairman, the business is undergoing a throughout revaluation of its direction and composition. “As we continue to evaluate all strategic options as part of the recently commenced Strategic Review, including the potential sale or restructure of part or all of the European operations and with the pending sale of Spicers Canada, now is an appropriate time to make this leadership change.”

    “The Board acknowledges Andy’s strong track record in leading the ANZA region to strong performances over the past three years and in particular his role in turning around the Australian business. He has proven capabilities to grow his businesses beyond the traditional commercial print sector as evidenced by successful diversified acquisitions in New Zealand during the last two years.

    “Andy is well qualified to lead PaperlinX as the focus shifts towards scaling up our diversified businesses and tightening operational management across a more dynamic geographic footprint,” said Kaye.

    With more than 20 years’ experience in paper merchanting and wholesaling Preece was appointed executive general manager, Australia, New Zealand and Asia in July 2012. Previously, he was group general manager Australia in 2011, and prior to that was general manager, Spicers New Zealand from 2007.

    “We welcome Andy to his new role and the Board looks forward to working with him as we complete the ‘Review’ and take PaperlinX beyond paper to a new chapter.” said Kaye.

    In an open and frank revelation of Andy Preece’s employment conditions, PaperlinX informed the ASX that his base salary of NZD 900,000 plus ancillary benefits such as superannuation may be adjusted in the event his responsibilities reduce following the completion of the Strategic Review if the outcomes include a reduced number of PaperlinX businesses. It seems to mean that the Board envisages him running a smaller company in the future if the European divestments go ahead.


  • $1 stamps to ‘save’ commercial mailing

    Allowing Australia Post to charge up to $1 dollar per stamp on social mailing is liable to take the price pressure off the beleaguered business mailing industry.

    In the face of the demand by Ahmed Fahour, CEO Australia Post, for unfettered freedom to set prices for mail deliveries, Bill Healey, CEO Printing Industries, is prepared to admit there may be merit in the proposed $1 stamp for so-called ‘granny mail.’  “The commercial mailing industry recognises that raising the price of general mail stamps to one dollar could provide sufficient scope to allow Australia Post to better maintain and promote business mail,” he said.

    "Time Australia Post worked with industry stakeholders," Bill Healey.

    His remarks came as the Australia Post honcho claims that without the ability to recalibrate stamp prices without restraint, the monopoly carrier cannot carry on without government subsidy. It will post its first loss in over 30 years following a $98 million first-half profit reported on Monday. Fahour claims the fall in profit was driven by growing losses of $151 million in the letters business, which is 57 per cent worse than the loss recorded by the letters business in the first half of last financial year.

    This is despite figures reporting that government and business mail account for over 80% and up to 97% of mail. Australia Post sets its own rate for a two-tiered system in business mail without any oversight from the ACCC.

    Bill Healey claims the release of the first half figures, the day before Fahour appeared before a Senate estimates committee is nothing more than a cynical attempt by its CEO to build support for major cuts to Australia’s postal services.  Speaking on behalf of an alliance of employer groups and unions, Healey slammed the demand for the removal of price oversight saying it was inconsistent to have an unregulated monopoly pricing system.

    “There has been no discussion with stakeholders and no promotion of the mail channel. Our members recognise the challenges facing the postal industry and are calling on the government to immediately implement the recommendation of last year’s Senate inquiry to establish an Industry round table involving all stakeholders before any changes to our postal service are considered,” he said.

    “It is time Australia Post worked with industry stakeholders and the community to develop a clear strategic direction for the future of mail services rather than misleading the Australian public on the continuing effectiveness and demand for traditional mail,” said Bill Healey.

    Result highlighted the urgent need for regulatory reform: Ahmed Fahour.

    The call for consultation is likely to fall on deaf ears as Fahour presses for urgent action to allow him to lift postage prices. “The immediate challenge for our business is clear. We have been carefully managing the real decline in our letter volumes for the past seven years. But we have now reached a tipping point where we can no longer manage that decline, while also maintaining our nationwide networks, service reliability and profitability,” said Fahour.

    “We urgently need reform of the regulations that apply to our letters service. A government-commissioned external report last year predicted that – without reform – Australia Post will incur $12.1 billion cumulative losses in letters, and $6.6 billion for the enterprise over the next 10 years.

    “This year we are forecasting a full-year loss for the first time. It is urgent we make changes this year to ensure we can continue to maintain a reliable, accessible postal service for all Australians.”


