Ovato printing plants open despite reduced demand, cuts pay 40%

“We continue to enjoy the support of our financiers, customers, suppliers and employees.”

Australia’s biggest printing group Ovato has released a statement about how it is fairing in a climate impacted by COVID-19.

Chairman of the business formerly known as PMP Group, Michael Hannan, said: “Ovato is facing this unprecedented crisis with the most experienced management team in the industry. We have acted early and are adapting to the daily changes. We have managed capacity by shutting down equipment at all sites, while retaining the flexibility required to ramp up or down quickly. I am proud to say that we have had good co-operation from our entire workforce which will see an effective 40% pay reduction for most of our staff, including all executives and board members. In the interests of our staff, our customers and our shareholders no one should underestimate our resolve to get through this crisis.”

The company gave no indication of the size of the drop in demand for print, and no indication of the impact for products distributed by Gordon and Gotch.

Kevin Slaven, CEO & managing director of Ovato said: “We continue to enjoy the support of our financiers, customers, suppliers and employees. We acted swiftly in the outset of COVID-19 to ensure our staff were as safe as possible and our customers could continue to be well served. While this uncertainty continues, Ovato remains confident in its ability to maintain our service standards with plants operating in all Australian states, albeit at reduced capacity. We are seeking to ensure that we match our expenses to our revenues, and I would like to thank our financiers, customers, suppliers and employees for their support and understanding.”

Ovato is believed to count Bauer Media amongst its clients and the impact of any merger of the Pacific titles could impact on the business, although it is expected that magazine print runs would have dropped significantly. Similarly demand for catalogues from retailers has also been impacted, although Ovato referred to neither directly in its statement.

Bauer Media has seen its business shutdown in New Zealand after the government ruled that magazines and community newspapers be suspended as part of the level four lockdown.

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