Net sales for the first quarter 2015 were $1.1 billion, consistent with the first quarter 2014. First quarter Adjusted EBITDA was $101 million as compared to $107 million for the same period in 2014, and Adjusted EBITDA Margin was 9.1% compared to 9.7%. The Adjusted EBITDA variance primarily reflects ongoing industry volume and pricing pressures partially offset by additional earnings on sales generated from recent acquisitions.
Allen Press was the recipient of eight awards in the Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica’s Graphic Excellence Competition (GraphEx). GraphEx was created in 1989 to recognize outstanding work in the print media industry. The Mineralogical Record, Volume 25, Number 5, the 2015 Ames Percherons Calendar, and FrontMatter, Issue Number 29, won Best of Category awards in Magazines, Periodicals and Publications (Web Press); Calendars (Booklet); and Newsletters, respectively. Allen Press also received five Awards of Excellence for various publications, including Orchids, Volume 83, Issue 3, Doll News, Summer 2014, Mineral Collections in Texas, the 2014 Windmore Literacy Magazine, and the Three by Three Illustrations Directory.
Webcrafters, a book manufacturing company employing approximately 400 people, recently announced to employees that it will be necessary to reduce overall staffing by at least 20 percent by this fall. These reductions were necessary because of a decrease in the work for a major customer and the impact on Webcrafters’ plant activity going forward. Positions will be reduced at both plants—Fordem Avenue and Westport—and in all parts of the company including management, manufacturing, office and customer service departments.
"Innovative technology is the key driver of change in our industry, and it has allowed us to differentiate ourselves as a leading integrated communications services provider," commented Ken O'Brien, RR Donnelley's Chief Information Officer. "Innovation is critical for our customers, so it is especially gratifying to be included as a leading technology innovator in the InformationWeek Elite 100." With a global patent portfolio of over 700 patents in areas such as print and digital imaging, RR Donnelley continues to develop and deliver innovative communication solutions that merge print and digital for optimized communications. Among the RR Donnelley technology innovations considered in the evaluation were printed electronics, radio frequency identification tags, mobile barcodes, augmented reality and high-speed digital color personalized printing.
The third annual Inkjet Summit wrapped up Wednesday night with an elegant awards dinner, a fitting celebration of another successful conference. The 100 printers in attendance spent three days at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club here, getting an in-depth education about high-speed production inkjet printing for book, direct mail, transactional and commercial printing applications. Current users of the technology shared their experiences with those still investigating it, and attendees networked constantly during the three-day event. Conference Chair Marco Boer, of IT Strategies, began the event on a positive note when he declared in his keynote presentation: “There’s probably no better (printing industry) market to be in than the production inkjet market.” He added that 164 billion pages were printed on inkjet presses in 2014, and that number will continue to grow rapidly.
Hearst Newspapers announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Cox Media Group’s Austin American-Statesman to handle Statesman Media’s printing and packaging operations at Hearst’s state-of-the-art production facilities in San Antonio and Houston. Statesman Media is part of Cox Media Group. Hearst Newspapers recently consolidated its packaging operations and upgraded its printing presses, enabling additional capacity to service other publishers in the region. These facilities currently print Hearst-owned newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Laredo Morning Times and the Beaumont Enterprise.
Polaris Direct, a nationally acclaimed direct marketing services provider and print company, is the first in the United States to install the new Xerox Impika Evolution inkjet press. With a focus on the future, and expertise in creating high-volume personalized communications, Polaris Direct sees now as the time to invest in the latest technology changing the dynamic of one-to-one marketing campaigns. “Data driven technology like the Evolution can bring personalized messaging with greater efficiencies and scale to our clients,” said Judith Maloy, Polaris Direct, director and CEO. The Xerox Impika Evolution has run speeds of 832 feet per minute and VHQ print with up to 600×1,200 dpi. It produces quality variable data four-color mailings at high-speeds and volume.
At the center of the investment are two presses—the 10-unit sheetfed Manroland HiPrint 700 perfector and the eight-unit, double-web Goss Sunday 2000—both considered manufacturing powerhouses in their respective categories. Facilitated by MKM Importers, the HiPrint 700 perfector purchase will improve Creel’s sheetfed capacity by 75 percent, while allowing more competitive pricing on up-to-10-color projects produced as conventional, UV, waterless, or custom rainbow security printing. The HiPrint 700 is equipped with an inline roll sheeter, which improves efficiencies and reduces paper waste. The Goss Sunday 2000 purchase is even more significant. The eight-unit, 48-page press will provide for a broader range of print formats and inline finishing for high-volume magazine, catalog, and newspaper projects, alongside notable environmental improvements.
The 2015 Best of Show entry, sponsored by Agfa, was won by QuadWilliamson in Dallas. The winning entry was a brochure produced for UT Southwestern’s Radiation Oncology department. Through the use of superb design incorporating powerful images and graphics along with the strong technical skills of QuadWilliamson’s personnel, the entry was clearly the top piece in this year’s competition. “Design and printing all came together in this entry,” said Glen Petry, the senior judge in this year’s competition. “The photos, the beautifully smooth special match inks and coatings, the minimal, but perfect binding. I had no difficulty choosing this entry as Best of Show. ‘The cream came to the top.’ It was super.”
Color-Logic, developer of the Process Metallic Color System, has certified the Graphium Digital UV Inkjet Press for use with Color-Logic files. Announcing the certification, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves commented, "Color-Logic technicians have tested the Graphium Digital UV Inkjet Press for compatibility with Color-logic files. Current and future Graphium users can be assured that their presses will accurately process Color-Logic files and produce striking images on metallic foils and similar substrates. Using the Color-Logic system means that Graphium owners no longer need to create white ink masks. Graphium presses, together with the Color-Logic process, provide printers with 250 new metallic colors and a virtually unlimited combination of decorative effects. As brands require many more SKUs to address worldwide markets, the Graphium digital printing solution enables them to stand out from their competition on the shelf."