Goss Reviews Business in 2007

By: E&P Staff

At a teleconference and Web presentation earlier this week, Goss International CEO Bob Brown said results preliminary to next week’s audit show adjusted pretax earnings of approximately $60 million for 2007, or about the same as 2006.

Sales at the privately held company came in at about $1.1 billion, a little less than the year before. The breakdown showed $466 million in the Americas, $675 million in Europe, and $175 million in Asia.

For the year, order intake was $1.065 billion and this year’s starting backlog is better than in 2007, according to Brown.

Brown also cited a good aftermarket business for software upgrades, web-width changes, digital inkers, and rebuilds.

For research and development, “we continue to invest at a five- to six-percent level,” Brown said.

In the newspaper sector, the Goss chief acknowledged that the newspaper sector “is a challenged environment right now,” while also noting that singlewide sales are doing well in certain regions, such as Latin America and South Africa. Goss’ Nantes, France, plant “had a great year in ’07,” shipping almost 400 Uniliner and Universal units, Brown said.

The New Hampshire plant built the 85-cph 12-tower Global Colorliner that went into service almost a month ahead of schedule at The New York Times, according to Brown.

The company’s joint venture in China had record revenue (triple that of 2000) from its Community and Magnum presses and is now producing the M500 heatset commercial press, for which it took three orders last year. Brown also pointed to what he called “the largest doublewidth order in China” — 12 Newsliner towers, five folders and 16 RTPs.

In Europe, Independent News & Media has been printing coldest and heatset on its FPS press, while the FPS installation under way at Holland’s Hoekstra Boom will feature a cutoff-change provision. The third FPS site, in Fredericksburg, Va., will include heatset capability and an integrated mailroom with Ferag systems. The Free Lance-Star’s FPS should be on line at “the tail end of fall of ’08,” said Brown.

In addition to success in its U.S. marketing relationship with Ferag, Goss’ own post-press business volume was “promising” in 2007, and the company expects the same to be true in 2008, according to Brown. Citing the micro-zoning capability of Goss hardware and software, he pointed to the Magnapak installation under way at the Chicago Tribune.

On the commercial side, 2007 saw the introduction of automatic transfer technology, enabled by digital workflow, automated plating and gapless press cylinder design. The technology — aiding near-lights-out operation – has been exploited by Cox target Media using two Sunday 4000 presses, with job changes occurring every 12 minutes. Brown said the capability is being taken in the book market for extremely short runs.

Goss also had some success moving into Austria and Germany, and further commercial web sales in the Asia-Pacific market, according to Brown, who also noted “a market opportunity” among sheetfed printers that are beginning to add web presses.

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