By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
If it’s not a crisis in paper distribution, then paper prices are rising. If it’s not paper, then its plates or ink prices on the increase. Bad debts are harder to collect or credit terms are being revised downwards. There is a steady stream of notices about plant closures or businesses going bust in the trade journals and social media.
Generally speaking it is doom and gloom, and good news about the print industry is invariably hard to find. Which makes a couple of recent snippets rather unusual these days.
Firstly a quarterly survey conducted by the British Printing Industry Federation (BPIF) has suggested that UK printers are optimistic about the current conditions. It found that while output was generally around expectations, there was an increase in orders in the first quarter of 2015 which signalled a further improvement feeding through to the second quarter.
Of course the general election in the UK generated some one-off demand for print, which must have boosted the figures. And perhaps the largely unpredicted result of an outright Conservatives victory has also contributed to printers’ optimism.
According to the BPIF survey, which polled some ninety companies employing nearly 4,000 people in the UK, around 34% expected to see increased output in Q2 2015 and a further 41% expected output levels to remain the same.
Upbeat headline for the printing industry
The second snippet of good news occurred in Cologne in Germany where the FESPA show and conference has recently taken place. The organisers of the tradeshow – aimed at the large format, sign and display market – reported a very strong attendance: more than 23,000 visitors, up by around 17% despite a rail strike in Germany on one of the days. Most of the exhibitors spoke in glowing terms of the buying intentions of the delegates and the way that digital printing is spreading to all areas of print, including now, to plastics and textiles.
Gloomy Forecasts for the Printing Industry Have Been “Greatly Exaggerated”
Here at Landa Digital Printing we are busy getting our first Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Presses ready for the beta sites who will be testing them in a few months’ time. But the optimism shown in the UK and Germany has not gone unnoticed. Landa has already said it will have a larger stand at next year’s drupa show, with Benny promising a few surprises.
The timing of our first installations therefore looks opportune. And with a print and packaging market expecting to see growth in output, the Nanography® process will have a key part to play in an industry whose demise, to misquote Mark Twain, has been greatly exaggerated.
Image source (main page): http://www.printweek.com/print-week/briefing/1144454/upbeat-outlook-reflects-spring-thaw