YM Group recruits Povey for publications push

Jo Francis
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

James Povey, Polestar’s former marketing director for UK Print, has joined YM Group.

Povey joined the £100m turnover Yorkshire group in the new role of publications director at the end of last week. He reports to chief executive Stephen Goodman.

YM Group made a substantial move into publications printing with the acquisition of Polestar Chantry earlier this month.

At the time Goodman described publications as “a market we can expand into with good growth opportunities for our business”.

Goodman said he was delighted to recruit Povey and praised his market know-how. “We are obviously very pleased to have secured James’s services. He brings extensive knowledge and experience of the publications market and will lead the YM Group’s diversification into this area.” 

YM Group had already been producing some customer publishing work prior to the Chantry acquisition, in particular at its Pindar site in Scarborough where it has five web offset presses including a 48pp Goss Sunday 4000 short-grain model that offers appealing paper savings on some formats.

In a statement, Goodman said: “YM Group has a broad range of both long- and short-grain printing capabilities, recently complemented by the acquisition of YM Chantry. We believe this ideally positions the group to efficiently produce the required formats as well as offering cost effective alternative formats, whilst delivering the service and quality levels demanded by the publications sector.”

Povey had done two stints at Polestar. He started his print career in 1987 as a graduate trainee at BPCC, which subsequently became BPC and was then merged with Watmoughs in 1998 to create Polestar.

He left the group in 2000 to join Jarrold Printing as sales and marketing director, but returned to Polestar three years later.

Povey said that while the primary focus at Chantry was magazines, he would also be looking at what the overall group could do for publishing clients, and said that publishers “deserve choice” in the post-Polestar era.

He said: “I am very excited to be joining the YM Group team. Magazine and newspaper publishers deserve choice within the UK for printing and production of their publications. YM Group is a first-class, quality printer, with large scale and extensive facilities and I look forward to introducing their services to the publications markets.”

At Drupa last week YM Group ordered a Kodak Prosper 6000C high-speed inkjet web press for its Lettershop operation in Leeds, which will also serve other parts of the group that have a digital requirement.

Goodman said YM remained interested in the Goss M5000 64pp short-grain web at the now-defunct Polestar Sheffield site. “This is very much ongoing and we continue to pursue this,” he added.

Chantry runs six web offset presses from 16pp-72pp format, five Muller Martini perfect binding lines, and Sitma mailing kit. 

Prior to Polestar's collapse the site, known for its high quality printing and binding, had printed for a number of blue-chip publishers including Time Inc UK and Hearst Magazines UK. Time Inc subsequently moved to a new single-supplier deal with rival Wyndeham Group.  

Hearst also moved 'most' of its titles to the continent during the hiatus, apparently as a temporary measure. Povey's immediate task is viewed as securing new long-term deals with key clients at Chantry. 

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