Archive for February, 2019

  • Jobs: Field Service Engineer, February 27, 2019

    Do you have proven experience in providing support of graphics systems applications and want to work with a genuine market leader?  If so, this dynamic and fast paced role should not be missed.

    Agfa-Gevaert Ltd is a subsidiary of Europe’s largest manufacturer of imaging products and the world leader in imaging technologies.

    We have an excellent opportunity for an experienced Field Service Engineer to join our team.

    In this role, you will be responsible for providing specialist on-site and remote technical customer support to high end Agfa equipment for the Agfa Graphics client base, including repairs and maintenance.

    Your major responsibilities will include:

    • Provide hardware technical support in a manner that is timely, consistent with the needs of the customer and the profitability of the company and enhances the standing of Agfa Global Services.
    • Provide post-sales support including on-site response as is appropriate, and research and resolve problems.
    • Undertake repairs to customer equipment to return the equipment to its full operating functionality by analysis and repair within an appropriate timeframe.
    • Undertake preventative maintenance to customer equipment to reduce the number of breakdowns of the equipment in accordance with Maintenance Agreements
    • Install equipment according the specifications within an agreed timeframe by understanding the Company’s products and deadlines.
    • Conduct product demonstrations and facilitate operator and other relevant training of Agfa equipment to customer base. 
    • Installation and certification of Agfa software products including commissioning installations, operator training and follow-up.
    • Maintain industry knowledge via newsgroups, the Internet and industry shows/exhibitions.
    • Provide training as required to Agfa technical and sales staff. Prepare training manuals as required.
    • Promote the use of service contracts to customers to minimise the number of breakdowns and unplanned service calls by regularly communicating with the customer and identifying their needs.
    • Identify any new opportunities for business and report to the sales staff by actively promoting the Company’s products and services and representing the company in a positive manner.

     What you bring to this role:

    • Secondary Year 12 secondary (or equivalent)
    • Tertiary qualifications in engineering or related field is desirable
    • Minimum 3 years in relevant prepress technologies and customer support
    • Experience in troubleshooting in a technical environment
    • Customer focus and excellent communication skills
    • Good technical and analytical skills for diagnosing equipment faults
    • Software and hardware knowledge of computing and peripheral devices
    • Knowledge of electromagnetic systems

    What we offer:

    • A dynamic global organisation with a history of innovation and strong product portfolio.
    • Challenge but always combined with a supportive team of colleagues and managers
    • Career development and growth
    • A competitive compensation package
    • A friendly work environment surrounded by dedicated and professional colleagues.
    • Must be already legally eligible to live and work in Australia

    Who we are:

    The Agfa-Gevaert Group develops, manufactures and distributes an extensive range of analog and digital  imaging systems and IT solutions, mainly for the printing industry and the healthcare sector, as well as for specific industrial applications. Although the company generates its entire turnover in business-to-business markets, it also contributes to your everyday life. Whenever you read a newspaper or visit a hospital, the Agfa-Gevaert Group is probably closely involved.

    Agfa is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to any legally prohibited reasons of discrimination.

    Click here to apply for this role.

  • Print21 Issue 1086 MIDWEEK SPECIAL


    Will Australia Post respond to its latest letters loss in the same sledgehammer way as in the Fahour era, by jacking up prices? Or will it take a conciliatory line under new CEO Christine Holgate, and work with the print and mail industries to come up with a more considered approach? Watch this space.


    For this, and all the stories you won’t find anywhere else, welcome to the ANZ print industry’s midweek news bulletin, brought to you by Print21 – the people who know print.


    Wayne Robinson

  • Letters put $125m hole in AusPost

    Letters plumetting: Australia Post

    The country’s mail monopoly Australia Post lost $125m on its letters service in the six months to December, causing profit at the service to slump by 45 per cent.

    PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay is calling on the government to prevent an Australia Post response that would be “gouging the private sector” by requesting price rises to address the loss. He said, “Someone needs to take action so Australia Post does not price mail out of the market.”