  • Issue 682 –25 February 2015

    Business can be a tough game. We’re often suspicious of others’ success, withholding congratulations as we ponder what corners were cut in getting to the top. This is the embedded ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, which we could well discard.

    We’re also quick to lay blame for failure, ignoring the role of bad luck and innocent mistakes. It’s not our best attribute. The Germans call it schadenfreude, taking morbid pleasure in others’ misfortunes.

    Suspicion narrows our vision and laying blame stops us from learning. While it’s late in the year for new resolutions, how about we give others the benefit of the doubt, dispensing congratulations and understanding in equal measure? There is no shortage of worthy recipients.

    You’re one of more than 7000 industry professional reading Print21 across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Insolvent trading – Printmotion broke for six months before going under

    Creditors left holding the bag for $200K as promo product printer folds under the weight of new investment in wide format as business went pear shaped.

    There will likely be nothing to share out between creditors at the first meeting on 6 March in Sydney. According to a report by Worrels the liquidator, the financial state of the company is such that even under the best scenario the most non-priority creditors could hope for is nine cents in the dollar. The more likely outcome is nothing.

    Initial investigations show that the business, owned by Paul Riddet and Stephen Richards, was likely to have been trading insolvent since August last year. They indicated that there was little prospect of success in pursuing the directors under Section 588G, which gives liquidators the right to recover compensation from directors for debts.

     The Australian director has insufficient means to make a payment should a claim be made. While we are advised that the director resident in the United Kingdom would likely have sufficient means to meet a claim, pursuing that claim overseas would complicate the recovery proceedings and considerably increase their cost.

    Overall the closure of Printmotion appears to have been done in a responsible manner, despite the findings of the liquidators. The only potential preferential payment was $25,284 to the Taxation Office – unlikely to be recovered. ASIC has said no action will be taken against the directors.

    Apart from that debt, owner Paul Riddet is owed the largest amount.

    Sometimes, it just happens.

  • Free sales scoping workshop in Sydney

    Proposal Scoping is the latest hot topic in sales and marketing. HP & Currie Group are hosting a training session tomorrow at Rhodes and all are welcome to get ‘an unfair advantage in deal brokering.’

    Marketing is right up the top of most CEO’s agendas but in B2B, where the rubber really hits the road we find persuasive conversations and proposals. Whether it be working with internal stakeholders, partnerships or sales, often it’s the conversation and conversion that makes the difference.

    To help grow your business in 2015, we would like to invite you to a highly valuable workshop on proposal scoping and prospecting.

    The Proposal Scoping Tool breaks down the conversation process into a workable journey you can take anyone on, in order to put the most persuasive case forward to do the deal you need. It is powerful in it’s own right as a discussion guide for all negotiations but also works hand-in-hand to create proposals that take less time to write and convert more.

Using a collection of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) phraseology and actions, including body language, it focuses on the true value of the solution rather than the costs of contributed hours and inputs. This means sealing the ‘deal’ with internal stakeholders and partners, more sales, greater conversion and better margins.

    What You Get:

    • A simple and practical understanding of how all humans make decisions.
    • A proven tool for scoping deals and proposals tailored for your business.
    • The ability to frame a deal or sale; based not on true value, not hours or inputs.

    Who Should Attend:

    Sales Managers / BDM’s / Sales Representatives (To maximise the workshop we would advise 2+ attendees).

    When & Where:

    Venue: Hewlett-Packard Australia
    Address: 410 Concord Road, Rhodes, NSW
    Date: Thursday, 26th February 2015
    Time: 8.30am – 1.00pm

    Sign on here.

  • Wide-format supplier hikes as Aus $ slides

    Spandex customers have until the end of the month to get in on the old prices as the supplier follows most of the industry in adjusting prices.

    According to Alex McClelland, managing director, (pictured) the deterioration in the currency is the main driver behind the price rises. “We’ve held on for as long as possible but there is no sign of the Australian dollar climbing back to over 90 US cents in the short term, or anywhere near the parity it enjoyed against the greenback in 2012-13. With the majority of our imports paid for in US dollars; this obviously affects the landed costs. However, for products we pay for in Euros, we will actually be able to reduce some prices, so it is not all bad news,” says McClelland.

    In a press release the company linked the price rises to world currency markets, which it says, are in a volatile state, with the Swiss Franc being de-linked from the Euro in January, causing wild fluctuations and economists predicting a bull run for the US dollar in the foreseeable future as oil prices remain low. The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens has openly advocated a ‘desirable’ exchange rate against the US dollar of 75 cents – 25% lower than one year ago. Lower demand for raw commodities from China is another significant factor. Compounding the issue is the fact that many manufacturers have passed on increases due to raw material and manufacturing costs which were absorbed when the exchange rate was favorable.

