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We made the switch to Central Ink several years ago, and we have been very happy that we did. We had used the same ink supplier for years. When we installed a new press we had...Continue reading

Will Randall, Vice President and COO - Frederick News Post Printing and Publishing (Frederick, MD)

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PAGE - Finances Continue to be PositiveAugust 12, 2016

President's Column by Jeff Brown

I am very pleased to announce that your cooperative has closed out another successful year of saving money for members. We recently closed our year ending June 2016 and, subject to our audit, we will be returning over $600,000 in dividends. This is a result of continued efficiency gains in the co-op’s operations, our increase in total tonnage purchased and a reduction in bad debt risk. Dividends as a percentage of total sales volume were .44%, which is more than double our .21% 30-year average.

Even in the current environment of industry consolidation, in which we were not immune, PAGE held virtually even in total members with 252 at the end of 2016, one more than the prior year. This took a lot of hard work and a lot of travel on the part of PAGE’s marketing team composed of Joan Graff and Steve Schroeder. John Snyder and Marcy Emory were leading this charge.

Our emphasis in recent years has been increasing our in-the-field face-to-face meeting and demonstrations of how PAGE can significantly save money for newspaper operations. So far this looks to be paying off.

Some other notable statistics:

RISI shows US newsprint shipments for the rolling 12 months ending May 2016 down 4.4%. PAGE shipments were up 3.6% for the same period.

PAGE’s fiscal year income was up $108,000 (4%) over the prior year as a result of a higher volume of newsprint purchases and some additional interest income on the extension of credit in spite of a fall off in other supplies purchased.

PAGE’s expenses were down $123,000 (-6.5%) for the same period, a reflection of tighter payroll control and lower bad debt risk.

So as we look forward to next year, its no secret that the continued declines in newspaper shipments and the resulting changes in landscape for producers will continue to challenge PAGE. The board has spent a lot of time this year grappling with these issues with the most obvious being if and how the co-op can continue increasing market share in a shrinking market. We are reviewing things like membership criteria, how to better market to members, how to better leverage our purchasing power, ensuring leadership through the inevitable staffing and board changes and alternative sources of revenue outside of our traditional categories, or even our own industry.

PAGE has to skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been, to borrow the Wayne Gretzky line. Ultimately, we want to insure PAGE’s future as the trusted, dependable and cost effective purchasing cooperative you have come to rely on.

Thanks for your membership support over the years. As members you are also the owners. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we are doing.
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