MONTREAL, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B TCL.PR.D.) - The annual TC Transcontinental shareholders' meeting held today in Montreal was highlighted by the tribute paid to Rémi Marcoux, outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors and founder, and the election of his daughter, Isabelle Marcoux, as Chair of the Board. Mr. Marcoux will remain on the Board as a director.
Mr. Marcoux spoke about his pride in the company's achievements and thanked the thousands of people who have worked for TC Transcontinental since 1976, the year he founded the company with Claude Dubois and André Kingsley. "My dream was to found a company that was built on my values and that would last for a long time. Every day I have had the great pleasure of realizing this dream. In addition to enjoying seeing Transcontinental grow, I also have a great feeling of pride. We are members of the select group that has been in business for 35 years or more, and this is a wonderful achievement. It shows our ability to weather storms and change. We had to adapt, anticipate trends, transform ourselves and take calculated risks. In this period when the print, media and marketing communications industries are in a state of transformation, I am certain that Transcontinental will continue to find excellent opportunities for growth."
Rémi Marcoux also explained his decision to step down as Chairman of the Board. "My decision has been planned to ensure an orderly and transparent transition in the Chair of the Board. Isabelle has all the qualities needed for this role. She has been Vice Chair of the Board of Transcontinental since 2008. She is also a member of the boards of several other major Canadian corporations. For the past 15 years, as Corporate Vice President of Development, she has also been a central player in determining Transcontinental's approach to its issues and major orientations. She is the ideal candidate for this position. As a director, I will continue to keep a close watch over Transcontinental. I have exciting projects, including, in the short term, visiting our employees in their workplaces to personally thank them for their contribution to Transcontinental's success. I am delighted to have the health and energy to get involved in new activities."
A promising future
Isabelle Marcoux, the new Chair of the Board of Transcontinental Inc., paid tribute to the legacy created by Mr. Marcoux through his many years of commitment to the growth of Transcontinental. "Rémi is giving us a company with assets which place it in an excellent position for the future: sustained growth, loyal and satisfied customers, a strong corporate culture based on the values of innovation, respect, performance and teamwork, a low debt level, a commitment to sustainable and responsible development and excellent corporate governance." She also commented on the main challenges facing Transcontinental Inc. going forward. "We must continue our transformation by developing digital products and services that are aligned with the marketing strategies of our customers; we must create value for our shareholders, both by leveraging our assets and by making strategic investments; and we must broaden our reputation as a company that acts responsibly in its community and is true to its values."
Addressing the shareholders' meeting, François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer, presented the highlights of fiscal 2011 in these terms: "I would describe 2011 as a year of major change at Transcontinental. We have redefined the basis of our future development. Whether this involved modernizing our values, positioning and our new branding; or setting up programs to promote innovation; or markedly improving the performance of our print network; or announcing the acquisition of Quad/Graphics Canada; or amalgamating our Media and Interactive sectors, we have had a single aim throughout: to serve our customers better."»
Mr. Olivier also emphasized that print is still a highly effective medium, since 46% of advertising spending goes to print. In the Printing Sector, TC Transcontinental Printing benefited from the more than $700 million in capital investments in recent years, particularly in the new hybrid press platform, which led to the extension of a number of contracts and the awarding of new ones. The company also proceeded with the acquisition of the shares of Quad/Graphics Canada. Having received the authorization of the Competition Bureau, this transaction, which will close in the near future, should generate an additional $40 million in operating income in the next 12 to 24 months.
The activities of the Media and Interactive sectors were amalgamated under TC Media in order to present an integrated offering that would help customers reach their target consumers more easily through a mix of media, digital and interactive solutions. The company has considerably increased its Web traffic, now reaching close to one-half of all Canadian Web users through its more than 1,000 websites. New websites and community newspapers were launched, and weekly papers and a publishing house were acquired. Digital and interactive marketing operations account for about 10% of TC Transcontinental's consolidated revenues, or close to $200 million.
Mr. Olivier also noted the important additions to the management team of Katya Laviolette, Corporate Vice President, Human Resources; Nelson Gentiletti, Chief Financial and Development Officer; and Alain Gignac, Chief Marketing Activation Officer.
Adjustment in the Corporate Governance Structure
Given the change in the Chair of the Board, the Board made certain adjustments to corporate governance, strengthening the role and responsibilities of Senior Director Richard Fortin. Mr. Fortin will chair the meetings of the independent directors and ensure that the Board functions independently from management. He will also evaluate the performance of the president and CEO and will recommend compensation levels jointly with the chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, which is composed exclusively of independent directors.
About TC Transcontinental
TC Transcontinental creates marketing products and services that allow businesses to attract, reach and retain their target customers. The Corporation is the largest printer in Canada and the fourth-largest in North America. As the leading publisher of consumer magazines and French-language educational resources, and of community newspapers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, it is also one of Canada's top media groups. TC Transcontinental is also the leading door-to-door distributor of advertising material in Canada through its celebrated Publisac network in Quebec and Targeo in the rest of Canada. Thanks to a wide digital network of more than 1,000 websites, the company reaches over 13 million unique visitors per month in Canada. The company also offers interactive marketing products and services that use new communication platforms supported by marketing strategy and planning services, database analytics, pre-media, e-flyers, email marketing, custom communications and mobile solutions.
Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A, TCL.B, TCL.PR.D), known by the brands TC Transcontinental, TC Media and TC Transcontinental Printing, has 10,000 employees in Canada and the United States, and reported revenues of C$2.0 billion in 2011. For more information about the corporation, please visit www.tc.tc
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