Print businesses around the country are pulling down the shutters on 2017, waving goodbye to the latest tough year in the industry.
The year saw energy rise to the top of the agenda of every print business in the country, with printers flummoxed as to why in a country which has more natural resources than almost any other they were paying the world’s highest electricity prices.
Some respite may be coming in the new year thanks to government action, but even so high power bills are now a fact of business life. The year saw printers battling with outlandish bills from their suppliers, with some real horror stories reaching the ProPrint news desk.
The turn of the year marks ten years since the global financial crisis hit, a decade in which the number of print businesses in Australia has been cut in half. However the value of printed product in that time has remained relatively stable. For printers that have survived 2017 showed there are two camps, general commercial printers still mainly slugging it out on price, and niche market printers, who can make a decent margin.
The year saw the PMP IMPG merger get the green light from the ACCC, while rival IVE built a new greenfield site from Franklin Web in NSW. Retirements included Bob Lockley, Peter George and Steve Dunwell. There were successive price rises across inks, plates and paper; a major merger in the paper world with BJ Ball and KW Doggett joining forces; Australia Post continued to incur the wrath of printers, and eventually the government over the humungous salary of its CEO Ahmed Fahour, leading to his resignation.
Company consolidation continued throughout the year, Hannapak, Anzpac and Cardboard Cartons were all sold to foreign owners, IVE bought SEMA and Dominion, Whirlwind bought Lindsay Yates. The energy crisis was matched by an apprentice crisis, with numbers slumping by two thirds and Tafes in Qld and SA closing their print courses.
ProPrint wishes all its readers a Happy Christmas, a relaxing and recharging break, and a prosperous new year, we will be back in January to deliver all the industry’s print news direct to you.
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