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‘Astronomical’ costs: Flint Group flags further price increases

“As a result of the continued rising costs, Flint OPS has no choice but to announce further price increases,” said the global printing inks manufacturer. Flint also plans to close its newspaper printing ink facility in Wolverhampton, UK due to “the accelerating move towards on-line news content.”


tony lord flint
  'Extremely challenging time':
     Tony Lord, Flint Group

“The last two years have proved to be an extremely challenging period of time for the print industry,” said Tony Lord, president of Flint Group Offset Packaging Solutions.

“Raw material shortages and multiple price increases, combined with staff shortages caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, created arduous circumstances for all businesses involved in the ink industry. From printers themselves, to freight companies and suppliers of key raw materials, all were adversely affected.

“After over two years experiencing the challenges that the global pandemic presented, the more optimistic among the industry had hoped that 2022 would present some stabilization in the print supply chain. However, as we move in to the second quarter of the year, this stabilization is yet to materialize, and is unlikely in the near future while the tragic events in Ukraine continue to develop.

“Not only are the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic still with us, but rising inflation, increasing fuels costs, huge demand for packaging of all types and a global energy crisis have further increased the burdens faced by suppliers to the print industry. These increases, in some cases, have been so astronomic that it is not possible for any supplier to absorb, and ultimately, the increased costs have been passed down the supply chain.

“The strain of the long-standing supply chain challenges, brought about by the global pandemic and exacerbated by current rates of inflation, fuel and energy increases can be felt industry wide,” Lord said. 

“Raw materials continue to suffer from increased demand and an exponential increase in pricing. The last two years have created a perfect storm for supply chain disruption and rapid price increases. In a time when the industry expected to enter into recovery mode, it is near impossible to predict when we might begin to see some relief to the pressure placed on our industry.”

As a result of the continued rising costs, Flint OPS has "no choice" but to announce further price increases, he said.

“It is with the utmost regret that we are forced to announce further price increases, as we fully understand the difficult climate our customers are operating in. We are as hopeful, as all other print related businesses are, that we will soon experience more stable supply chain conditions. However, in the meantime, increases imposed on our business have created a situation where continuing to sell our products at our current price level is simply not sustainable.”

Flint OPS will be contacting customers soon to discuss how they will be affected by the price increases.

Flint also announced plans to close its newspaper printing ink facility in Wolverhampton and has entered into "a formal consultation process with its employees." 

“In a statement today, Tony Lord, president of Flint Group’s Commercial Publication Web division, announced the potential closure of its newspaper ink facility at Old Heath Road, Wolverhampton, later this summer with up to 63 employees affected,” Flint said.

"It is with deep regret we make this announcement, possibly ending the long-standing manufacture of newspaper ink at the Wolverhampton facility,” said Lord. “This is entirely as a consequence of the accelerating move towards on-line news content in the UK and elsewhere, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the circulation of newspapers and resulting demand for newspaper printing ink to such a level, where it is currently deemed no longer viable to maintain a facility within the UK. 

"The Wolverhampton facility has an exemplary workforce and as such every possible avenue will be explored to try and retain the bespoke newspaper ink manufacturing site to supply the UK newspaper market, but sadly we have to recognise the collapse in demand for newspaper ink, with no realistic prospect of this changing in the foreseeable future. We therefore have no alternative other than to consider ceasing manufacture within the UK later this summer.”

The company added: “Flint CPS Inks UK Limited is now entering into a formal consultation process with its employees and their representatives to explore alternatives to site closure, redundancies or ways to mitigate the impact of redundancies whilst ensuring that this very difficult situation is handled with the least disruption possible to the committed workforce.”