Mediahuis Luxembourg will close its printing works in Gasperich

The daily newspaper “Luxemburger Wort” and the weekly newspaper “Contacto” will be printed in Belgium in the future.

decline in printing activities

Andrew Holpert

The daily newspaper “Luxemburger Wort” and the weekly newspaper “Contacto” will be printed in Belgium in the future.

Media House Luxembourg (formerly Saint-Paul Luxembourg) has decided to close its printing works in Luxembourg-Gasperich. The media company announced this on Tuesday. The daily Luxembourg word and the weekly Contact will in future be printed at a Mediahuis Group printing facility in Belgium.

Howald , Saint-Paul Board of Directors , Meeting and Visit to New Opportunities , Photo: Guy Jallay/Luxemburger Wort

The publisher that publishes the “Luxemburger Wort” officially changes its name to fully integrate the new identity of its new parent company.

Paul Peckels, CEO of Mediahuis Luxembourg, emphasized in the announcement that the decision to close the printing plant is a consequence of the decline in printing activities. However, it is not only a question of the decrease in the circulation of paper newspapers, but above all the decision of Infomail SA to stop its activities in the distribution of advertising leaflets, published under the name “i – mail”, June 30, 2022. These Brochures are made up in the Gasperich printing house Infomail SA is a joint venture between Mediahuis Luxembourg and Post Luxembourg.

Due to a European directive

Infomail’s decision is based in particular on the early anticipation of the implementation of European Directive 2018/851 into national law. This directive, which has to be approved in Parliament this Wednesday, prohibits the deposit and distribution of printed commercial advertising in mailboxes unless the recipient has given their express consent.

“The reduction in activities requires an adjustment in the size and organization of the printing teams,” explains Paul Peckels. According to the CEO of Mediahuis Luxembourg, an economically viable management of the print shop and its employees will no longer be possible under these conditions.

26 employees affected by the closure

The company does not have a redundancy plan in place but will try to find an acceptable solution for the 26 employees affected, including a number of highly qualified and experienced printers and mechanics. Individual career talks are now being offered. The exact date of the last printing has not yet been determined. “But the premises must be vacated by the first quarter of 2024,” specifies Paul Peckels.

Mediahuis Luxembourg is the tenant of the printing works in Gasperich. The owner is the real estate company of the Archdiocese of Luxembourg, Lafayette SA. The various machines and technical equipment are offered for sale, especially in the market for spare parts for printers.

Since the 1970s, the Luxembourg word – the daily newspaper with the highest circulation in Luxembourg – is printed in Gasperich. This was also where the headquarters of Saint-Paul Luxembourg was located, which became Mediahuis Luxembourg in 2020, whose headquarters are now in Howald. In the 1990s, the print shop was expanded to accommodate today’s printing machine.

No print capacity available

In future the Luxembourg word and the weekly Contact is therefore printed in Belgium on a Mediahuis Group press. The necessary capacities for printing the publications of the Luxembourg press group are located here. “These capacities are not available in Luxembourg or in the greater region,” explains Paul Peckels.

Illustration, Martine REICHERTS Photo: Luxemburger Wort/Anouk Antony

The former EU commissioner will succeed François Pauly as chief executive officer of the press group that publishes Luxemburger Wort, the group announced on Thursday. She will be the first woman to hold this position.

Mediahuis Luxembourg will also be able to benefit in Belgium from all the synergies and economies of scale that a large structure allows, such as purchasing, team organization, security, etc. The printing offer in Belgium will also be offered to external customers of the Gasperich printing house.

However, transporting the printed newspapers from the printers in Belgium to Luxembourg will take longer. However, the current schedule will not be changed. As a result, the editorial deadline for the printed newspaper remains fixed at 9:00 p.m. and the printed newspapers are fed into the postal distribution network according to the current schedule.

However, Mediahuis Luxembourg will continue to explore distribution improvements with Post Luxembourg officials before starting the first production in Belgium.

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