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Dr. Joe Webb Economic Update on WhatTheyThink Draws International Audience

Monday, April 04, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

April 4, 2005 -- In an exclusive WhatTheyThink economic Webinar sponsored by Creo and presented by renowned printing industry speaker and author Dr. Joe Webb, Dr. Webb reported that printing shipments, in real, inflation-adjusted terms will be down about one percent for 2005, but that pricing pressures continue to grow as buyers struggle to allocate constrained marketing dollars to multiple media. March 30, 2005 -- In a free Webinar hosted by WhatTheyThink.com, the printing industry’s leading source of news and information, Dr. Joe Webb, one of the industry's best-known consultants and a 26-year veteran of the graphic arts industries, shared his insight on the state of the industry as the 2nd Quarter of 2005 commences. Nearly 350 senior printing executives from around the world registered for this event, which was sponsored by Creo. While most of the attendees were from North America , viewers also tuned in from Spain , Russia , Japan , Belgium and Egypt . The audio of the Webinar and PDF of the presentation are available online: http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinar050330.cfm “In real terms, print shipments will be down by about 1% for 2005,” said Dr. Webb, “and it appears that the decline has bottomed out, as evidenced by positive increasing trends in postal mail volumes. But it also appears that pricing pressure is having more impact than we could have imagined a year ago. This is a serious problem that is not going to disappear as buyers compare not printer to printer, but print to digital campaigns in their efforts to allocate constrained marketing dollars to multiple media channels.” Dr. Webb also reported that reported that the economy as a whole remains strong, with GDP figures announced on March 30 th staying flat at 3.8% with no upward correction as expected. “But GDP growth,” he said, “is still above the 3-year average and the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing index has also remained strong.” Dr. Webb pointed out that business productivity is beginning to slow, and added, “When GDP is growing at a faster rate than productivity, that has historically been a sign of more hiring to come. In this case, though, I believe we will see growth in small businesses as opposed to more hiring, as CEO’s continue to outsource rather than invest in the fixed expense of new employees.” Identifying direct mail as one of the fastest growing segments of the printing industry, Dr. Webb said, “The emphasis on multichannel marketing means there is definitely a role for print. Print is authoritative and it is deliverable, while e-mail has significant issues in both areas. If we focus on those two things for the next two years we will be much better off.” The presentation, including audio, can be accessed at no charge by visiting http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinar050330.cfm Dr. Webb will be presenting his next quarterly update on June 29th, hosted by WhatTheyThink.com and sponsored by Creo. He also provides commentary in his weekly WhatTheyThink columns, available to Premium Access members. About Creo: Creo Inc. is a global company with key strengths in imaging, software, and digital printing plate technology. The leading provider of prepress systems, Creo helps over 25,000 customers worldwide adopt digital production methods which reduce costs, increase print quality and allow them to serve their customers more efficiently. Based on a solid foundation of intellectual property, Creo has an unmatched range of technology solutions that address the needs of commercial, publication, on demand, packaging, and newspaper printers, and creative professionals. Creo product lines include software and hardware for computer-to-plate imaging, systems for digital photography, scanning, and proofing, as well as printing plates and proofing media. Creo also supplies on-press imaging technology, components for digital presses, color servers and high-speed digital printers. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Creo reported fiscal 2004 revenue of US$636 million. Creo trades on NASDAQ (CREO) and the TSX (CRE). www.creo.com. About WhatTheyThink.com: WhatTheyThink.com is the print and publishing industry's leading online community. The company offers a mixture of free and subscription-based content for industry executives. Additionally, WhatTheyThink.com provides a robust content syndication program serving related web sites. About Dr. Joe Webb Industry commentator and forecaster Dr. Joe Webb is a 26+ year veteran of the graphic arts industry. He has served the industry as a consultant, executive, and the founder of the TrendWatch surveys. His academic background is a combination of business, computer technologies, and graphic arts. His doctoral work was completed at the NYU Center for Graphic Arts Management and Technology. Dr. Webb has worked with industry suppliers of all types, including those marketing capital equipment such as presses, software developers, computer and peripheral manufacturers and developers, national and multinational organizations, associations, and others. A frequent speaker at industry events, Dr. Webb's weekly column “Fridays with Dr. Joe” appears at www.WhatTheyThink.com where it has become a must-read feature for the entire printing industry. (Photos of Dr. Webb for editorial purposes can be downloaded at www.drjoewebb.com/press ) Dr. Webb is the author of “Renewing the Print Industry: A Contrarian’s Constructive Perspective.” A sample of that report can be downloaded from http://www.prweb.com/prfiles/2004/06/03/131251/ptg_shipments_060304.gif




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