News UK today invited other publishers to take advantage of its spare print capacity and its home delivery network inside the M25.
Launching a new arm of the company called News Solutions it also revealed it is offering other services to publishers such as IT support and the opportunity to licence its paywall technology.
Sun, Times and Sunday Times publisher News UK (formerly News International) invested some £600m in state of the art printing facilities in 2007.
As the overall print newspaper market has continued to shrink, News UK has taken over printing more of its rivals.
Today it also prints the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Metro, Evening Standard and a number of Local World and Johnston Press local titles.
Its main print plant in Broxbourne, just north of London, can print more than 1m copies an hour. News UK claims that its three main print sites (in Merseyside and Glasgow as well) print 32 per cent of the UK newspaper market and 42 per cent of the contract print market.
By contrast, Guardian Media Group spent £80m on new state of the art colour presses in 2005 but has been less able to utilise them for contract printing outside the group (as its own circulations have shrunk) because the presses are designed for the unusual (in the UK) Guardian Berliner size format.
News UK has already opened up The Times home delivery network to the Jewish Chronicle and the TES and its is looking for new customers. It offers daily home delivery of newspapers and magazines within the M25 by 6.30am on the day of publication.
News UK chief operating officer Chris Taylor said he believes News UK’s current presses in Broxbourne have at least 20 years left in them and said that the company is in the print business for “the long term”.
News UK is also looking to offer other publishers access to its distribution network. It has been distributing the Telegraph since September last year and claims that this has saved one million miles of lorry transport.
Taylor said: “We want to see a profitable and sustainable print category as a whole, we don’t want to see other newspapers go out of business.”