EskoArtwork, based in Ghent (Belgium) and one of the world leaders in prepress technology for the narrow web sector, has also not escaped the chill wind of recession. In February, the company – which employs 900 and had sales of €170 million ($215 million) last year – announced a restructuring plan involving a 10 percent cut in staff. Meanwhile the world’s biggest maker of printing machinery, Heidelberg, has just announced its latest quarterly results, with a loss of €24 million, a sales drop of 19 percent and new orders down by a mind-boggling 42 percent. Worldwide, Heidelberg has already cut more than 2,000 jobs. As well as manufacturing the Speedmaster presses for printing dry labels and packaging, Heidelberg is also a 30 percent owner of Gallus, based in Switzerland.
The demise and promised rebirth of Italy’s Gidue has already been reported in the previous issue of Label & Narrow Web. Other major European press makers are keeping their heads down, but the acute shortage of glowing press releases tells its own story.