Ennis is in the forms and fashion business. Through its print division, the company makes a variety of custom business forms, financial and security documents, envelopes, tags, labels, and promotional products. Its print units include Northstar Computer Forms, Skyline Business Forms, and Adams McClure. The company's Alstyle Apparel subsidiary markets activewear basics (such as T-shirts, tank tops, and fleece) primarily under the AAA and Murina brands, among others. About 98% of Alstyle's revenue is from T-shirt sales. Customers include forms distributors, printers, ad agencies, retailers, and mass marketers. Founded in 1909, the company operates 55-plus manufacturing plants in the US, Mexico, and Canada.
Texas-based Ennis operates its business across the US, as well as in Mexico and Canada. It generates more than 95% of its revenue from the US.
The company's printing segment accounts for about 60% of revenue; the remaining 40% comes from apparel sales.
Sales and Marketing
Ennis sells its products through distribution centers, a sales force, and through a variety of manufacturers the likes of R.R. Donnelley, Standard Register, and Cenveo.
The firm's advertising expenses have remained steady at about $1 million each of the past fiscal years.
Ennis logged $542.4 million in fiscal 2014 (ended February), up some 2% from 2013's $533.5 million. An 8% apparel volume gain boosted apparel sales by $3.7 million, or 2% overall, dragged down by a decrease in average selling price. In its print business, Ennis posted a $5.2 million, or 2%, increase in revenue due to the positive impact of acquisitions, which added $23.2 million in reported sales during the reporting period. Impairment of goodwill and $24.2 million in trademark expenses spurred net income to decline some 42% to $13.2 million in 2014. Cash flow from operations came in at $32.8 million in 2014, down $17.2 million from 2013's $50 million. Ennis had used cash for inventory and to reduce its pension liability.
Demand for the company's business forms and other printed products has decreased as electronic and digital technologies replace traditional custom-printed documents and customer communications.
In a bid to reverse slumping sales, Ennis built a new apparel factory located in Sonora, Mexico. The facility, which serves as a knitting, dyeing, cutting, sewing, and distribution plant, should help Alstyle Apparel become more cost-competitive with its rivals, which include Delta Apparel, Gildan, and Russell. The apparel business faces challenges, including rising cotton costs.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Ennis has returned to acquisition mode after a recession-induced hiatus. In 2014 Ennis purchased Hoosier Data Forms, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The deal follows the company's late 2013 acquisition of the Custom Envelope Division, part of Cenveo's Custom Resale Group, for $47.25 million in cash. The deal gave Ennis the Wisco brand and its Tennessee factory and the National Imprint Corporation and its brand. Ennis also bought the Folder Express business and trade name from Wright Printing Company for $14.6 million, as well as all artwork and production files from Duffie Graphics.
Most recently, in 2012 the company acquired certain assets of rival Cenveo's document business, including the manufacturing facilities branded under the names PrintXcel and Printegra, which together generate about $80 million in annual sales. Previously, in 2011 Ennis acquired Printgraphics, with two locations in Ohio and Iowa. Also, Ennis purchased the assets of Neenah, Wisconsin-based Atlas Tag & Label. The Atlas purchase boosted Ennis's capabilities and capacity in its tag and label business, as well as broadened its customer base.