Luscher collapse won’t affect Aussie printers, says local distributor

The CTP system manufacturer requested bankruptcy proceedings with the Swiss authorities on 22 April.

Luscher said its collapse was due to a "massive downturn" in the printing industry, a drop-off in orders over the past nine months and the negative effects of the strong Swiss franc.

Luscher has more than 1,600 CTP systems installed worldwide.

Australian distributor Swisstech Graphic Services told ProPrint that it was still "business as usual" for local customers, despite the collapse.

"Service is still up and going. That's the only part of the business that is still up and going. We still have unrestricted access to spare parts as required," said Swisstech director Predrag Trajkovic.

"As it stands now, there will be no new sales. They're not taking any new orders, at least for the time being.

"Some orders that have been accepted – some will be processed and some won't. We haven't got any active orders in Australia, so that won't have any effect on the Australian customers directly."

[Review: Luscher XDrum]

Luscher said in a statement: "Despite extensive efforts, supported by the bank, development partners and investors, in new and more attractive applications in industrial print markets, it has not been possible to stabilise the company's financial position in the prevailing market context."

The firm launched several new products at Drupa 2012, including the XDrum UV external drum B1 CTP system co-developed with Heidelberg and aimed at high-volume users.

It also attempted to expand into new markets with a new flexo CTP system and a coating plate co-developed with MacDermid.

Luscher is currently in discussions that could result in all or part of the business being saved, with Heidelberg tipped as a possible rescue partner.

"It all depends on which investor it is, some have an interest in the whole company," said chief technology officer Peter Berner.

The firm employs 59 staff in Switzerland. It does not disclose its turnover.

The impact on Luscher's other worldwide operations is not immediately clear, although the German subsidiary already filed for bankruptcy two months ago. Luscher has subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain and Hong Kong and sales offices in the UK, China and Eastern Europe.

"We don't know yet, we are still in discussions regarding the worldwide operations," said Berner. "We will be working on a plan for keeping service going."

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