Paper and Publishing News – March 2014

At last Spring has arrived, everything is starting to grow and we hope you are seeing some green shoots in your business. This month the clocks spring forward at 1am on the 30th March, meaning we lose an hour of sleep in the mornings, but I am sure we’re all looking forward to enjoying the lighter evenings and participating in an early evening drink or two!

However Mother’s Day is also on the 30th and those hard working Mums are going to miss out on an extra hour in bed. Another good reason to remember a card and some flowers!

What’s happening at Gould?

We are in the process of developing phase one of our customer on-line system. Using a secure login via our website, customers will be able to view their forecasts, orders & stocks. The system will also allow customers to generate various reports. This will be completed by May 2014.

We are continuing to working closely with CatEx Direct Commerce Association, and we have several paper workshops planned at the various events they will be organising during 2014

The first workshop will take place at the CatEx DCA Annual Summit on the 5th June, at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham. The informal workshop will include discussions relating to:

  • Choosing the correct paper to compliment your publication
  • Paper options which can reduce paper and postage costs, whilst not impacting on quality
  • How to work with printers to achieve efficient printing and paper wastage.
  • We will also have some exciting guest speakers joining us. Full details and information relating to how you can join us to follow shortly.

From Mandy & All at Gould UK

Paper

The Verso/New Page deal has stalled with Verso re-considering their options on the merger.

BillerudKorsnas have advised of a 35% Q on Q fall in operating profit. Net sales remained stable.

Finnish paper/board production dipped again in 2013 by 1% YOY – due to volume reduction in printings & writings. Packaging showed an increased, but failed to balance the figures.

The extreme weather on the US Eastern Seaboard will impact heavily on Q1/2014 results. This is a direct result of low temperatures, transport delays, higher energy costs and raw material costs.

Analysts are forecasting further capacity reductions and mill closures as demand for graphic papers continues to decline.

Publishing - Catalogue – Retail - Mail Order

Cat News

CatEx are to host a chaired forum for business owners at its Spring Conference. This will include catalogue print & production, plus special interest group sessions.

Retail News

M&S online customers experienced frustrations when the high profile brand operator suffered problems with the launch of their new website from day one. Previously based on the Amazon system, M&S opted to re-launch with their own in-house team.

Retail fashion outlet NewLook is to open 14 new stores in China this year, as well as venturing into Russia.

Publishing News

The results of a recent PPA survey have reported an increasing shift towards a multi-platform future, as a result of the growth in digital media. The survey findings indicated digital activity increasing to >32% of revenue compared with >15% just a year ago.

Quorn Publishing future remains uncertain with still no formal take up of the operation, having being put into administration by parent company Rosemary Conley Fitness Group.Whilst the fitness outlets are franchised, it had been hoped that one of the prospective interested publishing options would takeover Quorn and safeguard jobs.

Polestar Chantry has been awarded three French magazines by Groupe Marie Claire.

Haymarket’s Autocar title has been launched in the Philippines, which increases the publisher’s presence in the Asian market, with more than any other auto-media brand in the region.

Environmental

After many years of high profile controversial campaigning by Greenpeace about the activities of AP&P, the former have now reached a truce with the major Indonesian timber and paper group and suspended action against them. Greenpeace have announced that following their Conservation Policy Progress Review, AP&P’s progress with their forest conservation policy reflects a serious intent to deliver the new commitments of sustainability.

The activities of Greenpeace against AP&P over the past 10 years generated high profile media coverage, resulting in many major UK companies declining to work with any AP&P related companies & products, even when production was European based and holding responsible certificated accreditations from the likes of FSC & PEFC. Interest will now focus on whether this new peace, will prompt any re-engagement between former clients and AP&P.

Higher Kings Mill in Devon have become the first licence holder of the EU Ecolabel within the Copying & Graphics Paper sector.

Printing

The Communisis group provisional financials reports are showing a significant increase in sales in 2013, fuelled partly by their 10-year deal with Lloyds Banking Group for their transactional (direct mail) mailings. They have also announced a £30m spend on new Inkjet kit to improve their service offering.

MD Andrew Barker, is to leave Rotherham based printer Garnett Dickinson after 11 years in charge. Mark Bennett, currently Operations Director is to take over the role.