Print industry news: Jo Francis on business, trade bodies merge, death of former chairman of Picon, BPIF’s report on Q1 and Print Business on Covid-19’s effects

Jo Francis of Print Week magazine

Print industry news: Jo Francis on business, trade bodies merge, death of former chairman of Picon, BPIF’s report on Q1 and Print Business on Covid-19

The print industry is well represented in ICSM Credit with trade bodies and major companies making up a substantial section of their membership. So any news of how the industry is faring is of interest. Writing in the trade publication Print Week Jo Francis has reported on the state of play of firms as they look to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.

Publication printers are in particular suffering from the economic shut down as members of the public have broken their habits of buying newspapers and magazines as they have been in lock down. She reported: “Prinovis UK in Liverpool, the last remaining publication gravure printer in the UK, is consulting on 92 redundancies at its Speke site. The £66m turnover firm employed 483 staff according to its most recent accounts, so it would reduce its headcount by nearly 20% if the redundancies go ahead.”

She said in her article: “Printing industry bosses are wrangling with a number of issues, including trying to work out what level of business is likely to return. One senior industry source commented: ‘Covid will increase structural change in print. What will happen in the normal busy season from July to October? What will happen with retail? It’s hard to see travel bouncing back. We are trying to work out what volumes are there now, what will come back and how quickly; and what won’t come back.’”

BPIF Outlook Report

Ian Carrotte said some sectors of the industry had been in decline for years but the Covid-19 crisis had accelerated trends such as the fall in demand for newspapers. “There will be a major restructuring with many firms going to the wall although out of all recessions come new players. One simple observation that comes from the lockdown is the amount of online shopping that’s taken place. That is a huge boost to the couriers – many of who are members of ICSM – but also the packaging and cardboard industries.

“The BPIF – it’s a trade body for the print industry – said in their Outlook survey that confidence has been decimated in the business in quarter one because of Covid-19. They cite the Credit Crunch of 2008 as the last time it was this bad but I feel it’s worse.”

The BPIF Outlook Report said: “After two quarters of marginal improvements at the end of last year, the forecasted output balance of +15 for Q1 was wiped out as 60% of respondents experienced a decline in output. Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) held output steady, while 17% increased output levels. As a result of the dramatic decline, the Q1 balance was -43. This is the worst since Q1 2009 when the industry was dealing with the aftermath of the financial crisis. However, it is Q2 that is expected to bear the brunt of the impact, due to the UK lockdown that was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson on the evening of 23 March.”

Gareth Ward is a well known figure in the print industry

Print Business report

The editor of industry publication Print Business Gareth Ward has given a breakdown of the various aspects of the affect the Covid-19 crisis has had on the business. However it’s not all doom and gloom. He writes: “In Nottingham, carton printer Wilkins has seen a surge in orders as supermarkets struggle to keep the shelves full. If packaging is enjoying an increase in demand, so to should other sectors. Europe wide trade association Intergraf has called for print to be designated an ‘essential service’ during the crisis. It points out that print is needed for packaging, hygiene products and medicines; information leaflets, posters and government communications; newspapers (though distribution is an issue if workers are not commenting to pick up their daily and one in ten at least has no access to the internet; and books, which need to keep up with demand from a population confined to their homes except for the weekly shop at the supermarket.”

Tribute to former Picon man

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the print industry had lost one its champions after the news of the death of Martin Olive aged 76,  was reported in Print Business magazine by Gareth Ward. He said: “Martin had been chairman of Picon twice and was the boss at Openshaws supplying consumables to the litho industry. Picon have been staunch supporters of ICSM Credit offering their members the benefits of credit intelligence – even more vital in these uncertain times. On behalf of everyone at ICSM I would like to pass our condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Gareth Ward wrote: “Olive was of the affable variety of Yorkshiremen, with a strong belief that once agreement had been reached then that deal would be adhered to.”

Brendan Perring. Pic: SignLink

Print industry trade associations merge

Print Monthly’s Rob Fletcher has reported on the merger of two of the printing industry’s trade groups the Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) and the British Association of Print and Communication (BAPC).

He notes: “The two bodies say that by joining forces, they will combine their shared focus of supporting and driving print in the long-term. Sidney Bobb, who has served as chairman of the BAPC more than three decades, will take on the role of BAPC president, while Graeme Smith will continue as chairman of the IPIA. Former Print Monthly editor Brendan Perring will now serve as chairman of the BAPC.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM credit welcomed the news. He said: “The IPIA is a member of ICSM Credit and enjoy the benefits of membership with credit intelligence, debt collection and inside information on who is in trouble and which industries are struggling. Printers serve just about every business in the UK so members hear in advance bad news of the likes of Thomas Cooke or Carillion so they can avoid their business. I’m sure Brendan will be a proactive and effective chairman of the BAPC and we wish him all the best in his new and expanded role within both organisations.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

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