Revenues went from $467.8 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $477.7 million in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of 2.1%. This increase is attributable to the contribution from the acquisitions in the packaging division, as well as the favourable exchange rate effect and the organic growth in revenues for the Printing and Packaging Sector. Organic growth in revenues is attributable to higher volume in the packaging division and higher demand for all services to Canadian retailers, namely for flyer and in-store marketing printing services, as well as for premedia and door-to-door distribution services, notably under the terms of the expanded agreement with Lowe's Canada, partially offset by the decline in revenues from the other printing division verticals. Net earnings increased by $3.1 million, from $45.9 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $49.0 million in the third quarter of 2017. This increase is mostly attributable to the increase in operating earnings, partially offset by the increase in net financial expenses. On a per share basis, net earnings went from $0.59 to $0.64. Excluding restructuring and other costs (revenues) and impairment of assets, net of related income taxes, adjusted net earnings increased by $6.0 million, or 13.6%, from $44.1 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $50.1 million in the third quarter of 2017. On a per share basis, adjusted net earnings went from $0.57 to $0.65.
Three newly graduated printers put themselves forward for the opportunity to represent Germany at the next WorldSkills in the print media technology discipline, competing in a preliminary selection round entitled “We make world champions” from 23 to 24 November 2016. Florian Kraus from AZ Druck und Datentechnik GmbH in Kempten came away the winner, with Andreas Will from the same company and Jan Jungwirth from Engelhardt Etikett in Nördlingen as runners-up. Florian Kraus will therefore represent Germany next year at the WorldSkills International competition from 14 to 19 October 2017 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The German competition was held in the Print Media Center of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). The participants were given two hours to produce a print job revealed to them during the competition. The jury – Harry Belz from Bundesverband Druck und Medien, Dietmar Meier, Head of Training from Mohn Media, and Josef Schmid from the public Berufsschule I in Kempten– scored the participants on their approach to color blending, the total time needed, and the quality of the printed product. The jobs were printed on a Speedmaster SX 52 five-color press with coating unit. Enn Kerner, Managing Director of Grafitek in Tallinn (Estonia), and Roman Silkin from the Technical College for Printing and IT Technology in Novosibirsk (Russia) were invited to observe the proceedings. Both gained valuable experience from the national competition and got an opportunity to exchange information and ideas with the printing experts. They will be able to put this valuable know-how to use in 2019 when the WorldSkills competition is held in Kazan for the first time.