    PIAA president Walter Kuhn has also just met shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers, and impressed the same message on him. He said Australia Post is ‘reacting blindly’.

    Sending message on AusPost pricing: PIAA president Walter Kuhn (right) with shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers

    AusPost made$118m profit in the half year, down by $102m on the previous period, with revenue virtually static at $3.6bn. Parcel revenue increased by nine per cent to $1.9bn. A record 40 million parcels were delivered in December.

    Australia is posting 800 million less letters than three years ago, and the current rate of decrease is the fastest in the 210 year existence of AusPost.

    Macaulay said, “PIAA contends that the continued failure of Australia Post to pursue operating efficiency and rely only on price rices can only hurt mail industry and by knock on effect damage the printing industry as a whole. The flow on effect is damage to the Australian retail economy.

    “A 10 per cent increase on operating costs is risible, this is 7 per cent above inflation, and it is clear that Australia Post corporate has not placed any emphasis on securing operational efficiency.

    “The print sector continues to innovate and find efficiencies. PIAA extends a cordial and sincere invitation to Christine Holgate to meet and collaborate on making mail sustainable. The mail industry is Australia Post’s largest customer segment, and it would undoubtedly assist Australia Post to meet with and have ongoing dialogue with the industry peak body.

    Walter Kuhn,president of PIAA said “While the increase in parcels deliveries is commendable, it indicates a market shift rather than a directly attributable efficiency on the part of Australia Post. They continue to react blindly to market forces, with missteps and mis-calculations in their boardroom, rather than actively and proactively seeking the same efficiencies that the Industry as a whole is collaboratively working towards.

    “The visual communication industry has a vested interest in increasing volume of direct mail throughout the Australia Post Chanel. If Australia post needs to increase volume of mail through its supply chain to keep the pricing down and as a viable option then it needs to work with the industry to promote the benefits of mail and Look for efficiency’s throughout the supply chain.

    “We are the largest customer Australia post has, and we should be working together to find the benefits that will give us the increases that is required this ensuring that we are not priced our products out of the market and creating our own demise.”

    “Industry is collaborating to promote and drive direct mail, by running the ‘Direct Mail- the Real Disrupter’ innovative marketing event in Brisbane on Monday 11 March,” said Rod Peirce, Director of Smartcomm. “Direct mail is key to our economy, and print and marketing businesses continue to deliver value through this channel for retail”.

  • Pro-Pac hit by lower sales and higher costs

    Result below expectations: Rick Rostolis, acting CEO, Pro-Pac

    Diversified packaging operation Pro-Pac saw its first half figures impacted by lower sales in the agricultural sector, higher costs and adverse foreign currency movements, with its CEO saying the result is “well below our expectations.”

    Pro-Pac grew its EBITDA by 80 per cent in the first half of the financial year, on sales that were 63 per cent ahead, although the rise in revenue was due to the earnings from its two recent acquisitions. Net profit after tax but before significant items was $6.6m, up 63 per cent compared to $4.0m in the pcp.

    Sales revenue was $257.3m, up by $99.5m, which was the contribution from Integrated Packaging and Polypak. Its EBITDA before significant items rose to $17.3m from $9.6m.

    The company booked a statutory loss of $144.3m, which came from its $149m goodwill impairment, announced in November. There will be no dividend on the half year.

    The market liked the figures though, which were not as bad as had been feared. Its share price – which has plunged by a quarter in the past two weeks – was up by four per cent on the figures, However at 15c it is still down by two thirds on the 45c it stood at a year ago.

    Acting chief executive officer and chief financial officer, Rick Rostolis, said, “Whilst we saw strong performances in our Rigid business and recent acquisitions, the first-half was significantly impacted by lower than expected agricultural sales in our Industrial & Flexibles business.

    “Combined with increased input costs and adverse foreign exchange movements, this has led to a result well below our initial expectations. Earnings have also been negatively impacted by the lag in recovering significantly higher raw material input costs through price increases.”

