Gannett’s revenue declines

Gannett experienced a revenue decline in the fourth quarter of 2015, 9.7 percent lower than than the same period in 2014. Net income was $20.4 million, a profit margin of 2.6 percent. Although Gannett profited in the fourth quarter of 2015 due to digital revenue growth, this was offset by declines in print advertising and circulation. The company expects advertising revenue will fall another 5 to 7 percent and circulation revenue 2 to 4 percent in 2016.

Gannett CEO Robert Dickey stated in a conference call the company will maintain its current strategy, which includes investing in digital development and acquiring less efficient businesses to capitalize on scale the company can offer with 92 regional properties and USA TODAY.

“Pre-prints are still challenging but also show some improvement. Digital performance is coming on faster than we had expected,” Dickey said, also stating that he sees “some improvement in local advertising trends” so far this year.

Gannett expects to acquire Journal Media Group, including the former E.W. Scripps papers and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, at the end of this quarter or early the next.

Heidelberg & Fujifilm unveil Primefire 106 B1 industrial inkjet press

Heidelberg has revealed further details about its new B1 sheetfed inkjet press, developed jointly with Fujifilm, which it will show for the first time at Drupa.

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Named Primefire 106, the press is primarily aimed at folding carton printers but is also said to be suitable for applications including posters and calendars and will be suitable for customisation, variable data printing and targeted marketing applications.

Heidelberg and Fujifilm have developed the machine over the past 15 months, after initially forming a strategic partnership to develop a new industrial digital inkjet-printing machine in late 2013.

The manufacturers said the press, which the Heidelberg Prinect Digital Front End (DFE) will drive, will achieve quality output comparable to offset.

It will handle substrates up to 0.6mm thick and run at up to 2,000sph in optimum quality mode while a 5,000sph productivity mode could be shown in the future. It will incorporate a high-quality inkjet drying unit and a full area and spot coating unit.

The press will use Fujifilm Diamtix Samba printheads that deliver 1,200×1,200dpi resolution and Fujifilm said its water-based pigment ink, with Rapic technology for high-definition imaging, will meet food packaging safety regulations.

Heidelberg vice-president of digital printing Jason Oliver, who revealed early details about the press in September, said: “Only 2% of the 50 trillion pages printed today are done digitally.

“We think this is because conventional printing technologies like offset and flexo have become so good and productive that digital is having a hard time taking page volume from those technologies. The industry has also been waiting for an industrial digital printing solution.”

Heidelberg chief executive Gerold Linzbach added: “In record time, Fujifilm and Heidelberg have jointly developed the world’s first B1 truly industrial inkjet digital printing press.

“Our original partnership was based on a joint evaluation of Fujifilm’s core inkjet technology and, after two years of co-development, we remain convinced Fujifilm is the best partner.”

Fujifilm chairman and chief executive officer Shigetaka Komori said: “The new B1 machine enhances the range and application of Fujifilm inkjet technology from our proven Jet Press 720 series in the B2 space.

“Fujifilm will continue to innovate and deliver value to the growing digital printing industry by expanding our core inkjet technologies which is the cornerstone of this new B1 machine.”

The manufacturers said Fujifilm’s newly developed 7-colour inks (CMYK, orange, green, and violet) and Heidelberg’s varnish will improve the range of digital applications.

There is no B1 sheetfed inkjet press currently on the market but the Primefire 106 will go head to head with Landa’s S10 B1 Nanography press, which was unveiled at Drupa 2012 but is not yet commercially available.

The press will be shown for the first time – in a single-sided configuration – at Drupa, which begins in Dusseldorf on 31 May. The first installation for field testing will take place later this year while commercial availability will begin in 2017.

Both Heidelberg and Fujifilm will market the machine though Fujifilm has not yet revealed what it will name its version. Pricing details and information about the feeder that will be used with the press will be revealed at Drupa.