Singapore, 9 January, 2007 - As part of its continuous efforts to better serve its readers, advertisers and third-party titles, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is spending S$48 million to replace and upgrade its second printing facility at Media Centre in Genting Lane.
The new pressline at Media Centre will replace the current two Urbanite presses which were installed more than 20 years ago. The main feature of the new facility is its full-colour capacity, bringing it in line with the newer presses at SPH’s main printing plant in Jurong.
In addition to providing high-quality printing and colour reproduction, the new fully-automated pressline will be able to produce newspapers at a faster speed to reach readers earlier.
Scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2008, the new facility will comprise a pre-press system, a pressline and a post-press mailroom system.
Details of the three components of the new facility are:
1) A modern UNISET printing pressline by Germany´s MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG
It comprises a total of 16 towers in three press sections. This configuration will be the longest UNISET pressline in the world.
The pressline can produce up to 75,000 copies per hour and up to 64 full-colour broadsheet pages over the entire line. As it has three sections, it can print different publications at the same time. MAN Roland is widely regarded as a global leader in web offset presses.
2) A prepress system using Computer to Plate or CtP technology by Kodak Polychrome Graphics Singapore Pte Ltd
This CtP installation at Media Centre will be the first for SPH. After having monitored the advancements made in the CtP system, SPH is convinced that the technology will add greater efficiency to the printing process and enhance print and colour quality. Already adopted by many newspaper companies in the world, the system eliminates the need to produce negative films for platemaking. Over time, SPH will extend the use of the CtP system to its main plant in Jurong. The CtP system has been awarded to Kodak Polychrome Graphics Singapore Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak of USA. Eastman Kodak is a well established name in the graphic industry.
3) A post-press system by Sweden´s IDAB WAMAC International AB
With fully-automated conveying, counter-stacking and bundling lines, it can handle up to 90,000 copies an hour in mailroom operations. IDAB WAMAC is a world leader in tailor-made, cost-effective mailroom systems using technology to improve the newspaper business.
SPH is formally awarding the contracts for its new machines to the three companies today at the News Centre Auditorium. The cost of the new facility will be funded fully from internal resources and will have no material impact on the earnings and the net tangible assets per share of SPH in the financial year ending 31 August 2007.
SPH has won numerous international print and design awards over the years. In 2006, it achieved the distinction of winning four out of the 50 membership awards to qualify for the IFRA International Color Quality Club, the largest number of awards for a single company in the history of the awards. SPH also won a record 11 media awards at the 2006 IFRA Asian Expo in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Alan Chan, SPH Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with MAN Roland, IDAB WAMAC and Kodak in the Media Centre New Press Project. All three are industry leaders with proven track records. I am confident that we have picked the right machines and the right partners. My Production colleagues in the New Press Project for Media Centre look forward to working closely with our project partners and winning more awards with this new printing facility."
SPH’s Senior Vice President for Production, Mr Anthony Cheng, said MAN Roland, IDAB WAMAC and Kodak were picked after a rigorous selection process.
“Although the three market leaders faced stiff competition from other vendors, all of them have shown that they have clear leads in meeting our specifications and requirements. They have also demonstrated their capability and commitment to support SPH in the long term,” added Mr Cheng, who heads the Media Centre project.
With the latest acquisition of a UNISET pressline, SPH will have press machines by the three top press manufacturers in the world — MAN Roland, KBA and Goss. SPH´s main plant in Print Centre, Jurong is anchored by the KBA Commander and Goss Colorliner presses. It has a total of eight presslines. Print Centre currently prints all the major SPH newspapers on the KBA Commander and Colorliner presses while Media Centre prints non-SPH newspapers such as Asahi Shimbun, Nikkei and International Herald Tribune under commercial arrangements. When the new press facility in Media Centre is commissioned, SPH will reallocate the printing of the various newspapers to optimise resources.
The new press facility at Media Centre will also be part of SPH’s business continuity plan in the event of a contingency.
Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Registration No. 198402868E
For more information, please contact:
Ms Juliana Chong
Manager, Corporate Communications
DID: 6319 1895
Ms Chen Jingwen
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
DID: 6319 1226
About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 perc ent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million page views with 6 million unique visitors every month. SPH’s online and new media initiatives include its recruitment and job search service, ST701, and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English. In addition, SPH holds an 80 percent stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH is also developing a 43-storey, upmarket residential condominium on its former Times Industrial Building site at Thomson Road, which will be launched in 2007.
About MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG
MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG is the world’s second largest printing systems manufacturer and the world’s market leader in web offset printing. MAN Roland operates out of Offenbach, Augsburg, and Plauen in Germany. It employs 9,000 staff and has annual sales of EUR 1.7 billion, with an export share of 83%. Web and sheetfed offset presses are the major product lines for publishing, general commercial and packaging printing. MAN Roland is the only printing press manufacturer to be partner of the World Association of Newspapers.For more information, visit www.man-roland.com
About IDAB WAMAC International AB
IDAB WAMAC International AB, a Heidelberg company located in Sweden, has for many years been one of the major suppliers of mailroom systems for newspaper printing plants world-wide. Based on its long experience from demanding printing environment, IDAB WAMAC has developed a product range suitable for the printing condition in the Asia Pacific region and is well positioned to serve and to supply major newspapers in the region with economical and reliable solutions.For more information about IDAB WAMAC, visit www.idabwamac.com
About Eastman Kodak Company
Kodak is the world´s foremost imaging innovator, providing leading products and services to the photographic, graphic communications and healthcare markets. With sales of $14.3 billion in 2005, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak´s system of digital and traditional image capture products and services to take, print and share their pictures anytime, anywhere; Businesses effectively communicate with customers worldwide using KODAK solutions for prepress, conventional and digital printing and document imaging; Creative Professionals rely on KODAK technology to uniquely tell their story through moving or still images; and leading Healthcare organizations rely on Kodak´s innovative products, services and customized workflow solutions to help improve patient care and maximize efficiency and information sharing within and across their enterprise. More information about Kodak is available at www.kodak.com.For more information about Kodak´s Graphic Communications Group, visit www.graphics.kodak.com