    “Virtually all materials used in the signage and display industry are imported,” says McClelland. “As the largest supplier, we do endeavor to protect both ourselves and our customers from frequent price changes but we are now undeniably affected by world currency movements. Several paper and media merchants and our competitors have already adjusted prices; Spandex’s new pricing will come into effect from March 1st so there is time for our customers to stock up if they wish to.”

  • ‘Last cheques, gentlemen, please’ – calling time on Shoalhaven

    Declining use of cheques in the digital age along with problems in terms of scale and converting machinery brings an end to Australian Paper’s south coast plant.

    Union demands for Government intervention fell on deaf ears as the Japanese-owned paper manufacturer bows to the inevitable. The closure this year comes following a lengthy review conducted by the company.

    According to Peter Williams, Australian Paper’s COO, (pictured) the mill will shut “despite the best efforts and ongoing support of our people at Shoalhaven over a number of years to remain competitive. The market for specialty and security papers such as cheque and watermark papers has continued to experience a significant and sustained drop in demand. Unfortunately, this has made the ongoing operation of the site progressively unviable.”

    The outcome is disputed by the CFMEU, which claims the mill could have been saved. According to Alex Millar, secretary of the CFMEU Pulp & Paper Workers District, what was required was a change in the Federal Government’s purchasing procedures for paper, especially security paper.

    “Had the Abbott Government listened to the Shoalhaven community, the mill workers, and its own local member, the mill could have been saved. They weren’t asking for a handout or injection of cash, simply a change in the Government’s purchasing arrangements to buy more paper supplied by the mill, and less from overseas.

    Shoalhaven workers in happier days.

    “This is a devastating blow to the 75 workers at the mill, and the broader Shoalhaven community. It will result in the loss of 150 flow on jobs and $20 million in regional household income in the local economy.”

    Australian Paper says that in the current situation it has no choice but to shut the mill. “The exact timing of the closure is yet to be finalised but production will cease during 2015, taking into full consideration the needs of our valued customers,” said Williams.

    “We understand this decision will be difficult for employees at Shoalhaven who have witnessed machine closures at the site in recent times as market conditions have deteriorated. We greatly appreciate their sustained hard work and commitment over many years.

    “As we work through the details of the closure with employees, and their respective unions, I want to assure them that we will be there to help them through this process,” he said.

    The Shoalhaven mill has lived on borrowed time for years as market forces squeezed its viability. Small specialty mills have been closing all over the world under the pressure of changing market demand and production efficiencies. Watermarked paper was Shoalhaven’s specialty, with generations of skilled paper makers able to produce very small quantities of the highest grade paper for products such as Australian passports.  No one has ever cast doubt on the paper-making expertise of the Shoalhaven workforce, who boast of being able to produce 1400 different paper grades from the single paper-making machine.

    However, free-trade oriented governments, of both orientations, have been unwilling to act to protect what is a 60-year-old bastion of manufacturing skill on the south coast of NSW.


  • Command Performance – Seiko Color painter

    With super fast print speeds and full colour density, the Seiko ColorPainter range of printers from DES provide speed with rich glossy colours, media flexibility and low running costs.

    SEIKO ColorPainter H3-104s PRINTER









    The ColorPainter H3-104s is a 104 inch wide-format printer, utilizing eight colours, with speeds up to 56.6m²/h. The high-speed printing capability of the H3-104s was developed specifically to address the growing demand for high productivity from the signage and indoor graphics markets.

    The new printer incorporates low-odour eco-solvent SX inks, which have already earned a reputation for providing rich, bold colours that last longer outdoors. The H3-104s also inherits the product concept of Colour On Time – Fast, Precise and Reliable. It delivers unmatched productivity and quality while reducing the impact on the environment, thanks to the integration of advanced technology to maximize the performance of SX inks.

     SEIKO ColorPainter M-64s PRINTER

    With super fast print speeds and full colour density, the Seiko ColorPainter M-64s provides speed, rich glossy colours, media flexibility and low running costs, all in a wide format printer with unmatched reliability.

    The Seiko ColorPainter M-64s is a flexible, reliable, high performance wide-format printer featuring better colour density and details at high speeds. The combination of high-viscosity inks and advanced printheads produce razor sharp, crisp images in all print modes – retaining details and colour density.
    The ColorPainter M-64s has been deemed the fastest usable eco-solvent printer in the world.