    The company advised that given what it says are weak macro-economic conditions, its full-year 2019 EBITDA (before significant items) is likely to be at the lower end of its guidance range of $30m-$33m.

    Pro-Pac is still looking for a new CEO following the resignation of former incumbent and ex-Salmat CEO Grant Harrod late last year. Harrod remained with the business until Friday last week.

  • Active wins Myer supplier of year

    Award winning: Active Display Group at Myer

    Active Display Group has won the Myer Supplier of the Year award in the Best Store Design category for 2018.

    It is the fifth year in a row that Active has taken out the title, competing against what it says is ‘tough competition’.

    The company says it is “a well desrved recognition for the hard work and professionalismthat everyone across the Active business provides to Myer.”

    Myer says the Supplier Awards event reconises brands, merchnats and other busines spartenrs who demonsrtate committment and passion in delivering its customer first plan.

    Active Display installed the region’s first robot-fed Inca Onset large format flatbed printers last year. The company was formed by Jeff Gittus in 1985, and bought by WPP five years ago.


  • Hansen to be print voice on Skills Council SA

    Improve and increase industry apprentices: Rob Hansen

    Print training advocate and owner of Hansen Design & Print Rob Hansen is being appointed to the Skills Council for South Australia.

    Hansen became involved in training advocacy when he could not get TAFE training for is apprentice, 18 year old Nick Lacey, thanks to the SA government closing TAFE options in the state.

    Hansen is now a strong advocate among his peers for improving skills, training and apprenticeships – in particular, increasing the number of printing apprenticeships. The PIAA considers him to be an excellent appointment, who will be a passionate voice for South Australia, and the larger national print industry.

    Hansen said, “I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience to improve and increase industry apprenticeships. I thank the PIAA for its support of my application.”

    The PIAA says he will be the voice of the print industry in South Australia, to help ensure funding for vocational, education and training is aligned to the priorities of the print industry. He will assist in assessing the future skills required within the print industry, and assist in providing recommendations to the South Australian Government via his Industry Skills Council.

    Sarah Leo, PIAA Board member for South Australia said, “The print, packaging and visual communications industry has its challenges. However, Rob’s appointments gives us a measure of relief, knowing that the issue of apprenticeships, skills development and ongoing training is in capable, experiences hands.”

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA said, “Rob’s understanding of the print industry has a depth and breadth that exceeds his 40 plus years of experience. The Industry as a whole will benefit greatly from his appointment.”

  • A revolution in textile printing

    When the SureColor Fabric series was first launched it represented a revolution in textile printing. The equipment was designed from the ground up to provide a complete single-vendor solution with simpler operation, higher durability, and superior imaging.

    The F2160 is Epson’s latest generation Direct To Garment (DTG) printer. It features enhanced production flexibility, higher productivity, reduced maintenance, and a lower running cost.

    Optimised for customisation and value-adding on cotton based garments such as T-shirts, Polo tops, jeans and sweats, it will image onto a range of polyester sports and leisure wear, and can also be used for promotional and décor items including tote bags, tea towels and cushions. Prints can be made on pre-cut fabric or directly to finished garments with a heat press used to ‘fix’ the dye.

    The printer can be ordered in a 4-colour configuration for high speed volume production as well as a 5-colour configuration for flexible CYMK + white work. Hardware is covered by a comprehensive on-site warranty with service cover extendable up to three years.

