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French Newspaper Le Progres Will be Printed on Heidelberg Mainstreams

Press release from the issuing company

Hersant Group chooses three gapless Mainstreams to modernize one of the leading regional daily newspapers in France DOVER, NH - Modernization of production capabilities for the French regional newspaper Le Progres de Lyon have reached a major milestone with Holding Delaroche, which owns the Lyon-based daily paper, announcing it will invest in three gapless Heidelberg Mainstream presses. Two presses with a total of 64 printing couples will be installed in the city of Chassieu, while a single press with 26 couples is slated for Saint-Etienne. Le Progres has a circulation of 300,000 copies in the Rhône -Alpes region of France. Holding Delaroche belongs to Socpresse, a division of the Hersant group, and manages the newspaper activities of Hersant in the Rhône- Alpes and Bourgogne regions. Hersant, the major publishing group in France, controls more than 20 percent of the newspaper market and owns around 80 newspapers and magazines in Belgium and France, including the French national daily newspaper Le Figaro. Le Progres is seeking to replace existing presses, a 30-year old installation, with equipment integrating the latest technologies. "The Mainstreams will permit us to print more papers faster at our two production sites and they will also provide more color capacity and a superior print quality, thanks to the gapless blanket technology," explains Marien Bonieux, member of the board of the Le Progres group. Launched in May 2000, the Heidelberg Mainstream, an 8-page press with a 1x4 format (double width, straight production), is designed to answer modern publishers' requirements in terms of high-speed, print quality and production flexibility. Heidelberg's exclusive gapless blanket technology eliminates gap related vibration. 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. As a result, the Mainstream can match the output of a traditional 16-page press running straight while reducing plate requirements by 50 percent. This cuts the cost of the additional plates, and the time necessary to make and mount them. A reduction in plates speeds up color makereadies, flying edition changes and overall changeover times. "The Mainstream presses will provide us with a lot of advantages when producing multiple editions and for edition changes. They will enable us to be more competitive in the local market and develop our product offering and dedicated supplements," adds Bonieux. "Thanks to an exclusive technology, the Mainstream allows faster mounting and dismounting of plates, which facilitates flying edition changes and provides significant time-savings." The Mainstream presses at Le Progres will have a 500 mm cut-off and a 1480 mm web width. They will print the Lyons-based daily newspaper in the same broadsheet format as the French national daily newspaper Le Figaro (500 mm x 370 mm). In Chassieu, the two Mainstreams will have an identical configuration of eight webs, four towers, 34 printing couples and four formers. They will be equipped with a JF- 255 jaw folder and eight Heidelberg Contiweb FD pasters. The new presses will print up to 64 pages, including 24 pages in full color. In Saint-Etienne, the Mainstream press will print up to 48 pages, including 16 in full color, eight in two colours and 24 in black. The configuration will include three towers, six webs, 26 printing couples and six Contiweb FD pasters. The Mainstream presses for Le Progres, which will be delivered by the end of 2003, will be manufactured at the Heidelberg site in Montataire, near Paris. The facility specializes in the production of newspaper and commercial web offset presses. This major investment from the Hersant Group brings the total number of Mainstream presses sold around the world to 19, including 631 printing couples. Heidelberg continues to confirm its position as an emerging leader in the newspaper press market. This is especially apparent in France, where Heidelberg also received orders for two Mainstream presses for the Spir communication group in September 2000 and for La Dépêche du Midi in October 2001. "Publishers have really measured all the advantages the Mainstream can bring them in terms of productivity, flexibility and print quality in color." declares Jacques Navarre, senior vice president for the Heidelberg newspaper program. "We are happy to contribute to the development of Le Progres, a major force in the regional press in France. It confirms that the Mainstream is very well adapted to the requirements of daily regional newspapers." Heidelberg is the world's leading print media solution provider. The company manufactures and supports an extensive range of sheetfed, digital and web press systems as well as prepress and postpress components, software and consumables for all printing applications. Heidelberg has 18 manufacturing sites, 250 sales and service sites and approximately 26,000 employees in 170 countries. For more information, please visit www.heidelberg.com.