Fuji extends reach with Litho signing

Fujifilm Graphic Systems has expanded its distribution network with the signing of the industrys largest independent supplier, Litho Supplies.

Fujifilm Graphic Systems divisional director Keith Dalton said the deal marked the firms first foray into the national network, adding: Until now weve used mid- and smaller-sized regional distributors.

Litho Supplies, which also distributes Agfa and KPG plates, will sell the complete range of Fuji graphic arts consumables.

Fujis network of around 20 suppliers includes Openshaw subsidiary Bousfield, Avon Graphics and Inkland in County Durham.

We have been working on this for some time. Litho Supplies is a very honourable dealer. They havent jumped into this and neither have we, said Dalton.

Litho Supplies joint managing director Gerry Mulvaney said it was in his customers interests that the company fully represented the range of equipment available to the industry.

However, Mulvaney said there were no plans for his company to sell Fuji hardware. Litho Supplies sells Agfa, HighWater and Screen platesetters.

We have a full range of CTP at the moment, said Mulvaney. There arent any holes in our range.

The agreement was signed after Litho Supplies had discussed it with its other partner companies.

Openshaw Group managing director Tony Halker didnt think the partnership would impact on his business and said it represented more of a strategic building block for Fuji.

I dont see it as an issue. We compete aggressively with Litho Supplies on a daily basis, said Halker.

In 1999, Fuji withdrew its range from Openshaw after its discovered that the distributor was selling Agfa plates. Openshaw later gained access to Fuji products when it bought Bousfield last November.

Story by John Davies