Polestar celebrates Express success

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 03 February 2016

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Polestar has won back the Express Newspapers supplements that were previously printed on the continent in a deal that encompasses some 125m magazines a year.

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Express supplements have been re-shored

It began printing four weekend magazines for the Saturday and Sunday Express titles last month, having secured a three-year contract with the publisher.

The titles had been printed at Roto Smeets in the Netherlands for the past five years. Prior to that they were printed at Polestar.

Martin Ellice, group joint managing director at Express Newspapers’ parent Northern & Shell described it as “a strategic move” and said that printing in the UK provided greater flexibility for the publisher.

PrintWeek understands that Ellice met with Polestar chief executive Barry Hibbert to discuss events around the recent change of ownership at the business. 

“He explained the situation and we were happy with what we heard. When we weighed everything up we decided to bring it back to the UK,” added group paper manager Kevin Fitzgerald. “Polestar put up a good pitch and this gives us a bit more flexibility with later deadlines.”

He said the firm had factored in the present price advantages for continental printers due to the weak euro. “Currency can go up and down so it’s a concern on both sides,” he said. 

Polestar group sales director David Gray said the firm was “delighted” to be printing the titles again. “They fit perfectly into the profile of core weeklies produced at Polestar Sheffield,” he said.

Fitzgerald said the magazines: Saturday, S Magazine, Hot TV and TV Extra, are all being printed gravure apart from the TV section of Saturday, which is web offset.

Covers are printed at Polestar Chantry in Wakefield.

Polestar already prints celebrity magazines New! and Star for Northern & Shell at its Bicester web offset site.

 

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