1. ENNIS INC.
Ennis Inc. chairman, president and CEO Keith Walters is known for his bold business moves, and this year he didn't disappoint. But would Walters' moxie pay off for the Midlothian, Texas-based supplier or draw criticism from the industry?
From a financial standpoint, the reward came in a $16 million-plus revenue increase compared to 2012 figures. With reported annual sales climbing to $535.5 million, Ennis retained the No. 1 spot on Print+Promo's Top 50 Suppliers list, while placing second on Promo Marketing's Top 50 Promotional Products Suppliers list (published in July 2013). Walters was unable to determine a single reason for success, and instead pointed to overcoming historically high cotton costs in the apparel sector and integrating Printegra and PrintXcel into the Ennis organization. However, he admitted the latter didn't come without challenges.
"Although we had some issues with the integration of Printegra due to a requirement to update their patchwork of dated systems immediately, we are now through these issues," Walters said. "These locations are stronger and better positioned to service their customers as we move forward."
Ennis continued last year's pattern of savvy investments with several key acquisitions. On Sept. 17, 2013, the company executed a letter of intent to acquire the assets of Cenveo Inc.'s Custom Envelope Division. (Editor's Note: The deal was finalized at press time.) The Custom Envelope Division consists of the WISCO envelope brand, which is produced at a facility in Tullahoma, Tenn., and the National Imprint Corporation brand, which is produced in a leased facility in Claysburg, Pa. According to a recent release, the Custom Envelope Division generated approximately $40 million in sales in the previous fiscal year.
Ennis announced another acquisition on Sept. 25, 2013. The company executed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Folder Express from Wright Printing Company of Omaha, Neb. An Ennis release stated that Folder Express generated approximately $20 million in sales during the most recent calendar year.