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Stocks E / Ennis Business Forms Inc.


Subject:  Re: EBF's Top Manager Date:  8/23/2004  2:24 PM
Author:  JimPope Number:  22 of 38

Sorry about that. I was not required to register when I first went to this site earlier this am. Then when I went back to get this requested info, I had to sign up! Strange!

Anyway, here's the article:

Getting big by staying small

Simple approach works for business-forms firm based in Midlothian

By J.G. Domke

Special to the Star-Telegram

It looked bad four years ago.

Consultants and financial advisers said that Ennis Inc. was outdated and not keeping up with the times. Although the company had been in business since 1909 and was growing, its stock took a nose dive.

But the advisers were wrong, says Chief Executive Keith Walters, at the company's new corporate office in Midlothian. Ennis is healthy and growing, and reported $256 million in sales when the fiscal year ended in April.

The company keeps growing. In June, it bought competitor Crabar/GBF, and it will expand its product line by merging with AlStyle Apparel, a deal that was announced in July but won't be official until September.

Walters says Ennis is committed to improve its service to customers and expects sales of more than half a billion dollars in 2005.

Consultants are touting Ennis as an example for others.

The business started in Ennis, a city in Ellis County, when the local newspaper burned down and only the printing press was left standing. Taking advantage of a bad situation, owners put the press to use making labels and tags for cotton bales and sales receipts. The company grew from there.

The owners found opportunities printing multicopy business forms that included companies' addresses atop sales receipts, order forms, shipping labels, invoices and similar forms.

It didn't matter to the company's owners that they couldn't print in high quantities. They wanted to keep it simple and were content with smaller order