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Printing market: innovations, changes, results and prospects to date

Printing market: innovations, changes, results and prospects to date

Printing market: innovations, changes, results and prospects to date

Many events and changes have taken place in the printing industry and at Corlet Imprimeur 360°. So it’s time to take stock and share with you what we think will be the most important trends of 2023.

2021: a year of rebound with encouraging performance

The year 2021 was marked by the health crisis and this had a significant impact. Although the prices of paper and other raw materials have risen significantly, the overall picture is positive. Where books were in a state of decline before the crisis, we have seen a revival of interest in paper books. After a phase of stagnation or even a slight decrease in activity, we have reached quite exceptional levels of workload in this field of activity.

Book printing boosted by health crisis

This health crisis has restored a taste for reading and publishers have refocused on Europe and sometimes even only on France to print their books. Obviously, we were still impacted since we are sensitive to variations in our customers’ activities. Commercial printed products were the most affected by the health crisis and volumes fell sharply during 2021. Books and periodicals enabled us to maintain our business during the health crisis and we managed to ‘reduce’ its impact during this period.

Close-up view of the printing of a cover on an offset press in the workshops of Corlet Imprimeur.

Corlet Imprimeur becomes the 3rd largest book printer in France

Each year, the magazine Caractère publishes a ranking of the most successful French printers. Among the 326 printers present in this ranking, Corlet Imprimeur becomes the 3rd book printer in France. This additional place on the podium illustrates the transformations and the quality of the work carried out within the company. Taking all printing categories and trades together, Corlet Imprimeur is in 24th place among the best performing companies in terms of investment.

Corlet Roto, our rotary offset printing department, is also listed among the top 326 French printing companies.

Assessment 2022: innovations and development of our Rapidbook tool

Many challenges met

The year 2022 has been an eventful one and we have seen many changes in the printing world.

Firstly, on a global level, some paper mills have closed or converted to the manufacture of cardboard. This product is in increasing demand due to the health crisis and the increase in e-commerce as well as the end of single-use plastic.

The direct consequence of these closures and industrial reorientations has been an increase in the price of paper to unprecedented levels. This has forced printers to no longer guarantee the availability of paper, or even its price in the short term. Our teams in the quotation, purchasing and manufacturing departments, as well as our sales advisors, did everything possible to limit the impact of this situation on our customers, but also to help them make the right choices for their printed products. Optimisation and responsiveness were the key words for the first part of 2022.

A modern printing company and an evolving group

But this period was also one of renewal and development, as many changes took place.

Indeed, our investment in the renewal of our range of digital presses is the notable event that has left its mark. With the help of the government as part of the recovery plan, and with constant support from Canon France, we have installed four new digital presses in our premises.

Four new digital presses

The VPiX is the digital press that puts offset to shame. In addition to offering unparalleled quality, short turnaround times and vibrant colours, it improves our price competitiveness on short-run colour jobs.

The VarioPrint TITAN 6000 digital press prints books in black and is the fastest production press in its class! It has been designed to meet the current demands of today’s ever-changing production environments.

It meets the challenge of increased efficiency, adapts to ever tighter production deadlines, handles increasingly complex documents, and allows you to add real value to your service offering. All this on paper from 60 g.

A revolutionary technology that allows simultaneous printing of both sides of the paper. The result is registration that is unmatched in the digital world. No need to turn the paper over, minimising the risk of printing errors and paper jams.

The Colorstream 8160 is the latest addition to this series of investments in the group’s digital department. It is a digital roll-to-roll press with inkjet technology for high quality black printing. It brings with it a more competitive offering from around thirty copies up to a few thousand.

The Imagepress C840 completes our fleet of machines for flap covers, thanks to its long sheet format.

Changes to the premises for greater clarity and to meet our environmental commitments

We have changed our signs so that they are up to date and in line with our graphic charter. At the same time, the signage was renewed as some signs had become too old while others were added to help carriers and visitors find their way around our sites more easily.

With a view to improving our energy consumption, we have carried out a relamping operation on all our sites. This includes around 1,500 lighting posts, which will enable us to reduce the electricity consumption of the lights by 67%.

What are the projections for the printing market in 2023?

The last two years have been shaken by many events and 2023 will not ask for any more as it announces a similar trend although on different subjects.

The search for cheaper printing at all costs

Indeed, the current economic context is such that many economic actors are looking for solutions elsewhere than with their usual service provider where they are not offered the alternative solutions they need to stay within their budget.

At Corlet Imprimeur 360°, we strive to offer these alternatives. We provide technical and commercial solutions in addition to advice and support for our customers. This ranges from the choice of paper for their work, to the choice of ink and the press on which we print their product.

Indeed, if a quotation does not fit into the budget of one of our clients, we can make a second version by modifying certain criteria that affect the final invoice.

Forecast for paper supply and prices in 2023

The good news for the paper industry is that the situation is tending to stabilise in terms of prices, available volumes and supply times. The situation is improving, to the delight of customers and purchasing departments, who have been under pressure for months to have paper available in as many qualities as there are requests.

That said, it is still too early to talk about a long-term commitment to paper prices. We can only say that the trend is no longer upwards, at least for the current quarter.

Accelerating the development of print-on-demand with Rapidbook

In 2020, we launched Rapidbook, a print-on-demand tool that facilitates the printing of short-run books for publishers.

This year will be marked by the democratisation of the use of the service thanks to our latest generation Canon digital presses. They allow us to improve our reactivity as well as our production times while increasing our production capacities.

To apply for registration and start ordering your own short-run books, go to the contact page by clicking on the button below.

Aid for press publishers to counter rising production costs

30 million will be allocated to CPPAP (Commission Paritaire des Publications et Agences de Presse) publishers who are in difficulty due to increases in production costs. This is what the FNPS tells us in its January 2023 letter.

5 million for IPG (Political and General Information) titles, it was not retained by the Government. 5 million for the press as a whole. Finally, the Government announced that the fund would amount to 30 million euros. It will concern all publications recognised by the CPPAP and in particular those whose economic situation has been badly affected.

Open routing and paper wrapping are becoming more common

Since the implementation of the AGEC law on 1 January 2022, single-use plastic for packaging printed matter has been banned and alternatives have been developed.

The printing of journals, magazines and catalogues is becoming more democratic. It is attracting more and more press publishers and industrialists or mail order companies. It has to be said that this adds value to the document, which in itself becomes an element of communication on the company’s social responsibility.

The number of customers for short-distance mailings is also increasing. This solution, appreciated for its lower cost and convenience, is increasingly seen in mailboxes.

Terre de Liens: a new partner for the group

Faced with the alarming disappearance of agricultural land in France, the Fondation Terre de Liens has the mission of preserving our agricultural heritage in the very long term. It is entitled to receive farms by donation or bequest, and also buys land thanks to donations from citizens, corporate sponsorship and partnerships with local authorities. It guarantees a responsible use of the land by installing farmers with environmentally friendly practices.

Corlet Imprimeur 360° has become a partner of this association which, like our group, is committed to preserving the rural and agricultural territory in all regions of France. We will have the opportunity to tell you more about it soon.