Page 12 - Print 21 Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 12

Leading Article
Big print will get bigger...
Tand fewer here is no single printing
In terms of printing businesses it means fewer and fewer, with more consolidation to come. It means fewer presses bought. Offset manufacturers are working hard but the market is drying up before their eyes. Digital is doing better, but the pie is shrinking.
Printing companies are becoming polarised between the very large, such as Blue Star
in Sydney and, say, the Nankervis group in Melbourne, and the smaller ones, those with less than $10 million. Wayne Finkelde of ABB is on the acquisition trail, looking to buy more print companies along the east coast. But
he can’t find ones of the right size to fit his purpose of say around $20 million.
At this rate it’s not unthinkable there’ll only be three or four large printing companies in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Funnily enough, this was the rationale behind the ill-fated Geon. Roy Mackenzie of private equity fund Gresham, told me so in the early days of his hectic ride. Roy, a tall bluey Scottish bloke was running two funds worth $13 billion. I thought he knew what he was talking about, but I was wrong.
“M’boy,” he said to me in the spectacular setting of his penthouse office on Macquarie Street with expansive views all the way to the Heads, disregarding that I was his senior by at least 20 years, “I’m going to do to the printing industry what happened to video rentals. A few years ago there were mum and dad video stores on every corner. Then along came Video Ezy and Blockbuster and mopped them up.
“That’s what we’re going to do to printing. In three to four years time there’ll be two or three big printers and that’ll be it.”
As we all know, Geon went terribly wrong, but perhaps Roy wasn’t as crazy as I imagined; perhaps he was just ahead of his time.
Will it happen? Will printing be shared between three or four large companies in Melbourne and Sydney? You’d have to say it’s certainly on trend.
And on that note, let me close on a big
year where Print21 itself proved to be not immune to consolidation. This year we were acquired by Yaffa Media, one of the most respected magazine publishing and multi- media businesses in Australia. It’s been a busy and challenging time but by and large we didn’t miss a beat in bringing you your Print21 magazine and online news.
For this I thank all the professionals of the old and the new publishing teams, those who passed over the baton and kept the show on the road. It’s been great.
To you, our readers, thank you again for your attention and support. I hope you find time to refresh and recharge over the break. May you enjoy a merry and safe Christmas and we’ll see you in 2019, ready to do it all again. 21
industry: there’s packaging
print, signage print, labels, newspapers, books, catalogues and of course, general commercial
printing. They’re all very different, and we in the industry are the only people that talk about printing. Everyone else talks about packaging, signage, labels, newspapers, i.e. the products themselves.
And despite predictions of the death
of print, it’s not doom and gloom by any means. Most sectors are thriving and growing. Packaging and labels, signage and catalogues are all growing or at least stable.
However other sectors – newspapers, books and general commercial printing are in decline. When I’m talking with paper merchants, they put the fall in the volume of printing papers at between 5 -10 per cent per year, and that’s been going on now for at least a decade.
As most commercial printing is in the form of marketing collateral, the drop can be squarely attributed to the decisions made by the marketing community. Young marketers see print as yesterday’s technology. While we can still argue that print is a vital element in marketing, we’re pushing uphill to convince them it’s anything more than a campaign add-on. Will it change? Can a push back succeed in the face of the overwhelming influence of online? I doubt it.
So what does this decline mean?
Patrick Howard
– Publishing Editor
Patrick Howard phoward@
Wayne Robinson
Jake Nelson
Lindy Hughson
CONTRIBUTORS: Scott Telfer, Andrew Macaulay, Ruth Cobb, Daniel Aloi, Paul Lindstrom, Steve Crowe
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Copyright2018. Print21istheofficial publication of the Printing Industries Association of Australia.
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PRINTING INDUSTRIES: National Office, 3/9 Help Street, Chatswood NSW 2067. Phone Toll Free: 1800 227 425
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