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PLM Group Reports Record Q4 Revenue

Press release from the issuing company

MARKHAM, ON, March 28 - PLM Group today announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2004 - including record revenue and solid earnings - as the Company began to capitalize on its market-leading print, pre media and direct mail capabilities. "Premedia, large format digital printing and direct mail were clearly PLM's growth leaders this year," said Barry Pike, PLM's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With the full-year contributions of Mailer Magic and Optium (both acquired part way through 2003) we drove segment revenues ahead 180%, resulting in increased pre-tax earnings from these segments. Despite very challenging conditions for traditional print, we also generated an almost 3% organic increase in commercial print revenues over 2003 by expanding relationships with longstanding accounts. In addition, we were very successful in the year in winning new customer relationships. In total, this was a productive, satisfying year." Said David Stuart, PLM President and Chief Operating Officer: "By all measures, PLM performed well in 2004 and made the most of a very competitive marketplace. Through an aggressive focus on value-added assignments, we improved operational performance, and worked hard to enhance capacity utilization. We still have room for improvement but operational effectiveness, particularly in the final quarter of the year, was very high. A key highlight of 2004 was the seamless assimilation of new technology - our KBA 64 inch seven unit press - which gives PLM's sheet-fed operations the ability to print on various substrates including vinyl, plastic and paper board up to 40 points in thickness. PLM has never had so many capabilities to offer Canada's creative agencies and their clients." Said Peter Bradley, PLM Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: "The Company's financial condition continued to improve as a result of net debt repayments of $5.2 million during the year, which brought the debt to equity ratio to a healthy 37:63, from 39:61 at December 31, 2003. This, despite investments made during the year in new customer-focused capabilities, including the KBA press. We like our financial position because we have considerable financial capacity to carry out our growth strategies." Looking Forward Management believes the commercial print industry will remain intensely competitive in 2005 and expects PLM to continue to drive revenue and profitability through customer-focused strategies and by maximizing the potential of all of its assets. "We expect our industry will face the same challenges as it has in the recent past," said Mr. Pike, "but because of our capabilities and recent investments, PLM is again positioned for strong sales performance and market share gains. Our operating agenda for 2005 is focused on exploiting these potentials while enhancing customer value and delivering profit growth." "We believe we can extract more value from our capabilities - and be rewarded for it," added Mr. Bradley. "The investments we will make in 2005 will be incremental in nature, since our base of operations is very modern, our capacity provides us with room to grow and our capabilities are second to none in our niches." "With the backlash against telemarketing and Internet advertising, there is a growing recognition that personalized direct mail - supported by creative premedia and print - will become an increasingly important component of the marketing strategies of our clients," said Mr. Stuart. "This gives PLM new opportunities, and we have the capacity - both in terms of talent and technologies, including data management - to seize and exploit this potential. Strategically, we are very well positioned for 2005."