Riga’s printing house PGM celebrates 30th anniversary amid a shift in the industry

  • 2024-02-08
  • Linas Jegelevicius

The year of 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of Latvia’s major printing house, Ltd “Poligrāfijas grupa MŪKUSALA” (PGM). The company boasts 105 employees – 15 of whom have been with the company for 20 or more years – who fulfilled various orders for approximately 200 clients in 2023. 

“PGM continues to strengthen its position in the Baltic market as a leader in the printing industry, serving printed media,” Renate Dubrovska, head of the Marketing and Customer Care Department at PGM, told The Baltic Times Magazine.

An impressive 62% of the PGM printed production is exported to 13 different countries. The major export markets in 2023 included Finland, Norway, the BENELUX countries, Denmark, and Germany. Additionally, PGM supplied productions to Iceland and France.

“Digitalization in recent years has impacted printed media, including us as newspaper and magazine printers. Over the last decade, circulation has decreased, resulting in thinner newspapers,” R. Dubrovska says.

However, on the flip side, she says, there has been an increase in the number of publications, making the range of press publications more colourful and diverse for readers. 

“Specialized publications for photographers, anglers, knitters, or mushroom foragers are popular. As many hobbies and passions people have, there are just as many publications and titles! We're observing a shift in publication content—it's becoming more educational, tailored to its reader, and more specialized,” R. Dubrovska says.

According to her, publishers are successfully seeking ways and solutions to combine printed content with what's published on the internet. 

“They complement each other. Moreover, numerous studies prove the positive results of this interaction in various advertising campaigns. Considering how the internet is inundated with fake news and publications, printed press is becoming increasingly significant,” emphasizes the PGM representative.

She admits that the average age of readers of printed press is 50-and-plus. Unfortunately, she says, the younger generation of printed press consumers has not “grown up" in recent years. 

Despite the challenges, the PGM printing machines rev up and hum every single day – PGM, a modern printing house, has two 16-page magazine printing machines, KOMORI 38s, installed in 2006 and 2015 respectively, along with several post-press lines (made in Switzerland by Muller Martini) that allow printing house to provide full service suitable and praised by various publishing houses. 

“Stitched or perfect bound (glued) magazines with the lowest circulation starting from 3000 copies are our specialty. We're a printing house that can provide personalization, addressing and sorting services according to Scandinavian postal regulations,” R. Dubrovska emphasized.

Believing in the power and significance of printed media, in 2022, Ltd “Poligrāfijas grupa MŪKUSALA” (PGM) installed the new newspaper printing equipment by replacing two old machines with a more powerful TENSOR T1400, manufactured by AH Tensor International LLC (USA).

“We print daily newspapers not only for the local market but also for our neighbours – the Lithuanians and the Swedes” the PGM Marketing and Customer Care head says proudly.

The company's history has long been closely tied with publishing work, allowing is to accumulate experience and skills specifically tailored to satisfying the needs of publishing houses since its inception. Working with publishing houses has its specifics – relatively short production deadlines to ensure printed information is fresh and current, especially for daily newspapers and weekly magazines. 

“We synchronize with publishing houses and are directly connected to their rhythms!” R. Dubrovska says.

When I note that some green activists may say that the business is insensitive to ecology, she  responds: “The myths around paper are still prevalent!”

 In Europe, where almost all primary forests are protected, she explains, paper comes from sustainably managed forests where the cycle of planting, growing, and logging is carefully controlled. 

“Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material. Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world and epitomizes the circular economy model of make, use, recycle, and reuse. Paper can be recycled up to seven times!” R. Dubrovska underscores.

If you decide to print something whenever, you may knock at the door of one of most experienced printing houses in Latvia, PGM!