Book Market Outlook -- El-hi, Potter Hold Keys To Success
"What has made a difference for us, in total, is the educational market—particularly college texts," Allee says. "That's the sector in which we've been exerting capital and resources. We're very bullish about that going forward, as government funding for elementary and secondary products takes hold in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and college enrollments grow as expected."
Trade Books Come Back
Allee predicts a rebound in the consumer trade book segment, which has been lacking in blockbuster releases recently and tends to be tied to a weak economy. Quebecor World has experienced only a one or two percent decline, he notes. "We don't see wild swings. I'm fairly optimistic going into next year that we're going to hold our own. Overall, were in a one to two percent growth environment for books. That's tied to unit growth, not to the publisher's sales growth. That's a healthy environment.
"I feel confident that we're lined up in the right segments, and we'll continue to capitalize in the areas that have the highest growth potential for us."
Quebecor World has concentrated on augmenting its educational related capabilities with a multi-million investment in front end, press and bindery expansion. This was done to take advantage of publishers' success in key state adoptions.
North America's largest printer is also lending a hand to help customers keep costs in check. The three-pronged attack features: volume consolidation in a standardized format, the key to efficiency, productivity gains and savings that can be passed on to clients; controlling all aspects of book components; and the benefits of dealing with Quebecor World's worldwide network of product and service providers.
"We're not supplying (components) across the board," Allee notes. "Neither are our major competitors. In time, I see the concentration of book manufacturers supplying the covers, the jackets, the inserts—all of the elements and components that go into making the book. That is certain to provide a cost savings potential and an improvement on turnaround and speed to market. We are positioning our operations to further support our customers in that context by getting their products to market faster."