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2010/12/20 manroland's assessment for the development of the printing and media industry in 2011

The printing and media industry can look cautiously optimistic into the year 2011, but it must do something additionally to have success. In the year 2011 the cross-media platforms for example will continue their further development and that with a strong print component.

The world of print is divided at least into two parts. On the one side we have the large established print markets. The decreasing print runs are damping down the prospects of the entire industry. On the other side the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are advancing. High growth rates ensure sustainable optimism there. But the BRIC countries have a downside. The dynamics of their economy increases the risk of investments.

Actually, in the established print markets the colours are not so dark as often estimated. Innovative business models illuminate the path to a secure future. These models require the courage to make changes, to innovate and also the willingness to look concentrated ahead. The pessimism of the coming down of the printing industry costs only time and will not cope with the existing opportunities.

Four different directions of growth can be outlined briefly. First, there is a global growth of the paid newspaper. The decreasing runs in Oceania, Europe and North America will be overcompensated by the strong growth in Africa, Asia and South America. Second, the Internet is not replacing the catalogue. Two thirds of the customers are using the printed catalogue before ordering on the Internet. Third, the book is still important. The book market remains stable contrary to all expectations. Fourth, the packaging market has registered a considerable growth in all regions of the world.

The printing industry must face creatively today's challenges in order to take advantages of the future opportunities. The adjustments to the declining demand for print products are as necessary as the compensation of the rising costs for raw materials, paper, transportation and energy.

But, most important, the entrepreneurial attitude should not be constricted by narrow-mindedness and existing frontiers. Concrete answers to how the strategies for a future growth look like, could be found out only individually. The combination of entrepreneurial spirit and regional solutions will be the driving force number one in pre-press, print and finishing.

The manroland prospects
We have consistently worked on the realignment of manroland. In addition to our extensive cost-cutting measures and the adoption of our restructuring package, our efforts have led in recent years to our today's strong market position with a convincing product and service portfolio, and efficient processes.

In order to strengthen our market position we take advantage of different growth opportunities. An example of that is our cooperation with Tensor and with Océ, as a result of which we expand into the low price segment on the one hand and occupy the business area digital printing on the other. Thanks to the ground-breaking collaboration with Océ, manroland has a clear competitive advantage. We will expand this advantage with maximum power.

We are proud that our technological innovations are being adopted very well by the market, for example the autoprint press series and the 96-page LITHOMAN in commercial printing. More than 150 APL (Automatic Plate Loading) robots have been ordered for the newspaper market and they are producing already around the world. For example, an APL robot will soon start production at the printing house Herold in Vienna. The fully automatic plate logistics system APL logistics has proven its advantages in the practice of daily newspaper production.

In commercial web offset printing the first LITHOMAN autoprint will start production at Körner Rotationsdruck at the beginning of 2011. Two 96-page presses were ordered in a rapid succession. It can be concluded that our work in cooperation with a powerful business partner has led to business success, which we intend to continue.

We are developing a ground-breaking technology in order to increase production efficiency (to be faster and cheaper) and product value (to be better and different). Applying this technology printing houses would like to differentiate and define their clear position on the market. We meet these demands, for example, in sheetfed printing with the format 8 ROLAND 900, XXL with a perfecting system, as well as with the enhancing options of the ROLAND InlineFoiler Prindor and the new high-performance ROLAND 700 HiPrint HS.

The service sector is of great importance for manroland also. Here we see a high customers' requirement for increasing efficiency based on production and process reliability. We support the online purchase of wear and spare parts through the manroland STORE. We offer a complete range of services including an extensive consulting portfolio, with printservices and with our certified range of pressroom products: printcom, printnet and printadvice.

Thomas Hauser, Vice President Corporate Marketing & Communications, manroland AG. © manroland, photo: Andreas Pohlmann.