Print Industry News: trade journal reports on latest Printing Outlook report; more firms liquidated and stationery firm calls FOUL over lockdowns

Gareth Ward of Print Business

Print Industry News: trade journal reports on latest Printing Outlook report; more firms liquidated and stationery firm calls FOUL over lockdowns

Half of all printers say they will make redundancies this year due to the slow down in the economy caused by Covid-19 and its political fall-out.

Gareth Ward

Writing in the trade journal Print Business Gareth Ward reported on the trade body BPIF’s Printing outlook survey. He wrote: “The UK economy grew more than 15% in Q3 according to official government statistics, recouping some, if not all, of the revenue lost due to the pandemic in Q2. Likewise, the printing industry staged some kind of recovery in Q3 according to the latest Printing Outlook report from the BPIF. And any momentum that printers were building up, has been brought to a juddering halt by regional and national lockdowns.

“Now almost half of those surveyed say they plan to make redundancies, any recovery is likely to be stuttering and demand will remain weak, forcing printers to respond by cutting staff levels. Some have already done so and the survey, taken before the Chancellor announced an extension of the job retention scheme into the new year, predicts that there could be 5,000 redundancies by the end of this year. The government’s action may have shifted the impact by a couple of months. Work from home continues with 48% planning to enable staff to work from home, where possible, for at least one day a week as the crisis eases.”

CVA for family firm

The pandemic continues to cause damage to the print industry with the news that a print management business in Hampshire has had a CVA approved by its creditors.

Jellyfish is based in Fair Oak, Hampshire and is run by husband and wife team Richard and Amanda Ankers. Writing in the print industry trade magazine Print Week Jo Francis said the Covid-19 pandemic caused a catastrophic drop-off in work for the firm based in Fair Oak, Hampshire.

She wrote: “The proposal stated that unsecured creditors would be likely to receive a more than ten-fold better return if the CVA was approved, than if the business was liquidated. Creditors have agreed to the deal that should see them receive 37.42p in the £ over three years, compared to an estimated 3.22p should the business have gone into administration. Insolvency practitioners Andrew Andronikou and Michael Kiely of Quantuma are the joint supervisors of the CVA.”

Jo Francis also reported that trade creditors were owed just over £1.3m and the business has a total deficiency of £1.4m while the directors took out a ‘£350,000 CBILS loan via Santander to help tide the firm over, giving personal guarantees to secure the loan.’

She reported the first monthly payment of £10,000 under the CVA arrangement is scheduled for January 2021.

Wrong cards

Ian Carrotte on ICSM Credit has rounded on the ‘highly unfair’ Covid-19 November lockdown regulations for small businesses and shops. He said that independent shops selling so-called inessential goods were being unfairly forced to close while supermarkets remain open selling identical items.

He said the BBC had highlighted the example cited by the gift card and wrapping paper chain Clinton Cards that supermarkets can sell greeting cards in lockdown while specialist retailers have to shut their shops.

Eddie Shepherd of Clinton Cards said some retailers were "exploiting" ambiguities in the rules with many people pointing the examples of Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets as proving his point.

Ian Carrotte said there was until December 2, shops in England selling ‘non-essential’ goods such as gifts, books and homeware must close. He said garden centres and supermarkets sell cards and gifts but specialist shops are banned from doing so.


Liquidators had been appointed have been at more printing companies including this month Screenprint Limited and STB Printing Limited. Both firms were based in the north of England and saw revenues fall before the Covid-19 pandemic but the down turn in the economy has brought about the end for an increasing number of print companies.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said there had been an expected flood of firms collapsing in November when the furlough scheme ended. He said: “More printing firms are failing but with the furlough scheme extended to March means many firms will hope things will pick up in the spring to allow them to survive.”

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