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Transcontinental holds official opening for new ultramodern book-printing plant in Louiseville

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL, June 21 -- At noon today, in the regional industrial park of Louiseville, Quebec, with about 150 guests from Quebec and other parts of the country, Transcontinental held its official opening ceremony for the new Transcontinental Gagne printing plant. The 153,000-square- foot plant has been operating for the past few weeks and is equipped with the latest technology for black and white book printing. Transcontinental's investment of more than $20 million made it possible to consolidate existing jobs and add 70 more, for a total workforce of 325 employees. This confirms the Corporation's position as a major economic partner in the area served by the Maskinonge RCM and strengthens its position as Canada's leading book printer. In his welcoming address, Remi Marcoux, founder of Transcontinental and chairman of the board of directors, said: "This major achievement is the result of teamwork. The sense of partnership among our managers, the union, our employees, municipal officials and regional players, as well as Investissement Quebec, which contributed a loan of $2.5 million, has been simply remarkable. What we are celebrating today is an outstanding collective achievement that will have positive effects for our employees and customers as well as for your great and beautiful region and, in fact, for all of Quebec's regions, as a driver of economic development." Mr. Marcoux then noted that Transcontinental believes in the regions as a basis for economic development: "Since last year alone, we have invested $75 million in three special projects in the regions: in addition to Louiseville, there is our printing plant in Beauceville, where we have just installed the first book-printing press in the world that uses the new Goss Auto Transfer technology. Plus, we will soon be starting to expand our plant at Saint- Hyacinthe to make room for a new state-of-the-art press for printing flyers and inserts. We are convinced that in this era of rising competition from emerging countries and a strong Canadian dollar, our main competitive edge is having a skilled, motivated and committed workforce that can quickly adapt to new technologies. The regions offer all of that." Luc Desjardins, president and CEO, paid a special tribute to the team of managers and employees who handled the transition from the old plant to the new. Then he spoke about the Transcontinental strategy behind the new Louiseville plant: "We are focusing on short and medium runs and aim to be the best and most comprehensive printer in this niche. The primary strength of our network, the largest in Canada, is that we can offer our customers a full set of products and services. We can produce very short runs of a couple hundred copies up to runs of 100,000, plus reprints, which we can produce in the shortest turnaround times in the industry. We also produce books in black and white or colour in all sizes, with hard or soft covers, and all types of bindings. We have also successfully developed short-run digital printing, where the time to delivery is barely 10 days." "Furthermore," continued Mr. Desjardins, "more than half the production at the new plant will be for the U.S. market. When combined with the reorganization of our production processes, this investment will reduce the negative impacts of the stronger Canadian dollar and the threat from emerging countries. Not only will we improve our efficiency, but we also plan to reduce our cycle times by half, which will give our customers greater flexibility in the market. They will be able to do a small run to test the market and, if the response is positive, to place a larger order that we can deliver very quickly." These addresses were followed by speeches by Guy Richard, mayor of Louiseville; Jean-Paul Diamond, reeve of the RCM of Maskinonge; Sylvain Paquin, political attache for the federal member of Berthier-Maskinonge; and Francine Gaudet, member for Maskinonge in the National Assembly. In addition to strong regional representation, the event brought together investors, representatives from print and electronic media and Transcontinental's senior managers. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by a buffet luncheon and tours of the new plant.




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