FINANCIAL PRINTING – A Bull Without Horns?

The year 2000 brought a myriad of activity in the financial printing segment, from a slowing economy to a number of printer acquisitions.

BY CAROLINE MILLER

The end of 1999 will be recorded by many in the financial printing industry as one of the best years in modern history. However, the dawn of the new millennium found the financial printing market feeling the effects of a slowing economy. The year 2000 saw uncertain demand in capital markets activity, most noticeably the softening of IPO and mergers and acquisitions in the third quarter, leading to a significant slowdown in the number of deals brought to the market in the fourth quarter.

Top 10 Financial Printers
  Company Segment
Sales
(millions)
Total Sales
(millions)
1 Bowne & Co.
New York
$777 $1,010
2 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Chicago
$500 $5,000
3 Merrill Corp.
St. Paul, MN
$235 $587
4 Cunningham Graphics
Jersey City, NJ
$74 $166
5 Burrups Packard
Philadelphia
$30 $60
6 Applied Printing Technologies
Moonachie, NJ
$25 $105
7 Henry Wurst Inc.
North Kansas City, MO
$19 $97
8 Scott Printing
New Providence, NJ
$17 $35(E)
9 PGI Companies
Minnetonka, MN
$15 $38
10 MacNaughton Lithograph/
Command Web Offset
Secaucus, NJ
$14 $140

Despite this downturn, Paul Masterton, president of R.R. Donnelley Financial, contends that 2000 was still an excellent year for Donnelley Financial, which holds the number two spot among the Top 10 financial printers with market segment sales of $500 million. “Our participation in a number of large M&As, such as the merger of AOL and Time Warner, has had a sustained and positive impact on our revenue base,” says Masterton.

Donnelley also benefited from strong international markets, which continue to show great potential for long-term growth. “There was a resurgence of capital markets activity in Asia, with several large privatizations completed in 2000 and more expected in 2001.

“Donnelley’s European capital markets business has tripled since 1997, doubling in 2000 alone, a result of the European drive toward privatization, pan-European offerings targeting retail distribution, increased M&A activity and the growth of online financial communications,” reports Masterton.

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