11/01/2012 05:17 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Transcontinental closing Montreal-area printing plant, 150 jobs will be lost

MONTREAL - Transcontinental says it will further reduce its printing capacity by closing a plant in the Montreal area next month that will result in the loss of about 150 jobs.

Canada's largest printer said Thursday that its plant in LaSalle, Que. will close Dec. 20.

Marian Kerr, senior vice-president of retail and newspapers, said the decision was made to remain competitive as the printing industry continues to undergo major transformation that is altering supply and demand.

"Given the capacity and potential of our network, we have concluded that we have excess production capacity in relation to market demand," she said in a statement.

It is the latest of a series of similar moves that have been made across the country, especially following the acquisition last year of most of the former Quebecor World assets in Canada held by Quad/Graphics.

Transcontinental (TSX:TCL.A) announced in March that about 500 jobs would be cut with the closure of two of the six Quad/Graphics plants, one in Dartmouth, N.S., and one in suburban Montreal.

The acquisition of the Canadian assets of Quad/Graphics was expected to bring in $230 million in new business and generate at least $40 million in net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over 12 to 24 months.

In 2011, Transcontinental consolidated production at a Montreal printing plant and closed two plants, one in Quebec and one in Manitoba.

Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and the fourth-largest in North America and has about 10,000 employees. It publishes consumer magazines and French-language educational resources, as well as community newspapers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. It also has a network of more than 3,500 websites.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Transcontinental's shares closed down three cents to $10.27 in Thursday trading.