More power to the comeback kids


Here in the UK we’ve got a proud history of sporting comebacks: Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, England against Australia in the 1981 Headingley Ashes Test or Red Rum in the 1973 Grand National to name but three.

UK print has got its fair share of feel-good comebacks too: Howitt bouncing back from administration, letterpress becoming the process of choice for hipsters and, of course, the fightback of the printed book.

And Integrity Print, the business of this issue’s interviewee Mark Cornford, could be another comeback story to add to the list in the future.

When Cornford led a £12.8m management buyout at the business forms printer, its fair to say it raised a few eyebrows. Even back in 2008, when the deal was completed, the business forms market was generally accepted as being in terminal decline.

The fact that the deal completed in the middle of the financial crisis didn’t help allay industry fears.

But for Cornford and his team, the deal held no such concerns; he knew what he was getting into, he knew what needed to be done – so he just got on with it and started doing it. As a result, the company took its first steps along the path to diversification.

By Cornford’s own admission, the full story of Integrity has yet to unfold, and there will no doubt be some challenges along the way as the business continues to run to stand still and fill the gap left by its diminishing historic core market.

But the company is another great example of the power of having a plan and sticking to it, if only the England Rugby World Cup team could have done the same, it too might have starred in its own comeback story.

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