Publication Printing--On Top of The Rainbow
As for Quebecor Printing (USA)? Quebecor remains very bullish on the publications market, reports David Moore, vice president of sales and marketing, Quebecor Targeted Publications Group. "Our clients are indicating that 1999 will be another growth year, with many saying it will be equal to or better than 1998," Moore states.
As a corporation, the Montreal-based Quebecor Printing has made it a priority to align itself with successful business partners. At present, two initiatives are under way to help Quebecor continue its industry-leading efforts: globalization of printing services and continued service integration.
"Most of our publishing customers have global distribution or, at least, global aspirations," Moore reports. "Our acquisitions in Europe, South America and elsewhere give Quebecor an unprecedented ability to help its customers repurpose information for printing abroad."
As for service integration, Quebecor's direct mail facilities, for instance, are heralding some exciting insert production capabilities for Quebecor's publisher clients.
"Our marketing initiatives will be focused on helping our publishers convert some distinctive concepts into earnings," Moore continues. "The publications market holds great potential."
As consolidations continue on the publishing side of the business, Brown Printing has found itself dealing with the ramifications of a willingness by publishers to shut down acquired titles more quickly than they have in the past. Case in point: Brown lost more than $3 million in contract business due to title shutdowns in the last six months.
"We are seeing more publishers with 20, 30 or more titles. This obviously increases their leverage in negotiating printing contracts, which drives pricing down and puts pressure on printers to hold down costs and improve productivity to maintain margins," reports William K. Traub, vice president of marketing at Brown.
Brown's plan for 1999?
"We are basically bullish for 1999, but with the understanding that the current economic picture is in a state of flux—all projections mean nothing if corporate profits slide. While we don't believe the bottom will fall out," he continues, "we are reviewing our cost structures and operations to become a leaner organization if industry growth slows to 2 percent to 3 percent."