Print's Top 7 Day News Clicks

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The biggest story in the print industry this week was Print21's report on the annual financial results of heatset print giant Ovato, which showed a $130m fall in sales, and may lead to a fight with the union over restructuring costs.

Ovato sales hit: Michael Hannan and Kevin Slaven

Revenue at Ovato from July to February was already 9 per cent down, then the March to June Covid period saw sales tumble by 41 per cent. While printing was smashed, the company says books, packaging, retail distribution, and marketing services "held up well".

Nonetheless, Ovato CEO Kevin Slaven issued a stark warning that the company needed further restructuring "to align revenues with its fixed cost base" and to create a "smaller but more agile and profitable company". He said it can't afford current redundancy costs, setting it on collision course with the AMWU, which has condemned the move.

Coming in at number two was the Print21 report on a printer of a more typical size in the industry. Toowoomba-based commercial printer Greenridge Press has installed a new HP Indigo 7900 Digital Press, supplied by Currie Group. The installation is part of the company's strategy to provide bespoke print solutions and to offer local print bosses an exit option.

The third-most clicked story was our report on the ongoing tumultuous realignments going on in the newspaper printing world, this time with ACM looking to offload its Wodonga print plant to McPheron's Media, which owns nearby Newsprinters.

The collapse in newspaper ad sales and subsequent mass closure of newspapers has led to the recently struck print sharing deal between News, Nine, and ACM, and together with ACM boss Anthony Catalino's track record in eschewing inhouse print, looks like it will leave the country – except WA – with only News and a handful of independent printers with newspaper printing capacity. Seven West in Perth is currently digesting the report of consultant Greg "digital first" Hywood on its business.

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