    SureColor F2160 at a glance:

    • Direct to garment low-cost customisation of shirts, caps, bags, and more
    • Epson UltraChrome® DG ink delivers crisp and bright images with a low tack finish, high stretchability and good wash/UV durability
    • Improved performance and enhanced image quality with smoother gradation, an expanded gamut and Dmax
    • New platen grip pads enable faster loading and setting
    • Upgraded self-cleaning print head and new auto cap washing system for enhanced reliability, reduced maintenance and wastage
    • Supplied with enhanced Epson Garment Creator application software
    • Diethlene glycol free ensures for a safer work environment with Oeko-Tex certification so garments can be worn by adults, children and infants
    • Available in high speed 4 colour and flexible 5 colour with White configurations
    • Comprehensive warranty with service cover extendable up to 3 YEARS
    • Supports a wide range of garments with natural and man-made

    Epson UltraChrome DG Ink was developed to support fabric with a 50% or greater cotton content. It adheres well and fixes easily for images with a low tack finish that have good UV/wash durability. Both the ink and Pre-Treatment liquid when applied to cotton fabrics conform to the latest Oeko-Tex Eco Passport standard with garments safe for use by adults, children and babies.

    Click for more information.


  • Currie Group and HP to host security event

    Security printing opportunities: HP and Currie Group event in Singapore, click here for video

    HP and Currie Group are hosting a two-day security printing HP Indigo Brand Protection Solution event, to highlight security printing options on the narrow web HP Indigo, as brands suffer increasing counterfeit losses.

    The event is slated for 21-22 March in Singapore, and will also feature a host of third party developers who have been working with HP Indigo to produce security options. These include traceable inks, unique coding, and unique UV inks among others.

    Mark Daws, director labels and packaging at Currie Group says, “We have already had strong interest in the event, with more than twenty people across Australia and New Zealand asking to be booked in.

    “Counterfeit products represent a $1.2 trillion loss to brand owners, and danger to consumers particularly with counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and the projections are in the next three years that figure will increase by 50 per cent.

    “Label and narrow web printers that can offer their clients innovative brand protection solutions will clearly have an attractive proposition. This security summit will highlight the opportunities that are now available for narrow web HP Indigo press users.”

    According to HP, brand protection is one of the fastest growing sectors in print industry today. It says the event will cover all printers need to know to enable future growth in the profitable sector from hardware, inks, and software to solutions and substrates.

    There will also be the opportunity to check out the latest HP Indigo labels and packaging platforms at the regional HP Centre of Excellence, including the HP Indigo 20000 and HP Indigo 6900 Digital Presses.

    For more information contact

  • Snap Circular Quay and Enviro win Pixies

    Winner: Pixi multiple gold award winner Richard Cook (right), Snap Circular Quay, being congratulated by Roger Labrum, senior marketing manager, Fuji Xerox Australia

    Snap Circular Quay and Enviro Print have both taken out multiple awards at the annual Fuji Xerox Pixi (Printing Innovation with Xerox Imaging) Asia Pacific Awards.

    Snap Circular Quay took out first place in the Use of Speciality Colours: Metallics and White, implemented through its work on the Iridesse Production Press. It was also awarded first place in the Catalogues category. Enviro Print Group also achieved multiple award status, with recognition in the Posters, and the Cards & Invitation categories.

    “To be recognised across the region as a standout in two categories is exciting for our team, and of course our customers. Receiving two first place awards in the Fuji Xerox Pixi Awards has enabled us to showcase the type of output we are now producing in an evolving market”, said Richard Cook, managing director, Snap Circular Quay

    Roger Labrum, senior marketing manager at Fuji Xerox Australia said, “The Pixi Awards is an opportunity to reward our customer’s expertise in using technology in innovative and interesting ways that lead to the creation of fantastic applications, designed for a purpose and providing business benefits for their clients. We are very pleased to see that our customers in Australia have once again performed well at this year’s Award”.

    The Pixis recognise innovation and excellence in digitally-printed work from users of Fuji Xerox solutions across the Asia Pacific region. The 34 winning entries were received from Australia and New Zealand, China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    In addition to the existing 29 application-based and industry award categories, five new award categories were introduced – Use of Speciality Colours: Metallics and White, Use of fifth and sixth Colour Technology, Creative Use of Speciality Media, Inkjet printing: Signage & Display and Embellishment & Finishing. These new categories aimed to showcase the multiple applications of the Iridesse Production Press specialty colours and applications.

