Search

Bungay-based Clays owner warns of tight margins

10:41 14 June 2012

Clays Printers at Bungay
Books running on the production line
Picture: James Bass

For: EDP NEWS
EDP Pics © 2005    Tel: (01603) 772434

Clays Printers at Bungay Books running on the production line Picture: James Bass For: EDP NEWS EDP Pics © 2005 Tel: (01603) 772434

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2005

Print and marketing services group St Ives, parent company of Suffolk-based book printer Clays, today reported a 6pc increase in sales but warned that margins remained under pressure.

St Ives said sales from continuing operations in 18 the weeks from January 28 to June 1 had totalled £110m, with growth led by the marketing services division

“We have experienced further deterioration across our print markets, as demand remains weak and trading conditions fiercely competitive; we have taken further action to reduce costs and continue to win and retain contracts albeit at lower prices,” the group said.

Within marketing services, early trading from Incite, its recently acquired research and consultancy business, had been “very good” and there had also been strong performances from Pragma, its specialist retail consultancy business, and Tactical Solutions, its field marketing business.

“Within Data Marketing, new business performance has been strong although, due to the general economic environment, we have experienced some reduction and deferral of marketing spend, particularly associated with larger projects, across the existing client base,” St Ives said.

On the print site, the books business remained strong and had continued to win market share.

“Margins are being negatively impacted by the publishing industry’s shift towards ordering a greater number of smaller print runs, a dynamic that our recent investment in digital production is targeted to mitigate. This investment is due to come on line within the next three months,” the group said.

The exhibition and events business had started to see some increased activity ahead of the London Olympics, which was helping to deliver an improved performance, and point of sale activity levels remained strong but with “very difficult” conditions in retail markets continuing to drive margins down.

“The market for direct response remains challenging but we have benefited from the closure of our loss-making businesses that produced company reports and CD/DVD related print and continue to seek further efficiency improvement opportunities,” St Ives added.

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Insight

Employers in East Anglia are paying staff more and looking at benefits packages in a bid to attract and retain staff.
Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

If you excel at your job then now might be the time to speak to your boss about a pay rise or equally look for an upgrade in your benefits package.

                                 Managing Director of Bakers and Larners of Holt, Michael Baker, pictured at the Holt department store.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Family businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, but can often be weighed down by tradition. Now a report seeks to champion the region’s oldest family firms. Business writer SABAH MEDDINGS reports.

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read

Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor

|

Sabah Meddings

Business Writer

|

Kate Royall

Business Writer

|

Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up