    SEIKO ColorPainter W-64s PRINTER

    While other prints lose density as they go faster due to small drop sizes and low viscosity inks, the new ColorPainter W-64s uses high viscosity inks and an ultra modern piezo-inkjet head to deliver outstanding image quality and no colour density loss.

    SIIT’s improved dot pattern enables razor sharp, crisp images at all print modes. Choose between high-production modes with unmatched print speeds, or high-resolution print modes with less grain.

  • DES sharpens focus on green credentials

    Fresh from gaining the Seiko SII ColorPainter M-64 wide format printer agency, DES is burnishing its environmental commitment with a ‘green’ refresh across its entire product portfolio.

    “In this day and age, very customer is looking for the best environmental outcome and we, as a supplier, are focused on delivering the most sustainable, cost-effective solutions to meet that requirement,” said Ian Clare, Managing Director. “DES intends to be known as one of the country’s leaders in the supply of ecologically sustainable products.”

    "Operating in a sustainable manner makes good business sense," Ian Clare.

    The message is backed up by Russell Cavenagh, Sales Director of DES, who points to the acceptance of Seiko Instruments’ SX ink into the Nordic Ecolabel product list. “The confirmation that the eco solvent SX ink meets the highest environmental standards, in addition to its wide colour gamut and outdoor durability, is a testament to the SI market leading technology.

    “It is an example of how DES is seeking to deliver only the best envirnmental products to the industry.”
    The SX ink, which is used in the SII ColorPainter M-64s, was approved as meeting the chemical requirements of Nordic Ecolabel for printing companies. The Nordic Ecolabel, also known as Nordic Swan, is a comprehensive Scandinavian Ecolabel that, for more than 25 years, sets the highest environmental standards for products and services.

    The attainment of the Nordic Ecolabel requires an assessment of the ecological footprint of each product. Accordingly, the eco solvent SX ink from Seiko Instruments, by meeting the stringent Nordic Ecolabel criteria has been shown to be ecologically sustainable.

    “It shows that the that eco solvent SX ink not only meets the highest environmental standards, but is also recognised for its wide colour gamut and outdoor durability. The listing is a testament to the SI market leading technology.

  • ‘The perfect deal’ – Dashing & OnDemand come together

    It is a merger of both print and sales expertise. Dashing print is a well-established business offering new and exciting capabilities

    In a sign of the new conditions of the industry, the merger of two growing, financially secure companies – Dashing and On Demand – has sparked a serious investment charge into HP digital equipment. Two HP Indigos from Currie Group, a Scitex FB 10000 and two HP Latex 3000 inkjets are just some of the impressive machines at the new Lane Cove premises.

    'Planning for the future,' Russell Kavnat.

    The merger is an outcome of the growth strategy of Dashing, with Russell Kavnat and Chad Jankelowitz seeking to integrate the production expertise of Chris Pilz, Jaco van Staden and their On Demand team. According to Kavnat there was no question of rescue or picking up a struggling company. On the contrary he said they almost had to plead with them to come on board.

    “We’re buying their production experience. Chris Pilz is one of the best production operators in the industry. He is quality obsessed and our customers are quality obsessed,” said Kavnat.

    The two business ethics work very well together, especially in wide format and digital printing. The resulting merger just before Christmas saw On Demand close its Cromer facility and move to Lane Cove, where, according to Pilz, they were up and running in the first week of January.

    “It was the perfect deal. Both businesses were growing strongly, both were well set up. It suited Dashing to take advantage of our strong expertise in production. They made us a fair offer and wanted to invest in the new equipment. It’s a very positive move for both parties and our clients. We were twenty five percent over budget in January,” said Pilz.

    The new $20 million plus business is 85 people strong and will take its place as a major force in Sydney printing. Although Dashing has a sophisticated web presence, the company remains client focused with almost 15 individuals working in sales and service delivering personal service to the growing customer base.

    Kavnat, a self-confessed workaholic, plans for future growth. “Our focus now is to bed down what we have here. There will be growth in the future, but we have no plans outside Sydney as yet,” he said.

    The two businesses will continue to trade as separate entities for the present time. The clients are the main focus of both companies. The multi-million dollar HP technology investment catapults it to the forefront of contemporary printing culture.

    In that respect Dashing is staying close to its North Sydney cultural heritage.




  • Issue 681 –20 February 2015

    Being able to pick trends is key to business success. You don’t always have to like the way conditions are trending to benefit from them. Sometimes the time to buy is when everyone else is selling. But some trends are good news for the economy and industry as a whole.

