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Fourth Quarter 2008 Losses of U.S. Commercial Printers Nearly $2 Billion

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Industry Musters $100 Million in Profits for Year

Lexington, KY - WhatTheyThink, the leading media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, today announced the availability of their most current report titled “U.S. Commercial Printing Profits, 1995 to 2008.” Authored by Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center, the report is available for immediate purchase at:



“The fourth quarter was a profits disaster for the U.S. commercial printing industry. Declines in advertising, catalogs, newspaper inserts, and magazines were combined with cutbacks by the banking and finance industries to create a quarter the industry would love to forget,” said Dr. Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. “The three quarters leading up to it had not been encouraging. The fourth quarter pullbacks in budgets was very severe as print clients adopted austerity programs to deal with the recession. Slower economic conditions also causing media plans to intensify the shift to digital media.” Dr. Webb had expressed continued concerns about fourth quarter profits in his prior report because inflation-adjusted shipments were down -6.6% in October, normally the biggest month of the commercial printing industry's year. “Our fears were realized,” he stated.

Recessions are warning signs to print businesses to restructure and not necessarily consolidate with others, according to Dr. Webb. “These are prime times to re-evaluate printing businesses and start with a clean sheet of paper for planning. Print businesses must prepare to be in the right position for 2012 and 2015, even though such thinking might be difficult now,” he stated.

The Printing Profits Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments and profits from 1995 to 2008. This issue includes information about print shipments compared to GDP, and profit trends in the paper industry. The bonus audio file includes Dr. Webb's frank analysis, opinions, and strategic outlook. Containing Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, the cost of the report is $50.00 and features the audio commentary in MP3 format. Those purchasing the report can easily repurpose the charts and data for internal, client presentations, and reports.

The report contains significant and proprietary analysis and by Dr. Webb and WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. It is a top-level analysis of the U.S. commercial printing and trade services markets such as commercial offset, digital, and other printing processes, as well as prepress and postpress contained in the standard business classification NAICS 323.


WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center contains a blend of free and premium content for graphic arts and publishing executives. It offers an online library of primary research reports, executive summaries of economic trends, and related industry columns, videos, podcasts and webinars.

The Economics and Research Center is exclusively sponsored by MindFireInc, a provider of software technologies that leverage direct marketing and the Internet

About WhatTheyThink

WhatTheyThink is the printing and publishing industry's leading media organization; offering a wide range of publications delivering unbiased, real-time market intelligence, industry news, economic and trend analysis, peer-to-peer communication, and special reports on emerging technology and critical events. Serving a membership base of more than 50,000, WhatTheyThink also hosts webinars and live events as well as providing content through a syndication program, which delivers content directly to related websites and through RSS. The organization also provides consulting and speakers bureau services to the industry.

About MindFireInc

Since 1999, MindFireInc has provided innovative applications and services that help marketers synchronize their direct mail campaigns with the Internet. MindFireInc's flagship product, LookWho'sClicking, is a web-based application suite that links the impact and power of direct mail with the interactive capabilities of the Internet. MindFireInc offers its product through a network of Value Added Resellers (VARs). The company's web site is www.mindfireinc.com.




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