HP today announced that it has signed a multimillion dollar agreement with Consolidated Graphics Inc. (NYSE: CGX), one of the largest North American general commercial printing companies, for the installation of as many as 36 HP Indigo digital presses – including multiple HP Indigo 7000 Digital Presses – at facilities in the United States and the Czech Republic this year.

With annual revenues of $1.2 billion, Consolidated Graphics has 70 printing businesses in the United States and Canada, as well as a facility in the Czech Republic. The purchase of the HP Indigo presses with HP SmartStream Ultra Print Servers extends its presence among major general commercial printing providers as a leader in the use of digital printing technology.

In terms of value, the HP Indigo technology purchase represents a significant portion of the capital expenditures Consolidated Graphics has planned for its digital printing operations this year. Last year, the company spent approximately $25 million on digital presses and related technology. Press installations are scheduled to begin in June, starting with the company’s Prague, Czech Republic, and Medford, Ore., facilities.

Meeting increasing demand with HP technology

“We believe that Consolidated Graphics has the largest footprint of high-speed digital presses in the commercial print industry, both in terms of units and strategic locations,” said Joe R. Davis, chairman and chief executive officer, Consolidated Graphics. “We expect to continue to invest in digital technology to satisfy our customers’ increasing demand. We are proud of our growing relationship with HP and the ability to leverage their technology leadership as a complement to our strategic focus in this high-growth portion of our business.”

The majority of the installation will be for a significant photobook printing operation that will include a number of HP Indigo 7000 Digital Presses, six of which will be used in direct marketing applications, including a press installed as a beta unit at Consolidated Graphics’ Nies/Artcraft facility in St. Louis, Mo.

Photo specialty printing, which includes photobooks and similar digitally printed products, is the fastest-growing segment of the HP Indigo business. According to IDC, the photo merchandise market will grow 91 per cent from 2007-09, with worldwide revenues expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2009.(1)

“This deal exemplifies the confidence that Consolidated Graphics has in HP’s technology as well as our commitment to customer success,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. “The unmatched quality of our technology allows companies like Consolidated Graphics to pursue even greater profitable growth by meeting the exploding demand for photo-quality digital production printing and variable data print campaigns.”

Leveraging the benefits of digital across print applications

Since acquiring its first HP Indigo press in 1998, Consolidated Graphics has used the technology in applications demanding high uptime and offset- or photo-quality results. Consolidated Graphics already has 19 HP Indigo presses that perform a variety of progressive printing applications, from personalized marketing collateral, to print-on-demand supply chain management for a leading office supply firm, to a multimedia campaign in the telecommunications industry.

The success of these and other programs have made Consolidated Graphics the largest producer of printed material on the HP Indigo platform in the world during the past quarter.

“Our digital investments underscore Consolidated Graphics’ commitment to offering our customers leading-edge digital technology plus the speed and cost-efficiencies of the largest integrated digital footprint of any commercial printer in the U.S.,” said Aaron Grohs, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Consolidated Graphics. “Our North American digital network is fully integrated so that we can send print files electronically to the facility closest to the point of delivery. This provides speed to market, cost-savings and an environmentally friendly alternative to shipping materials long distances.”

HP Indigo presses print on a broad range of certified media, which expands the types of applications print service providers can offer their customers. Consolidated Graphics, for example, uses the presses to print on Tyvek to produce the race numbers for the New York City Marathon and many of the other major marathon and triathlon events in the United States and worldwide.

More information about HP Indigo presses is available at www.hp.com/go/graphicarts.

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