    The merger of Dashing and OnDemand in Sydney is a sign that the industry is emerging from the latest shakeout. Two financially strong, viable companies come together to form an even stronger entity. It’s a long way from the string of failures and rescues we’ve become sadly accustomed to in recent years.

    You’re one of 7000 printing industry executives reading Print21 across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor


  • Large-format grows 3.5% in 2014 – IDC

    Shipments of large format printers continue to be the stellar performers in the graphic arts industry with numbers up last year, but revenue scarcely moved, reflecting ever tighter margins for suppliers.

    Product mix changes and some very aggressive price promotions were held to be responsible for the revenue declines. Bargain basement deals in the final quarter of the year were a bonanza for customers but trimmed suppliers’ margins, now selling more for the same amount of money.

    According to Phoung Hang, program director, Worldwide LFP tracker IDC, the vast majority of the decline came from inkjet products, and with inkjet products a great deal of revenue is driven by the consumption of supplies.

    In the graphics sector wide format graphics printer shipments grew 2.1% year in 2014. Continued decline in the conventional aqueous inkjet printer market was offset by growth in the Latex, eco-solvent, due-sublimation, and UV-curable inkjet printer market segments.

    Toner-based wide format printers continued to decline in the CAD/Technical printer market segment  but inkjet printer shipments more than made up for the fall. Overall, the segment grew more than 4% worldwide in 2014.

     Vendor Highlights

    For the year, the top five suppliers to the wide format printer market remained unchanged, but within the segments there were small changes in market share among the vendors.

    • HP finished 2014 as the global leader in the wide format market. HP’s strong performance in the technical market and dominance in the Latex segment have driven growth in HP’s market share both in the fourth quarter and for 2014 in total.
    • Canon maintained its number 2 position among wide format printer manufacturers with 20% market share based on worldwide shipments.
    • Epson was the number 3 worldwide supplier to the wide format digital printer market in 2014 and is seeing growth in its new dye-sublimation and technical printers.
    • Roland was the fourth-ranked supplier to the worldwide large format printer market based on its strength in the eco-solvent business and growing presence in the UV-curable and dye-sublimation markets.
    • Ricoh’s strength in the wide format toner-based market, combined with its growing technical inkjet printers, give it the number five spot among wide format digital printer manufacturers.

    The top five wide format printer manufacturers make up more than 80% of global wide format shipments, but only two-thirds of revenue. With manufacturers like HP, Canon, and Epson dominating the aqueous segment, this points to the maturity of the conventional aqueous graphics and solvent inkjet markets and the fragmented nature of the wide format UV-curable inkjet segment.
    Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments, Shipment Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, 2014 (shipments in thousands)

    Vendors 2014 Shipments 2014 Market Share 2013 Shipments 2013 Market Share 2014/2013 Growth
    1. HP 130.9 40.9% 122.8 39.7% 6.5%
    2. Canon 63.9 20.0% 56.9 18.4% 12.2%
    3. Epson 61.7 19.3% 62.8 20.3% -1.8%
    4. Roland 10.9 3.4% 11.1 3.6% -1.5%
    5. Ricoh 8.3 2.6% 8.6 2.8% -2.7%
    Others 44.4 13.9% 47.0 15.2% -5.6%
    Total 320.1 100.0% 309.3 100.0% 3.5%

     Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, February 2015


  • Ipex not ‘dead’ says exhibition owner Informa. Andy McCourt EXCLUSIVE!

    “Ipex is not dead and Informa has every intention of running it again and is committed to working with the industry to ensure the next Ipex is both relevant and successful.” – Peter Hall, Managing Director Informa Exhibitions.

    Following the trade-show turmoil created by drupa’s announcement that it will switch to a three-year frequency cycle, Peter Hall, managing director of Ipex owner Informa Exhibitions has countered reports emanating from drupa’s global media conference that ‘Ipex is dead’ and is ‘unlikely to take place again.’

    'Developing a compelling new format that ensures both relevance and success.' Peter Hall, Informa

    Informa Exhibitions, who purchased Ipex from owners Picon (formerly the British Federation of Printing Machinery Manufacturers), in 2006 having organized the two previous successful Ipex exhibitions, is part of Informa plc, a London stock exchange-listed company specializing in B2B knowledge, business intelligence and transfer using publications, conferences, events, training, websites and trade shows. Its financial year 2014 gross revenues were equivalent in Australian dollars to $2.24 billion. Within this, Informa’s stellar performing division was its Global Exhibitions division, which recorded a 25% increase in revenue under the leadership of Peter Hall.