    Submissions for the Pixi Awards were evaluated based on print quality, appropriate use of digital technology, innovation, business effectiveness, and overall aesthetics – demonstrating a good balance between the quality of the digital prints and the ability of the Fuji Xerox solutions to deliver the desired results.

  • Newman sells Milford Astor to Aldus Tronics

    Sold to Aldus-Tronics: Milford Astor

    Terry Newman is selling his Milford Astor business – which includes Foilmakers Australia and Milford Astor Printing Systems – to Aldus Tronics, with the deal set to go through on March 1.

    Foilmakers Australia says it is the country’s leading independent hot stamping foil and thermal ribbon company. Milford Astor Printing Systems supplies of pad printing equipment and supplies, hot stamping machines, artwork, dies, cliches and screen printing machines as well as a wide range of associated printing consumables.

    Newman says the deal is “a comfortable fit”. He will remain the CEO until his replacement settles in, at which time he has agreed with Aldus-Tronics to carry on developing the exports of the stamping foil that is manufactured in othe Melbourne plant.

    All staff have agreed to become employees of Aldus-Tronics and for the foreseeable future, other than Newman, there will be no changes to the operations or locations. Milford Astor has been in operation since 1954

  • Fespa fast fashion factory to double in size

    Fast fashion: expanding opportunity, Fespa to highlight

    The Print Make Wear fast fashion factory feature at Fespa Global Expo 2019 in Munich will be twice the size it was last time out, reflecting the demand and opportunity for quick turnaround items that can be printed digitally.

    The fast fashion factory feature was introduced at the flagship Fespa event in Berlin last year, to meet the needs of visitors interested in the opportunities in printed fashion textiles and garments.

    Taking the form of a live production environment, Print Make Wear addresses every step in the garment production process. This begins with planning, design and prepress, progressing to printing, drying, cutting, sewing, welding and embellishment, and finishing with packing and retail display.

    Free guided tours of the fast fashion event can be pre-booked here.

    At Fespa Global Print Expo 2019 the expanded feature will allow more space to showcase a more comprehensive range of garment printing technology solutions and consumables, as well as incorporating a staged area for presentations and debates and a catwalk for fashion shows.

    The visitor experience will also be enhanced with two separate guided tours, one with a focus on direct-to-garment production and the other tailored to visitors interested in roll-to-roll production.

    The technologies showcased within Print Make Wear 2019 will include direct-to garment digital and screen printing presses with both automatic and manual presses printing on water-based inks, the roll-to-roll digital technologies will include dye-sublimation as well as other textile print technologies, with the support of brands including Adobe, Adelco, EFI, HP, Mimaki, Vastex MagnaColours, Easiway and Premier Textiles.

    Fespa head of events, Duncan MacOwan comments: “Year after year, independent market insights and visitor feedback reinforce the rising levels of interest in textile printing, while our own Fespa Census in 2018 indicated that sports apparel and fast fashion are two of the most dynamic growth applications in our community. Visitor response to the first Print Make Wear feature last year was positive, with more than 2,000 visitors taking part in our expert-guided tours.”

    He continues: “We’re confident that, whatever their level of knowledge or investment in garment printing, visitors to Print Make Wear 2019 in Munich will leave with a deeper understanding of the opportunities to optimise production, improve sustainability and boost profitability.”

    Print Make Wear is free to attend for registered visitors to Fespa Global Print Expo 2019. The feature is part of a programme of free educational content which also includes the new Colour L*A*B* colour management showcase and conference, Printeriors and a comprehensive schedule of live seminars in the Trend Theatre.

    For more information about Print Make Wear, visit To pre-register to attend Fespa Global Print Expo 2019 visit, and use code FESM906 for free entry.

  • Yarrow new president Kornit Digital Asia Pacific

    Market shift to on-demand retailing: Andy Yarrow, new preisdent Asia Pacific Kornit Digital

    Andy Yarrow is the new Asia Pacific president of innovative digital textile printing technology company Kornit Digital. He will oversee all the company’s operations in the region, which includes Australia and New Zealand.

