PI 300 Fast-Track Firm: BR Printers Drives Growth Through M&A Activity, Investments
Even though the broader business effects of the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to printing companies of all kinds — the spikes of different variants, supply chain challenges, staffing shortages — the broader trend has been positive. Printing, in its many roles, is back.
For some, the speed of growth between the rather calamitous 2020 and the suppressed, skeptical hope of 2021, was profound. For a variety of reasons, some establishments had a very good year indeed. The focus of our series of fast-track profiles is to understand why certain printing companies performed so well, and how — as high performers — they view the printing industry moving forward. For this reason, Printing Impressions presents its 2022 Fast-Track companies that appeared among the 2022 Printing Impressions 300 list of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales. Click here to access the complete list.
The summary of BR Printers that follows recognizes this company as a “fast- track” firm that has been committed to growth, expansion, and exemplary performance.
BR Printers | San Jose, California
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $52.91 Million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $21.44 Million
Percentage Growth: 147%
According to Adam DeMaestri, company CEO and president, BR Printers started as a digital printer with services centered around its core market: custom printed educational materials — mostly books for primary, secondary, and post-secondary learning. Through a series of acquisitions, however, the company has greatly expanded its reach to serve a wider client base with a vast range of products.
Much of BR Printers’ impressive growth between 2020 and 2021 is the result of its aggressive approach to expansion through acquisition. The impetus for expansion came from a realization that, while the company is located near Silicon Valley, it wasn’t serving major companies in that sector.
Highlighting notable acquisitions during the past few years, DeMaestri includes the acquisition of NGS (National Graphic Solutions), which brought expanded offset capability and access to the children’s book market; CJ Krehbiel Co. (now BR Ohio), which added to both offset and digital capability; and Endpoint Direct (now BR Denver), which, since being added in late 2019, has moved into a much larger facility. These acquisitions and others have facilitated the company’s ability to add labels, promotional products, and apparel to its offerings.
For BR Printers and its six locations, the requirement to add equipment and increase capacity has been strong. Included among the equipment that has been, or will soon be, added into production are a Canon ColorStream digital press, two RMGT sheetfed offset presses, and new HP PageWide T240 and T490 inkjet web presses.
Asked what made the company’s growth between 2020 and 2021 so strong, DeMaestri says it was a mix of the acquisitions and the expanded capability they brought. “With what we did between 2020 and 2021 — everything doubled,” he says. “This year, we’ll be just shy of $100 million. We have an amazing story to tell.”
Looking toward the company’s future, DeMaestri has a goal for the company to reach $300 to $500 million in sales, and indicates BR Printers has more acquisitions lined up. “We’re seeing great opportunities with big customers, top publishers,” he says. Looking at the future of the printing industry, DeMaestri expects to see continued consolidation, adding that this is a good time “for people like us who are nimble, entrepreneurial, aggressive. The demand will be there for what we want to do.” He adds that his company’s diversification will serve to smooth out revenue even if one segment enters a period of decline.
DeMaestri says printing companies today need to focus on “how to continue to get young people into our industry.” For BR Printers, that has included “getting the right people and giving them the power to be successful. We have a nice mix of experience and youth,” he says. “It makes it really fun.”
Click here to download the complete 2022 Printing Impressions 300 list of the largest printing companies in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales.