Revenue falls at B.C.’s biggest printing companies

Smaller printers suffered smaller revenue declines than their larger counterparts

The COVID-19 pandemic has done significant damage to the bottom line of British Columbia’s largest commercial printers, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Commercial Printers in Metro Vancouver list (

With only two exceptions, every printer on the list suffered a decline in revenue. No. 18 Pacific Adverting Printing & Signs was the sole company on the list to post revenue growth last year, increasing 20% to $600,000 from $500,000 in 2019. No. 16 Super Printers maintained its revenue at the same level as that of 2019.

Stable revenue over the past year for a few companies lower on the list helped the median revenue of the top 20 printers to grow 5.8% to $5.5 million in 2020 from $5.2 million in 2019. However, this does not reflect what most commercial printers in B.C. experienced; 89% of the companies on the list recorded a revenue drop.

Average revenue fell 11.9%, to $10.4 million in 2020 from $11.8 million in 2019, suggesting that smaller printers posted smaller revenue declines than did larger printers higher on the list.

The average revenue decline on the list was 16.1%.

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No. 15 Ultra X-Press Printing/ suffered the largest percentage revenue drop on the list. It fell 32.1% to $1.1 million in 2020 from $1.6 million in 2019.

However, the average decline for the bottom half of the list was 8.4%, or less than half of the 17.9% average revenue decline experienced by companies on the top half of the list.

The 2020 pandemic wiped out half a decade of revenue growth for three of the top four largest commercial printers that had five years of data available.

No. 1 Hemlock Group of Companies was the only company to have higher revenue in 2020 than in 2016.

No. 5 Ampco Manufacturers Inc. had the steepest five-year decline of the top five. Its revenue dropped 10.5% to $17 million in 2020 from $19 million in 2016. •