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Polestar Confirms Massive Gravure Press Order

Press release from the issuing company

9 September 2003: The Polestar Group has agreed with News International, publishers of The Sun, News of the World, Sunday Times, and The Times newspapers, the size of the gravure press it will order in the next few weeks. The press will be 3.88 metres wide, giving Polestar the ability to produce in one pass two 84-page ‘catalogue’ size products or a 96-page tabloid product, with the ability to stitch and trim inline if required. This investment increases the Group’s gravure capacity by some 10% overall. Polestar Varnicoat is the most likely location for this press, as it already has wide web technology and the ability to handle the cylinders. A News International spokesperson says: “We are pleased that Polestar has invested in this equipment. It will give us more publishing flexibility and security for our magazine titles.” Based on a solid financial performance, Polestar first announced its intention to invest in additional gravure capacity in October 2002, as part of a capital expenditure program of £25 million. One of the four web presses that also formed part of that program, a KBA 618 48-page machine, was commissioned at Polestar Revai in Hungary in January, and a second 64-page MAN Roland Lithoman is due to be installed at Polestar Petty in Leeds this month. Barry Hibbert, CEO of Polestar says: “We have yet to finalize the particulars of this latest gravure press, but this will be done within the next few weeks and we will be up and running with this press towards the end of 2004.” He continues: “I am particularly excited about adding to our wider capability as it offers our customers greater flexibility with regard to the size and pagination of their products, in particular mail order catalogs. Through the increased efficiency that this machine will deliver, we are well placed to continue the growth of this company.”