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Oce Opens Financial Times First Print Site in South Africa

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

Live on-line newspaper production started in Johannesburg   Poing, Germany, February 19, 2002 — The Financial Times has announced today that it has started live production at its first print site in South Africa, which has been set up by global digital printing giant Oce to give the world-renowned newspaper a major sales boost initiative. Oce Digital Newspaper Network is using its new high-speed digital machine to print the FT in Johannesburg on a daily basis. This revolutionary new way of production means that the FT will be available early morning on the same day of publication, both to subscribers and at newsstands. This version of the FT will look and feel the same as its traditionally-printed worldwide counterpart and will be on sale as newsstands open. The FT can now capitalise on the South African and other international markets in a way it has never been able to do so before. It is selling at 1.20 euros for a copy, a substantial fall from the current price of 2.25 euros A subscription to this edition will be marketed at 298 euros. The editorial content in the digital edition will be the same content as is in the European edition, which is currently available in South Africa only the day after publication. Printed on FT pink paper, senior executives are expecting a significant boost in sales by offering what has been described as the perfect complement to the domestic market, offering an international perspective on global issues. The FT is one of the world’s leading business newspapers and currently sells 3,200 copies a day in South Africa. An estimated 3,600 copies will be printed on an Oce Digital Newspress 8000 by Ince (PTY) Ltd in Johannesburg, Oce’s strategic print partner in South Africa. Ben Hughes, the FT’s director for Continental Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, said: “There is a very strong business media market in South Africa and the FT offers the perfect complement to the domestic market, offering an international perspective on global issues. It is absolutely vital we are there on the day of publication.” This revolutionary way of printing newspapers to an international audience at remote locations– via a high-speed digital data distribution network – has received widespread worldwide support, particularly from senior figures in the printing and publishing industry. Peter Feldweg, chief executive officer for Oce Digital Newspaper Network, said: “As an international IT solutions provider, Oce has enabled the FT to start printing newspapers in a commercially-viable way in this potentially lucrative market. We have been working with a global customer base, such as our partnership with Ince, to continue with our aim of providing a global network of printing sites that involves up to 500 installations worldwide. Readers and subscribers will be getting a copy of the newspaper on the actual morning of publication, as opposed to a day later, which will be a major boost to the business community. This revolutionary process will now allow the Financial Times to capitalise on the South African and other international markets in a way it has never been able to do so before, by producing editions that look and feel the same as those printed by traditional litho methods.” He added: “It’s a win-win situation for the Financial Times and its readers in South Africa who will get their news immediately, rather than having to wait until the next day in many instances.” Alban Atkinson, joint managing director of Ince (PTY) Ltd, Oce´s print partner Johannesburg, said: “As a major supplier of print services to the business and financial markets in South Africa, we see this as logical extension to our business.”




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