    He joins from EFI, where he held several sales and management roles in Europe and Asia Pacific for the past 12 years, most recently in Hong Kong as the head of Asia Pacific Sales. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, he spent two years in Japan as head of EFI’s Fiery and Inkjet business in Asia Pacific. He has been in the industry for 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Imaging.

    Yarrow will focus on accelerating the company’s growth across the region, ans says Kornit on optimising the team structure towards customer success and empowerment. He will focus on expanding Kornit’s footprint in the customised design segment, as well as expand the business in Asia Pacific by entering new segments, such as the brands, private labels, promotional, and other leading screen printers, and users of Kornit’s upcoming new technologies, such as printing on dark polyester.

    Commenting on the appointment, Gilad Yron, Kornit Digital’s executive vice president of Sales, said: “I welcome Yarrow on board as the new President of Kornit Digital Asia Pacific. He brings with him 15 years track record at various leadership levels, deep understanding of local and global markets as well as a sound industry background. He will steer Kornit Digital’s Asia Pacific business through the next phase of growth.”

    Yarrow said, “The era of self-expression has arrived, and consumers now want their products quickly and with a personal statement. The supply chain must find ways to adjust to meet these demands.

     “Kornit is a global leader in digital textile printing. It offers cutting edge solutions to these complex supply chain and logistics issues by facilitating proximity manufacturing to reduce shipping times, eliminating inventory risk and enabling short runs. The market shift to on-demand retailing unfolds the opportunity for driving Kornit’s growth to the next level and I am looking forward to leading this exciting journey in Asia Pacific.”

  • PIAA to host casuals, twitter and direct mail seminars

    Hot topic: casuals

    March sees a host of opportunities for print business owners and managers to increase their knowledge, with four PIAA hosted educational events on the cards.

    First up on is a light breakfast session on Thursday 7 March, with an introduction to Twitter for Printers and #PrintChat. It will be overview of how to use Twitter, and a live #Printchat. The event is being held at PIAA Melbourne, unit 3, 5-7 Compark Circuit in Mulgrave. Book in by 6 March.

    Monday 11 March the association is hosting an after work seminar Direct Mail – the real digital disruptor, from 5pm-8pm in Brisbane. Attendees will learn the secrets to creating outstanding direct mail with two of the worlds’ best practitioners – Australia’s Malcolm Auld, and the UK’s Steve Harrison. It will be held at Flight Centre HQ, level 15, 275 Grey St in the CBD. You have until 4pm on the day to book in.

    March will also see two sessions on the hot topic of casual employees, in the spotlight thanks to a push to give them the same benefits as permanent staff, which employers argue are already accounted for in their higher hourly rate.

    The PIAA’s new industrial advocate Sam Puri will lead the seminar and discussion in Melbourne, while PTW Lawyers and Notaries will run the Sydney event. Melbourne takes place Thursday 14 march, Sydey Tuesday 19 March. Bookings will open soon.

    Email for more information.

  • Print21 Results Special – issue 1085


    The big two have just published their half year results, fascinating stories. And champagne corks will be popping in Clarence St, IVE is now the biggest printer in the country. Its revenue is higher than that of Ovato (PMP), although both companies have myriad other operations alongside print.


    Welcome to the Results Special news bulletin for the Australian and New Zealand print industries from Print21 – the people who know print.


    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor

  • Ovato to close Moorebank as first half revenue slides

    Manufacturing efficiencies: Kevin Slaven, CEO, Ovato

    Ovato (formerly PMP, Gordon & Gotch, Griffin Press and 20 other associated businesses) will close its Moorebank print site and consolidate all its NSW print into the Warwick Farm facility, as the company responds to declines in the real estate, magazines and catalogues markets.

