PMP far from “ailing”: Evans

Many smelled blood in the water last week when news of IPMG’s successful tender with Coles, coupled with PMP’s recent downgrade of its earnings forecast for 2009 and the news that major client ACP was planning to build an in-house printing facility to handle its own magazine production, led them to believe that PMP was in dire straits.

However, in an interview with ProPrint, PMP’s CEO (pictured) has denied that they “lost” the Coles contract to IPMG, saying that they opted not to take the work and that in the catalogue industry “work will move around from printer to printer on a regular basis”.

“I actually said at the AGM last week that our volumes are 20 per cent up year-on-year, so we’re selective about the jobs we take,” said Evans. “In this case we’ve actually chosen to decline work, because we think we can get better, higher-paying work elsewhere. You do that all the time. Sometimes we want it and sometimes we don’t. With the Coles Group we have contracts that come and go, we’ll pitch for some and not for others.”

Evans indicated that there was simply a more modest culture at PMP, claiming that the company had recently picked up a major contract to do catalogue printing for electrical retailer The Good Guys, but that it wasn’t in the business of boasting about such achievements.

Evans also shrugged off reports that Coles executives are unhappy with PMP because of occasional late deliveries.

“From our perspective, we believe our distribution business provides good service.”

Evans claimed there were often misconceptions about major clients like the Coles Group, where the scale of the corporations means that the printing work is often shared among several printers, pointing out that IPMG already handles Coles’ food catalogue printing for NSW.

“There are various brands within Coles. We’ve shared the Coles food work, we’ve done the majority of the Kmart work, we do most of the Officeworks work. People get a bit confused when they see part of a Coles contract go elsewhere, but it moves around depending on your capacity at the time.”

“With that [contract], they’re only buying for five months; we’re not talking about two years or five years.”

Evans also rejected the notion that IPMG’s success in picking up the contract, along with the recent news that it is planning to build an expansive new gravure printing plant in western Sydney, means that IPMG is mounting something of a threat to PMP.

“[IPMG managing director] Michael Hannan’s not going to be operational in that site for about 12 to 18 months.”

“What he’s put in for consent is not necessarily what they’re going to do.”

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