Reader Reaction: What's in store for UK print companies in the year ahead?
Friday, 14 January 2011
As the new year gets underway, we ask the industry for its predictions on how print firms will fare
"From my point of view, it is going to be a positive year; in fact, I am taking it for granted that it is going to be a good one. We are absolutely flat-out at the moment and this month looks like it is going to be packed, which makes a nice change for January. For the industry in general, God only knows. I can see a lot more companies going under in the next few months. I think that a lot of those firms that survived the summer cull but were left fragile will have been hit by Christmas and I think that could be the nail in a lot of coffins. The ones that survive, however, can hopefully look ahead knowing that they have got through it."
Malcolm Sinclair, marketing director, Tullis Russell
"We anticipate 2011 being another challenging year. More encouragingly, it may also be the year in which the print industry finally starts to tell its story more forcefully through initiatives such as Two Sides. Environmental and sustainability considerations, even if slowed in some cases by economic necessity, will continue to play a growing role in the purchasing decisions of our customers so it is vital we make the case not just for our products, but for responsible paper use in general. Digital print will also continue to grow, not merely in substitution of conventional processes, but in creating totally new demand in areas such as cards and social stationery."
Dave Jackson, director, Your Print Solution
"We’ve hit the ground running this year following 12 months of investment and growth at the business. That said, last year was a great one for the business, so if we can do something similar in 2011 then I’ll be happy with that. We’re approaching the year with cautious optimism as, while trading conditions appear to be on the up, it is difficult to know what state the economy will be in several months down the line. So with that in mind, the plan is to keep our heads down, set realistic targets, and hopefully grow the business by working hard."
Mark Nelson, director, Compass Business Finance
"The outlook is one of relative stability, rather than the rapid growth that all parts of the economy seem to demand. However, ‘relative stability’ may actually be the best platform from which the market can prosper. In the short term, we are all going to feel the pinch of spending cuts and rising taxes, but the economy, and industry, needs a base from which it can build. In the long term, the Bank of England will have to raise interest rates to control inflation. For print, this means any investment would be better now than in 12 months’ time. However, don’t panic – interest rates are at an all-time low and even if they were to rise by 2.5%, we would still have very low rates available."
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