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Standex Standard Publishing Division to Exit Commercial Printing Business

Press release from the issuing company

SALEM, N.H.--Oct. 21, 2003-- Standex International today announced that its Cincinnati-based Standard Publishing division has tentatively decided to close its printing operation and cease its commercial printing business. The termination of operations is expected to be concluded by March 31, 2004. "The commercial printing business has undergone massive consolidation in recent years in the face of weak demand, overcapacity and rising costs," said Randy L. Scott, president of Standard Publishing and group vice president of Standex's Consumer Group. "Many smaller printing firms, unable to invest the substantial amounts of capital in technology and equipment required to remain competitive, have either been acquired or liquidated. Standard Publishing can outsource its printing requirements at a lower cost, allowing us to strengthen its competitive position." Scott added, "This action will eliminate approximately 60 jobs; however, we are seeking to retain as many employees as possible. This decision was not made lightly; in fact, Standard Publishing is one of the few Christian book and curriculum publishers in the nation with in-house printing. Standard Publishing plans to begin transferring in-house work to other printers on November 1, providing printing customers with five months of advance notice. It is vitally important that our customers encounter no disruption and are assured a smooth transition with their time-sensitive delivery schedules being met." "The closing of the printing operation represents one more step in Standex's successful implementation of its Focused Diversity restructuring and realignment program which began in 2001," said Roger Fix, president and CEO of Standex. "By eliminating the printing division's overhead and higher production costs, we can direct resources to the core business of publishing Christian books and magazines - Standard Publishing's heritage since 1866."