    In the first half of the current financial year Ovato saw its revenue slide by $37m, down by 9.2 per cent to $363m, with its EBITDA down by 7.7 per cent to $18.6m. Net loss after significant items was $10.9m, compared with $19.5m in the same period last year. It is printing 11 per cent less paper at 142,200 tonnes.

    Ovato’s share price fell by 12 per cent on the half year results and outlook to 15c, equalling its lowest ever value of six years ago.

    The company has a cautious outlook for the second half of the year which it says is “reflected in a reduction in H2 forward bookings for newspapers, magazines and non-food and beverage catalogue customers.” It says the outlook for Tier 1 food and beverage catalogues remains “in line with previous expectations.” Its EBITDA guidance for the full year is “at or around the lower end of the $37m-$40m previously announced guidance.”

    Ovato Australia catalogue print and distribution volumes are forecast to continue to reduce by 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year, while the rate of decline in publishing volumes is set to stabilise with reductions of 5 per cent to 10 per cent annually.

    However Ovato Print Australia saw its EBITDA soar by 38.7 per cent to $13.2m, on sales that were down by 12.9 per cent to $213m, the figures reflecting operational efficiencies achieved in tough trading conditions. By contrast New Zealand Print struggled on overcapacity impacting pricing, with its EBITDA down by 54 per cent to $3.5m, on sales that were 2.8 per cent down to $62.6m.

    The company said its Australia Print revenues were lower mainly from $6m of catalogue work lost due to the sale of one of its customers, and $6m of lost magazine contracts. It saw a decline in catalogue revenue from customers who closed their businesses, this was $2m against pcp. There was $13m of lower magazine and newspaper volumes from existing customers, due to the weaker real estate market and reduced advertising pages. Its Tier 1 existing customer catalogue volumes and sell prices have remained stable compared to last year.

    Heatset profit was up $3m pcp as operational savings around labour costs, ink and R&M, and lower headcount, more than offset the impact from lower sales volumes and higher paper prices.

    Ovato Book Printing (previously Griffin Press) revenue was$0.6m or 3.8 per cent higher. EBITDA (before significant items) was up $0.7m pcp, as volumes held, and higher sell prices and lower costs more than offset higher paper prices.

    In New Zealand revenues at $62.6m were down $1.8M or 2.8 per cent pcp due mainly to lower heatset sell prices and magazine distribution print revenues. Kiwi Sheetfed and Distribution sales were broadly in line year on year. The non-print and sheetfed print businesses were broadly flat pcp with the reduction in NZ profitability largely due to performance of the heatset print business.

    While print volumes were flat year on year several major print contracts were re-signed with sell price reductions, due to aggressive competition. In addition higher paper prices were not fully recouped.

    Ovato is now looking at market rationalisation and consolidaiton options for its New Zealand business.

    Ovato CEO and managing director Kevin Slaven said,“It is encouraging to see that our margin improvement strategies, initially focused at Ovato Print Australia, are having a positive impact. . While we recognise there are still challenges ahead to improve returns across the group, we continue to make steady progressand our ongoing initiatives allow us to affirm our medium-term targets”.

    It will cost Ovato $30m to close Moorebank and transfer “the best of our equipment and personnel” to Warwick Farm, which is also getting a new 80pp manroland Lithoman during the year. CEO Slaven has already flagged the decommissioning of “four or five” existing presses once the new Lithoman is up and running. Ovato says it will save $24m a year by closing Moorebank.

  • All figures up for IVE as heavy lifting over

    Huge vote of confidence in sector: Geoff Selig, executive chairman IVE Group

    Diversified marketing communications group IVE saw all figures rise in the first half of the year, as its senior management lauded its investment into print, and said the heavy lifting phase was behind it.

    IVE, which has multiple divisions including print businesses Blue Star – which has web, sheetfed and display print operations – and Franklin Web, achieved revenue up by 4.5 per cent to $375.6m, with EBITDA of $43.4m, a 13.3 per cent rise on the prior corresponding period, while net profit after tax was up by 7.9 per cent to $20.8m.

