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Lithographix Is Looking to Heartland for Further Growth

April 2002
LOS ANGELES—The economy may not be in growth mode, but Lithographix Inc.—one of the leading lithographers nationwide—certainly is on the move.

The Los Angeles-based sheetfed and web printer, with print production facilities in San Diego and San Francisco, enjoyed growth and expansion opportunities during 2001, and is now poised to make a run at the central and eastern portions of the country.

In August of 2001, Mike Hecht, executive vice president of sales, added Rob Styacich to Lithographix's executive management team. According to Hecht, "This was our first move to expand into the national market. Once we realized that our national expansion was next, we interviewed a number of people from various areas of the country. We hired Rob because of his excellent reputation and his leadership qualities."

"Business was good in 2001—in a down economy, we continue to perform," says Styacich of Lithographix, which posted $120 million in sales last year and has sales offices located in Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Seattle and Tampa Bay. "We have the best account management team in the country. They are seasoned professionals with strong technical skills, committed to supporting the needs of their clients.

"After completing my seventh month with the company, it has become quite clear to me as to why Lithographix has earned the reputation of being one of the finest lithographers in the United States," he adds. "The team that Vice President of Manufacturing George Wolden has assembled, combined with the culture that President and CEO Herb Zebrack started, demands complete customer satisfaction. A lot of the credit goes to Herb. He has assembled the team that makes our company stand out in the industry."

For the second time in as many years, Lithographix expanded its production base with the acquisition of an existing company. It acquired Bofors Printing, of San Francisco, complementing its acquisition of the San Diego facility in 2000.

"(The acquisition of Bofors) gives us the ability to deliver a smoother, simpler process locally rather than having their customers travel to Los Angeles," Styacich says. "It also gives our San Francisco account management team the ability to better serve their clients."

Lithographix has more than 500 employees across its network. Primary products include annual reports, automotive brochures, catalogs, corporate collateral and inserts. It counts Charles Schwab, Daimler-Chrysler, Bank of America, Saatchi & Saatchi and Team One Advertising among its biggest clients.

The 36-year-old company, which has grown in excess of $100 million the last nine years and more than 10 percent alone last year, continues to add to its dossier of equipment. Among its most recent additions:

* In January, the company picked up a 20-pocket Kolbus perfect binder with signature identification for its Los Angeles facility. The unit complements a full in-house bindery with folding, saddle stitching and perfect binding capabilities.

"We are the only large Southern California printing company with in-house perfect binding," Styacich says. "This reinforces the corporate philosophy of maintaining quality, yet making things as simple as possible for our clients."

* A four-color, 40˝ Mitsubishi perfecting press with aqueous coater was installed in its San Francisco plant earlier this year.

* A second eight-color Mitsubishi Diamond Z web press with pinless folding was installed in its Los Angeles plant in 2001.

Web printing could become an even bigger factor down the road for Lithographix as it eyes the central portion of the country. Styacich notes the company is looking for a medium-sized Chicago-based sheetfed printer that Lithographix can expand to include web printing.

"With the printing industry facing some of the toughest times it has seen in over 10 years, it is a real pleasure to work with a company that has stayed so focused to its commitment of making the process as simple as possible," he adds. "This, coupled with our commitment to total customer satisfaction, will carry us into the future."

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