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2004 Fast-Track Firms -- Success Despite Adversity

December 2004
By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

Those pundits who, a year ago, predicted that an improved economy would translate to a trickle-down effect for the commercial printing industry were eventually right. After a three-year funk, many observers impatiently watched as 2004 jumped into gear like a lazy teenager preparing for his final spring in high school.

But as the second half of the year garnered steam, so did the industry. Graph Expo & Converting Expo produced solid foot traffic and sales volume, and a number of printers announced substantial capital investment initiatives. By year's end, the confidence in improving numbers was no longer wistfully forced.

As you look at the following fast-track companies, please keep in mind that most of these performances were for the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2003, before the perceived (or real) recovery. That didn't stop these printers from flourishing.

A sampling of the year's finest performers is listed below, in no particular order.

Pictorial Offset

Carlstadt, NJ

2004 Ranking: 86

Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $68M

Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $56M

Pictorial Offset, which grew by 21 percent year-over-year, works with customers and supporting advertising agencies to advance their electronic and print promotional marketing strategies within the pharmaceutical, communications, automotive and luxury goods markets.

During 2004, Pictorial Offset added critical sales personnel, resources to expand its "Design to Destination" service offerings and developed Web-based solutions aimed at reducing cycle times, headaches and money spent by customers.

"The driving forces enabling our growth stem from a conscious effort to define and grow Pictorial Offset as a brand that represents a passion for customer satisfaction, superior quality and reliability, as well as community stewardship," notes Gary Pawlaczyk, vice president of sales and marketing.

The company prefers to take a long-term, solutions-based approach to strategic technology investments by projecting ahead up to five years to gauge future client needs. Particularly, Pictorial Offset has focused its recent efforts on prepress technology, adding personnel to expand on its color retouching, print ad distribution and Staccato screening capabilities.

Pictorial expanded its on-site mailing and fulfillment business, Pictorial Mailworks, and plans to install an eight-color MAN Roland sheetfed press with UV coating capabilities.

Trend Offset Printing

Los Alamitos, CA

2004 Ranking: 26

Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $230M

Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $187.6M

The masters of coldset and heatset web printing have been on a tear since the addition of strategic facilities in Carrollton, TX, (in 1998) and Jacksonville, FL, (2001). Sales for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2003 were $230 million, up from the $187.6 million performance posted the previous year.


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