Printing of Hello! magazine has returned to the UK through a new deal inked with Liverpool gravure printer Prinovis.
The celebrity and royals weekly had been printed on the continent at Circle Media since the collapse of Polestar just over two years ago forced the publisher to seek a new printer at short notice.
The first issue printed at Prinovis went on sale at the beginning of this week.
Hello! associate publisher Roger Williams told PrintWeek that the publisher had always hoped to be able to bring the title back to this country.
“We had no choice at the time when Polestar went down, the option to print in the UK was not really viable as Prinovis simply didn’t have the capacity at the time and there was a slight concern because they also print OK!,” he explained.
“We always wanted to bring it back because of the financial benefit and also supporting printing in the UK.”
Williams said Hello! would make considerable savings on transport by printing locally.
“Circle Media did a cracking job for us and took it on at short notice. But this move saves us the cost of transporting the whole lot back into the UK every week,” he added.
Hello! typically has a pagination of 104pp plus 4pp cover and a minimum print run of 300,000, although this can increase in the case of major events such as royal weddings and births.
It’s understood to be the first time that Hello! and rival weekly OK!, now owned by newspaper group Reach, have been printed at the same site. Both titles go to press late Friday/early Saturday, and have copies on sale in London on Monday and on Tuesday in the rest of the country.
“Prinovis are used to dealing with competitive products and we’re confident they can run us alongside OK! with no problem. It’s nice to be back in the UK and I have to say I’ve been very impressed with Prinovis. They have a very slick operation but also very friendly, and with a lot of clout behind them. I’m looking forward to working with them,” he said.
“This is good for Prinovis as well, we’re a good long-term proposition for them.”
Prinovis commercial director Mark Pfeiffer commented: “We’re delighted to bring Hello! back and delighted to be doing it. We print a lot of competitive titles here already for our supermarket and newspaper clients, and you have to have appropriate rules of engagement. We have two completely separate account management teams working on Hello! and OK!.”
Hello! recently increased its cover price for the first time in a decade, and Williams said this “showed confidence in the product”.
“We want our customers to feel confidence in the value of the magazine. People are analogue and we like to touch things. There’s nothing better than opening Hello! and seeing a fantastic double-page spread – you can’t get that in a digital format.”
Prinovis UK is part of the giant €1.7bn (£1.5bn) turnover Bertelsmann Printing Group. The £67.6m turnover UK business run three 4.32m-wide KBA gravure presses and one 2.75m model. It also has an extensive in-house bindery including stitching, perfect binding and polywrapping.
According to its most recently-filed accounts, for the year to 31 December 2016, it grew sales by £9.6m after Polestar's collapse.