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Transcontinental Adds Two Heidelberg Mainstreams

Press release from the issuing company

Gapless presses will print La Presse at new Montreal facility DOVER, NH - After announcing a long-term agreement to print the leading French-language daily newspaper in North America, Transcontinental Group has ordered two gapless Heidelberg Mainstream presses. Transcontinental will use the new Mainstreams with a total of 68 printing couples when it takes over responsibility for printing the Montreal-area daily La Presse and its related publications by September, 2003. La Presse has circulations of 183,000 copies on weekdays, 274,000 copies on Saturdays and 191,000 copies on Sundays. Heidelberg will begin installing the presses in October at a new facility to be built in Montreal. "With gapless blankets, a 1x4 format and other innovative features, Mainstream presses will enhance our plans to create a specialized, state-of-the-art facility where we can achieve the highest levels of print quality, productivity and efficiency," explains Rémi Marcoux, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Transcontinental Group. The duplexed Mainstream presses at the new Montreal facility will include a total of six four-high towers and two five-high towers. They will print up to 80,000 papers per hour in straight production. Heidelberg will supply 12 Contiweb FD pasters with automated loading and reel preparation capabilities, an RB-32 rotary blade folder and two JF-255 folders. One of the JF-255 folders will be equipped with quarter folding capabilities. Heidelberg Omnicon control systems will include the exclusive Omnipage automatic page recognition feature and a digital prepress interface package. “Transcontinental has always been a progressive leader in utilizing advanced commercial and newspaper printing technology,” said Werner Albrecht, responsible for Web-Offset in the Heidelberg Group “Their selection of the Mainstream is a strong endorsement for the print quality, productivity and plate saving advantages our technology can provide.” Heidelberg introduced the Mainstream, the world’s first gapless newspaper press, in 2000. The dynamic stability provided by the gapless blankets allows the press to deliver premium print quality at up to 80,000 copies per hour with a 1x4 plate cylinder and a 1:1 plate-to-blanket cylinder ratio. The 1x4 configuration requires 50 percent fewer plates than a traditional two-around double-width press. It also allows the layout versatility of two-page jumps and sections with unequal page counts. Transcontinental currently operates a network of five plants throughout Canada that are dedicated to printing local, regional and national newspapers on a contract basis. The company has printed the Ontario edition of The Globe and Mail on Heidelberg Mercury presses at its Interweb facility near Toronto since 1994. “Heidelberg has been a long-time business partner of Transcontinental’s and we have had tremendous success using their presses in the past,” said Mr. Marcoux. “We are excited about incorporating this newest technology into our operations, which will help reinforce Transcontinental’s position as the leading independent newspaper printer in Canada.” One of the largest commercial printers in North America, Transcontinental Group is also Canada's leading publisher of consumer magazines and one of the country's top two publishers of regional press. The corporation is also engaged in interactive marketing, Internet solutions and door-to-door distribution of advertising material. Through this fully integrated network, Transcontinental provides its customers total service. The Corporation has over 10,500 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico, and posted revenues of $1.8 billion in 2001.