Steve Dunwell, managing director of manroland Australasia says that it is 'business as usual' for the company and the local arm, which will continue to trade, manufacture and supply parts, fulfil existing orders and take new orders –although he concedes they are unlikely right now - while it seeks a new investor.He says, “maroland Australasia is still in a good position locally, and we will continue to provide parts, service and support to our customers. We are also still taking orders and I personally believe manroland is too viable a company for an investor not to come forward.
It’s an unfortunate circumstance as the market has been so tough, but many notable companies have gone into receivership and come out the other end and I’m confident this will be the case with manroland. For our local staff it’s business as usual.”
Andy Vels Jensen, managing director Heidelberg ANZ says it’s never good when so many people within the industry feel the brunt of a world economy in dire straits.
He says, “My first thoughts go to the individuals and families affected by this news, it’s no surprise though that something had to give on the supply side. One can manage through a slowdown but for our industry it’s been more than three years of tough trading.
"A local indicator is the fact that print industry capex in Australia is down 58 per cent year on year to June. It’s too early to talk about what impact this has on the industry and our local market. And let’s not forget, companies enter insolvency to determine what can be done to rescue a company or elements thereof.”
Vels Jensen adds that Heidelberg is in a stable position. He says, “We are supported by continuous growth in non-equipment revenue and our financing is secure. We look forward to presenting at drupa in May 2012 the results of our investments in technology.”
Also commenting Dave Lewis, general manager sheet fed at KBA Australasia told Australian Printer that many in the industry had seen it coming with manroland. He says, “While many of us knew manroland was trouble, it’s still a shock to see it.
“We are in the same industry and have experienced the same tough market, so we can’t be smug. We have survived with our focus on packaging and our lean business here in Australia, which has kept us profitable.
“We haven’t completely given up on commercial, but I think commercial has given up on us.”
Australia is actually one of the shining stars for manroland, at least on the web side, just last week the company took orders for the two biggest heatset presses ever sold here, monster four million page an hour 96pp Lithomans, from the two biggest print businesses in the country, PMP and IPMG, both long term manroland houses. However sheetfed sales have been thin on the ground in recent years.
The press giant has been manufacturing printing equipment for the best part of two centuries, but like all heavy metal offset manufacturers has been severely hit by the global financial crisis, which exacerbated the structural changes in information delivery, particularly the emergence of online platforms. The market in the USA for web presses has virtually collapsed, particularly in the coldset newspaper market.