    The company paid an 8.6c dividend, which was 7.5 per cent more than last time around. IVE expects the key drivers of growth to continue over the remainder of the financial year.

    Speaking to Print21 this morning IVE executive chairman Geoff Selig said the company was now realising the returns of its strategic initiatives implemented over the past two years. He said, “The company is positioned to leverage off its investments, and deliver solid results in the forthcoming period.”

    Chief financial officer Darren Dunkley told investors there would be no significant capex in the 2019-2021 period. The company is now set to deliver its value proposition to the market following the period of rapid activity which has seen it buy and integrate several print businesses, build the country’s biggest new web plant in years, and invest in other areas of its business.

    The $16.3m revenue increase in the half year was due to new customer wins, cross selling to existing customers, key contract extensions, and revenue for the full period from its prior acquisitions. There were no significant contract losses during the half year.

    Gross margin increased by 0.5 per cent, thanks to reduced outwork as Franklin Web was in full operation throughout the period, although printing costs did take a hit from increased paper prices. Net cash flow was up by a fifth.

    Selig said: “In October 2018 we concluded the most significant investment programme the sector has seen for many years, a huge vote of confidence in the sector itself, and in our capacity as a business to execute major initiatives successfully.”

    “Our FY19 half year results clearly demonstrate the benefits from this investment programme are flowing through with operational efficiencies, margin expansion, and the resulting uplift in earnings.”

    Heavy lifting phase behind us: IVE managing director Warwick Hay

    IVE Group managing director Warwick Hay said: “With the heavy lifting of our recent investment and integrations phase now behind us, we continue to be focused on delivering exceptional service to our customers to underpin revenue retention and growth.

    “The positive momentum that resulted in a strong H1 performance has continued into H2, giving us the confidence of delivering solid earnings growth for the full year.”

    IVE officially opened the new $50m Franklin Web supersite in Sydney late last year, to mirror the Victoria operation.

  • Roads, Fly and Locate soar for oOh! as Retail falls

    Rising: oOh! figures up everywhere except retail

    Outdoor media giant oOh! Media achieved 10 per cent organic growth in the full year, which was boosted by the fourth quarter earnings of its Commute (Adshel) acquisition.

    Organic revenue increased by $42m to $416.8m. Digital rose by a whopping 27 per cent, and now accounts for $288.1m.

    The company saw strong revenue growth in Road sector of 13 per cent, and ongoing significant improvements in Fly which was up by 25 per cent and Locate up by 23 per cent from the previous year. Retail saw a three per cent downturn in Australia, although achieved double digit growth in New Zealand.

    The contribution from the Commute business, which was acquired on 28 September, resulted in total revenue increasing by 27 per cent to $482.6m.

    Total Underlying EBITDA increased by 25 per cent to $112.5m with organic underlying EBITDA growth (excluding Commute) increased by 5 per cent to $94.2m.

    Brendon Cook, CEO, said 2018 was a transformational year, as the company continued to build a sustainable and growing Out Of Home business for the future. He said, “The acquisition of Commute brings the complementary segments of street furniture and rail to our portfolio. This ensures oOh! has the most diverse and integrated national audience delivery network in the industry, extending our audience reach to well above 90 per cent of the Australian population, and the largest coverage in New Zealand.

    Retail: out of home media spend falls

    As Out Of Home is being transformed by technology, we continue to lead the industry in creating a new media business driven by data, content and innovation.

    oOh! Is one of the country’s two big outdoor media companies following the mega shake down in the sector last year that saw JC Decaux take over the APN Outdoor business. Ooh! owns award winning large format print business Cactus Imaging.

    The out of home media sector is racing towards a $1bn spend, last year total revenues were up by 10.8 per cent to $927m on the year before. Digital outdoor has overtaken print as the majority of spend, but print at 47 per cent is still rising, albeit only slightly, up to $438.47m, up a smidgen from $437.75m in 2017.