BPG to close loss-making gravure plant

Jo Francis
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Bertelsmann Printing Group (BPG) has announced the planned closure of another gravure plant, reflecting a decade of structural decline in the European gravure market.

Gravure: “severe imbalance between supply and demand”
Gravure: “severe imbalance between supply and demand”

The €1.4bn (£1.2bn) turnover, Germany-headquartered business said that the Prinovis Dresden operation had been “in the red for some time”, despite efforts to turn the situation around. 

The site runs five gravure presses and two web offset presses. It has around 470 employees, who were informed of the closure plans at the end of last week. The orderly shutdown will take a year, with the plant set to be shuttered on 31 December 2022. 

BPG adopted a similar strategy at its Nuremberg site, which closed earlier this year. 

Prinovis managing director and COO of BPG Niklas Darijtschuk said there was “a severe imbalance between supply and demand” that had resulted in “massive overcapacities”, with no signs of an improvement in the market. 

“The decision to shut down our printing operations in Dresden at the end of next year was a very difficult one for us,” he stated.

“But it is unavoidable given the site’s current and forecast economic situation. The market’s negative development in recent years has been particularly evident for print products in the classic gravure segment of high-volume catalogues as well as magazines and supplements, where demand has fallen disproportionately.” 

He said that between 2010 and 2020, “demand for classic gravure papers fell by well over half”.

Consultation with the workforce is now underway. BPG CEO Dirk Kemmerer added: “We are aware of our responsibility for the workforce in Dresden and will stand by the obligations arising from the existing social plan.”

The other Prinovis sites are in Ahrensburg in Germany, and its £53m turnover gravure and web offset operation in Liverpool. 

Prinovis UK has restructured and moved to a 24/5 operation as of this month, following the loss of the DMG Media/Associated Newspapers supplements. 

BPG companies also include Mohn Media, Vogel Druck, book printer GGP Media and, in the US, Berryville Graphics and Coral Graphics. 

The giant Bertelsmann media and education business created Europe’s biggest printing group in 2015, when it brought together all its printing operations under one umbrella. At the time the business had sales of around €1.7bn.

 

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