    A company of such substance and success, whose current share price is on a 45-degree upward trajectory, is unlikely to be fazed by one mediocre showing, which Ipex 2014 undoubtedly was. Rather, it is likely to apply all of its considerable resources to go back to the drawing board and come up with creative, innovative and new ways of delivering an event that the printing and graphic arts world wants and needs. Added to this is the recruitment of Patrick Martell, former CEO of one of the UK’s largest printers, the St Ives group, in a business intelligence role.

     Ipex 2014 suffered from several major exhibitor withdrawals including the employer of the then Ipex President, Canon. Still reeling from post-GFC effects, slashed budgets and industry consolidation, first Heidelberg, then HP followed by Canon, Kodak, Xerox and others pulled out of the show. Of the major digital suppliers, only Konica Minolta kept the faith and by all accounts had a very successful show. Companies such as Dainippon Screen, Fujifilm and EFI also stayed in and reported positive results.

    Perhaps Ipex 2014 also suffered from the change principle. It was the first time in 34 years that the show had been held in London, having been domiciled at the National Exhibition Centre, near Birmingham since 1980. Even that move was initially described as ‘disastrous’ as the dominant paradigm was that all big shows had to be in London. However, Ipex at the NEC grew to cultivate a loyal constituency, endeared to the semi-rural surrounds where friendly pubs abound and Bed-and-Breakfast accommodation could be enjoyed cheaply in places like Stratford, Warwick, Leamington Spa and smaller villages of Warwickshire while more elaborate hotels were also plentiful in Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull.

     Ipex is of course renowned for premiering digital printing to the world, with both Indigo and Xeikon choosing Ipex 1993 as their respective launching pads. While always more compact than drupa, it has consistently delivered an excellent programme of innovation, relevance and convenience, with English as the language for communication. Its traditional equilibrium, balanced at two-yearly intervals between drupas, has worked very well despite the 2014 hiccups. Until last year, visitors would always see drupa promoting at Ipex and Ipex promoting at drupa, by mutual consent.

    Now it seems that genteel understandings between trade show organizers have been subjugated by ‘Cry havoc and let the dogs loose.’ Drupa’s position regarding its triennial move, is that there may be some ‘irritation’ amongst trade show organizers in other countries who have always respected the Düsseldorf cycle. I think it is more than irritation; it’s anger at not being consulted.

    That drupa is an important and influential event on the printing and graphic arts calendar can not be disputed; it works superbly but it has ignored, or has just been blind to, the market stimuli that have allowed LabelExpo to become a global force in narrow-web packaging exhibitions, and FESPA to become a multi-edition and highly successful series of events for the burgeoning digital signage and display sector. Labels and wide format are the two highest growth rate sectors in the graphic arts.

    Drupa 2016 is already sandwiched between LabelExpo Europe in September 2015 and LabelExpo Americas in September 2016. It is also girt by FESPA Digital in Amsterdam in March 2016, just two months before drupa. It is likely that these two market events will impact on labelling and wide format presence at drupa.

     Back to Ipex; its smaller footprint and digital focus has always been an advantage. Because of the dearth of British print machinery manufacturing (Timson’s the last British press maker has just gone into receivership), the lobbying has tended to be more international. German and Swiss print manufacturing powerhouses such as Heidelberg, KBA, manroland, Kolbus, Goebel and Muller Martini have traditionally called the shots at drupa but the reality today is that Germany has almost no digital press manufacturing of its own origination and this vital growth sector is dominated by US, Japanese, Belgian, Israeli and even UK companies.

    Since its inception, drupa has had Presidents that have been associated with Heidelberg, Goebel or KBA.

    With a declining manufacturing base to support, this leaves drupa with the dominant function as a trade show organiser; much in the same way that Photokina has remained a popular photographic biennial event in Cologne despite once great brands such as Zeiss, Rollei, Leica, Voigtlander, Braun and Linhof having been steamrollered by the Japanese Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony.

    This means that the task for Ipex is one of developing a compelling new format that, as Peter Hall says, ensures both relevance and success. It is quite apparent that the resolve at Informa is to do just this and sources indicate that the company is already working closely again with Picon.

    This completely debunks the scuttlebutt that the show is dead and will not take place again. Informa is a major player in global exhibitions and growing fast. It has the resources to correct any aberrations that the 2014 event may have suffered from.