PI 400 -- Financial Printing - It's Been a Bear of a Year
While much of the year remained mired in a poor economy, the month of August seemed to be the beginning of the turnaround that everyone had anxiously awaited. Sadly, world events stepped in.
"The capital markets gained some momentum in August, when activity approached 2000 levels. September started out strong, but fell dramatically—42 percent from August—in the post-September 11 period as a result of the stock markets remaining closed for four days and the extreme market uncertainty that followed," states Masterton.
While the terrorist attacks had an enormous impact on R.R. Donnelley clients, the attacks also struck close to Donnelley Financial's home. Donnelley Financial has facilities in both Manhattan and in Arlington, VA.
"Given the proximity of our Manhattan service center to Ground Zero, the impact for us was significant. Our service center in Arlington, VA, was also evacuated and remaining closed for two days because of its proximity to the Pentagon. Donnelley's employees were safely evacuated, with no injuries reported."
Despite the attacks, Masterton contends that Donnelley Financial will remain in New York. "We are fully committed to a strong presence in New York City, and plan to reoccupy our 75 Park Place facility in Lower Manhattan as soon as possible. Additionally, we will be opening a service center at 520 Madison Avenue to serve our clients in Midtown Manhattan."
Despite an arduous year, R.R. Donnelley Financial is optimistic about 2002. Part of that hope stems from R.R. Donnelley's foresight, claims Masterton. Going into 2001, the printer realized that it was going to have to face the reality of a slowing economy. So the company developed a strong action plan.
"We knew that we would have to take definitive action to position ourselves for profitable future growth and ongoing development of new opportunities," he reports.
Nicknamed the "A-List", the action plan included acting, aligning and adapting to the new conditions in order to achieve success. It acted by reducing costs, minimizing discretionary spending and improving operational cost-efficiencies—including work force reductions.