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Supplier Catch-up – Roularta Printing 

Print in Belgium? Why not?

It might seem counterintuitive to print your magazines and newspaper supplements overseas, but Roeselare, home of Roularta Printing, is closer to London than Plymouth or Manchester. When considering print options, Steven Renders and Bart Declercq tell James Evelegh, there are lots of good reasons why UK publishers should talk to Roularta.

By James Evelegh

Print in Belgium? Why not?
Steven Renders (on the left) and Bart Declercq are keen to welcome UK publishers to Roeselare.

Roularta Printing, part of Roularta Media Group, Belgium’s largest publishing company, already prints magazines and supplements for UK publishers like The Economist and Financial Times.

Up until now, copies printed have tended to be for the international circulation of those titles, but Steven Renders, general manager, is looking to print copies for UK distribution too.

“We’re very close!”, he says; “your copies can be despatched overnight from Zeebrugge, arriving in Tilbury early the next day.”

There are also regular crossings to Hull, Immingham and Teesport.

“The fact is that we can deliver into the UK in a short time. Overnight by ship is the preferred route but on the rare occasion that that’s not possible, we have the Channel Tunnel as an alternative route.”

Bart Declercq, export sales director, adds, “we are having conversations now with UK publishers about printing their UK copies and have scheduled some one-off print jobs to test the water. If all goes well, which we expect it to, we hope for those jobs to turn into regular work.”

“Some UK publishers,” Bart says, “have expressed nervousness about post-Brexit red tape, but we and our transport company handle all the import / export paperwork and customs clearance, so there is no hassle for the publisher. We take care of everything.”


“Publishers choose Roularta,” said Steven, “because they see us as long term partners who care about the same things as they do. In us, they find a partner that has the same mindset.”

According to Steven, international publishers are drawn to Roularta for three primary reasons: its emphasis on high quality print production, its financial stability as part of a large publishing group and its ongoing investment in sustainability.

In 2023, Roularta invested €4.5m in energy-efficient drying ovens, reducing its CO2 emissions by 14%.

Ian Denhard, circulation director CEMEA at the Financial Times said: “Roularta’s long-term CO2 emissions reduction strategy, backed by substantial investments, make the company unique in our industry.”

Further investments in the pipeline this year include a new paper wrapping / banding line, new address printers that use water based inks instead of solvents and the planned addition of more solar panelling which will ultimately provide 15% of its electricity needs.

“We’re not scared to invest because we have a long term vision,” says Steven.

Consolidation of print market

“We are seeing enormous consolidation in the print market in Belgium, in Holland and also in the UK,” says Steven: “We can offer publishers peace of mind – being part of a large media group with deep roots in print gives our publishing clients the reassurance they need that we are in it for the long run.

“It’s important for publishers to carefully evaluate the financial stability of their print suppliers and to have alternative arrangements ready to go should their current supplier run into difficulty. We advise publishers not to put all their eggs in one print basket.

A recent new client for Roularta is the New York Times, which in February, awarded the print contract for the international edition of their monthly lifestyle supplement – T Magazine – to Roularta.

As part of the announcement, Helen Konstantopoulos, VP international circulation & development at the New York Times, said: “We chose Roularta Printing to print T Magazine because of their high quality and significant expertise. Their location at the heart of Europe also allows us to achieve excellent distribution efficiency.”

The agreement covers all copies distributed outside the USA. As Steven notes, this was Roularta’s first opportunity to print a significant quantity for the British market.

“Finally,” Steven adds, “it’s worth pointing out that we put a great deal of emphasis on delivery. We don’t over-promise. We say what we can do and we deliver on that.”

So, if you want a realistic assessment of the feasibility of printing your copies, whether for UK or international distribution, then get in touch with Roularta Printing.

Bart Declercq is regularly in the UK, catching the Eurostar from Lille, and is happy to pay you a visit.

“We won’t promise you the moon,” says Bart, “but we will tell you whether we can print your magazine or supplement and what the distribution options are.”

Bart Declercq

Export Sales Director, Roularta Printing

Tel: 0032 51 26 65 07

Mob: 0032 475 84 94 15