Bertelsmann Bids Gravure Adieu With Prinovis Closure

Prinovis, a subsidiary of German media company Bertelsmann Printing Group (BPG), has decided to wind up operations of its production site in the northern German town of Ahrensburg. The management informed the 545-strong workforce that the operations would cease by 31 January, 2023.

Prinovis MD and Bertelsmann Printing Group CFO Ulrich Cordes said the decision to close down the loss-making site was a difficult yet an unavoidable one due to the negative market developments in recent years. The company blamed the structural decline in the European gravure printing market over the past decade to reduced order volumes in both the commercial and periodical markets, particularly high-volume magazines, catalogues, and supplements.

Cordes also stated that the repercussions of the pandemic and the huge increases in raw material costs particularly paper and energy had made customers to increase reviewing their marketing mix and product offerings over the past two years and change to adopt digital communication solutions.


In November last, Prinovis announced closure of its UK operations, similarly blaming the decline in the gravure printing market since the pandemic. The Liverpool factory, with a staff strength of around 250, is slated to cease its operations by the end of June this year. Since 2019, Prinovis UK had seen a significant decline in the publication printing market.

The latest announcement on Ahrensburg comes more than a year later after Bertelsmann signaled the closure of its 470-staff Prinovis Dresden gravure facility that was finally shut down at the end of 2022. Earlier BPG’s similar strategy led to the closure of its Nuremberg plant in April 2021.

Group CEO Dirk Kemmerer emphasized that “the aim was to find socially acceptable solutions for the impacted staff to give certainty about the conditions and further course of process at the earliest.” Speaking about the employees at Ahrensburg, he adds, “They have been doing an excellent job over the years and have put in their all for the company.”

“The fact that we nevertheless had to make this tough decision has nothing to do with their performance, but everything to do with the structural changes in the European market for gravure printing and the grave consequences pertaining to the raw material and energy crisis,” explains Kemmerer.

By winding up its last remaining printing plant in Ahrensburg, Prinovis bids adieu to its parent company’s gravure printing technology.

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