Friesens surpasses $100M in annual revenue despite the pandemic

Chad Friesen

Leading Canadian book printer Friesens Corporation (Altona, Manitoba) has reported a hugely successful 2021, achieving a record $100 million in sales. The employee-owned company was founded in 1907. “While many other businesses continued to struggle (including two of our own), overall, we had one of our best years in over a decade thanks to really strong performance in our Book Division and subsidiary company, FriesenPress,” said CEO Chad Friesen. Senior Vice President, Byron Loeppky added: “The company benefited greatly from investments made over the last five years as we’ve expanded our facilities, upgraded equipment, automated processes and added capacity. All these efforts contributed to our success as we enjoyed unprecedented demand from our customers.” The increase in demand is the result of strong retail sales of printed books, as well as the shortage of supply – a result of limited book manufacturing capacity in North America and major disruptions to global supply chains. All of this positioned Friesens as a desirable print partner for Canadian and American publishers alike.

Chad Friesen also pointed out: “There were certainly challenges over the last 12 months, including navigating the health threats of the pandemic, a recruitment shortage, difficult supply chains, and a drop off in yearbook business due to school closures and restricted activities. But we managed to overcome most of those challenges through persistence and innovation. As a 100% employee-owned company, the staff of Friesens and FriesenPress participate in the financial success of the company. This year, those rewards will exceed $3 million and represent more than a 75% increase in employee-owner payments. Employee-owner payments are determined by a number of factors but essentially, when the company earns a profit, we first invest back into the business, then we set aside some cash for the future, and finally, if there’s money left over, after that we pay ourselves as owners.

Friesens headquarters in Altona, Manitoba

Lastly, as Friesens succeeds so does our community. We define community as our neighbours, our customers, our vendors, and society as a whole. We are proud to have increased support for many initiatives in 2021 including the YFC Altona expansion, the Kiddie Sunshine Day Care expansion, and the Altona Library relocation initiative, along with numerous other projects. Looking ahead to 2022, we are very optimistic about the future. Demand for our services remains very strong, we continue to invest in new technology, and our employee-ownership model will continue to deliver great rewards for our owners,” he added.

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