Where did 2017 go? Looking through our review of the year, it most definitely happened – and while it might not have been a vintage year for print, it was certainly an eventful one.
Significant M&A activity: check. Advent International buying Williams Lea, Paragon buying DST UK and GI Solutions buying the Eclipse companies, to name but three of the biggest
Impressive capex: check. Route One Print’s £5.3m summer spending spree that included a Fujifilm Jet Press; Taylor Bloxham Group £3m spend with Koenig & Bauer and Muller Martini; and Bishops Printers spending a similar amount on Heidelberg and Kolbus kit all spring to mind.
High profile closures: sadly, check. Anton; Stones Ashford, and Gelpack probably having the biggest casualty lists.
Surprising news: check. I’m thinking Landa shipping its first betas; John Charnock returning to the coalface as managing director of Nicholson Bass and, most welcome of all, physical book sales outstripping those of e-reader editions.
Less surprising: paper prices up; ink prices up, energy prices up; print prices, erm, static at best.
So what does 2018 hold for the industry?
Well, I guess it’s in the lap of the Gods, well the lap of the Brexit negotiators, to be precise – but one thing’s for certain, it’s bound to be another exciting, albeit perhaps challenging year.
So, have a fantastic, and well-earned, Christmas break and here’s hoping for a prosperous print year in 2018, and one that doesn’t go quite as quickly as 2017.