Belfast Telegraph

Over 30 jobs lost as historic print firm goes bust

By Clare Weir

Over 30 people have lost their jobs in Co Down after an 80-year-old printing firm went into administration.

Award-winning Bangor based printers, Commercial Graphics (NI) Limited, which employed 34 people ceased trading on Friday August 17.

Thirty two employees have been made redundant, with two staff retained to assist the administrators, Stephen Cave and Paul Rooney, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Commercial Graphics was originally founded in Belfast in 1929 and relocated to a purpose-built facility in Bangor in 1979.

The company was named as British Printing Industries Federation Printer of the Year in 1999 and provided a range of design, pre-press and specialised printing solutions.

Joint administrator, Stephen Cave blamed the company's failure on declining turnover and a significant increase in competition in the local print sector.

"Despite the efforts of the directors to secure the future of the business, severe cash flow pressures led to a cessation of trading last week, with 32 employees being made redundant," he said.

"Our immediate objective will be to determine the financial position of the company, and to examine potential sale opportunities."

Reacting to the closure, the joint managing directors of Commercial Graphics said in a statement: "This has been a very difficult time for the company and workforce.

"The directors did their utmost to maintain the company's viability in an extremely competitive and challenging Northern Ireland printing market.

"We regret that our efforts were unsuccessful."

The company is the latest in a line of historic printing firms in Northern Ireland to hit trouble.

Earlier this year, PriceWaterhouseCoopers was appointed as administrator to Belfast printing firm Northern Whig Limited, resulting in the loss of 21 jobs.

Founded in 1824, the Northern Whig was one of Ireland's oldest newspapers.

In early 2010, 81 jobs were lost in east Belfast after a printing company stopped trading after just five months in business.

C -amp; R Print bought the assets of Graham -amp; Heslip in a pre-pack administration and shortly after went into administration themselves. Graham -amp; Heslip, which traded from the same premises, went into administration in 2009 after 83 years in business.

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