Bernard Cassell succeeds Steve Somogyi at CPI

According to Gerry van Wyngen, CPI chairman, Cassell’s appointment is the result of the “deep understanding of the graphic arts industry and in particular the dynamics of servicing their needs with a broad range of products and services”. The Board is confident that Cassell will provide strong leadership to drive CPI and its staff to achieve improving outcomes in a challenging environment.

Somogyi announced in July 2003 that he would be stepping down as managing director to take up a position on the three-man board of the newly reformed Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) at the behest of Australian treasurer Peter Costello.

Coinciding with this appointment, CPI has announced earnings before interest, taxation and depreciation (EBITDA) of $9.1million for the financial year ended 30 June 2003, down 16 per cent on the prior year. Underlying net profit after tax of $1.2million was also down 14 per cent on the corresponding period, although a highlight of the year was the $23million turnaround in operating cash flows, with the 30 June 2003 figure being $19.5 million. The focus during the year has been on working capital management, restructuring and cost control.

A downturn in sales is behind these figures, with overall sales minus the divested Trading Division posting at 3.7 per cent to $341.1million. Sales of paper by volume were up by 2.5 per cent, ink sales remained flat but the sales of printing plates were up by eight per cent. Capital equipment sales were down by 23 per cent.

Despite the downturn, Somogyi says, “The last year has seen CPI become a stronger financial entity and well placed to quickly benefit from an industry turnaround, should that occur.

The new distribution agreements have given the Company a broad exposure to the printing industry which will enable strong sales to flow across the Group as soon as the market picks up.”

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