2005 Book Market Outlook -- El-hi Fuels Some Optimism
The printer made strides in its web printing business, and growth in the sector justified the purchase of a new facility in Omaha, NE, to satisfy capacity needs. The purchase gives Walsworth a pair of four-color web presses, additional binding and mailing capabilities.
Other major book players are also embarked on revenue-enhancing initiatives. Courier Corp. plunked down $12 million for the April startup of its new four-color MAN Roland Lithoman IV large-format book press, which doubled its capacity. An identical model was ordered in November, with a startup target of next fall. Additionally, Courier Corp. is now offering customers online preflighting and soft proofing capabilities to enhance service and remove some time from the production process, according to Tobin.
RR Donnelley is touting the benefits of International Navigator, its global sourcing platform, particularly in the specialty sector. But the Moore-Wallace acquisition, which closed in March, provided the greatest influx of capacity and capabilities. For example, Donnelley is now able to tap into the extensive sheetfed complement Moore-Wallace added to the equation for those applications that call for it.
Quebecor World made waves a few months ago with the announced purchase of up to 22 new web presses for the company's U.S. book, magazine, catalog and retail platforms.
Von Hoffmann has taken an active role in its quest for growth. It launched a new design and premedia services business called Anthology, which boasts a new server with 16 Terabytes of online storage.
In another move, Von Hoffmann acquired The Lehigh Press, a leader in book components and direct response printed materials. In the process, Von Hoffmann invested to increase printing, embossing and foil stamping capabilities at Lehigh and integrated its printing on plastics platform. Last summer, Von Hoffmann was bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.