State Printing Company

State Printing Company

Infobox Company
name = State Printing Company Plc - Hungary

type = Public Limited by Shares
foundation = 1851
location_city = Budapest
location_country = Hungary
area_served = CEE region
industry = Security printing
products = Security documents,
Plastic cards, RFID
Business forms
Traditional printing products
homepage = http://www.allaminyomda.com

State Printing House Plc or Állami Nyomda is one of the largest security printing companies in Hungary and the CEE region. Previously, the company produced traditional printing products. Nowadays, its activities are focused on document security products and solutions, plastic card production and personalization, electronic document management and bulk transactional printing. The company’s shares are listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange since December 2005.

History of State Printing House

The beginning

After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the first independent Hungarian government was formed and the legal predecessor of its state printing house was the branch of the Viennese Imperial and Royal Court and State Printing House which was established by the Austrian government in Timişoara after the suppression of the 1848-49 Hungarian Revolution and Independence War.The printing house started to operate in 1851 and became the largest institution in the town which already had highly developed printing houses. With its whole equipment and most of its experts, the printing company moved to the government district of the Buda Castle in 1868 into the neighbourhood of the ministries in order to supply Hungarian government with state administration forms. Those days, the Finance Ministry supervised the Hungarian Royal Cadastral Lithographic Printing House Institute and Map Collection which produced and copied from 1868 the cadastral (land-register) surveys and maps that served as a basis for land tax. In 1869 the government decided over the fusion of the two printing houses, as it was necessary to solve the domestic production of fee stamps which were very important for the Finance Ministry. Due to the fusion and development, the conditions were realized for fast and reliable production of fee stamps which is confidential until publication as well as other state administration and treasury forms. The new institution was officially named Hungarian Royal State Printing House.

From 1901 with the name State Printing House

After the 1901 reorganization, the company’s name was changed to State Printing House. The state budget and its justification, the appropriation accounts, the important bills, the Financial Gazette and the time-tables of the Hungarian State Railways were printed in the State Printing House. Hungarian Royal Treasury Notes, different treasury bills, state promissory notes, annuity loan notes, class lottery tickets, blank bills, bills of lading of domestic and foreign freights and cigar and tobacco packaging materials and tax stamps were also produced there. The Hungarian government founded the Hungarian Banknote Printing House in 1922 which started domestic banknote printing in August 1923 in the buildings of the State Printing House. During World War II, the printing house served as a war factory producing food and fuel notes. After the war, the documents of the post and the railway were printed again as well as state forms, bonds and lottery tickets. For the 1945 election, State Printing House printed the election forms, later it produced the tax notes during the 1946 hyperinflation. The company has been producing lottery forms and tickets since 1947. Besides production of lottery forms and tickets, the production of election forms every four years also became stable part of the production portfolio. Due to the investment in 1957, the capacity was expanded and the quality improved, the production of multicolour printed stamps was started. In the 1960 the company began to print export stamps as well.

The first Hungarian postage stamp – 1871

For the general public, stamp production became the most well-known activity of State Printing House during the decades. After the Compromise, the Hungarian government found it necessary to pay for the postal and office fees with an own stamp in order to emphasize national sovereignty and due to financial and administration reasons. Previously, these fees could be paid for by only parallel-published (Austrian-Hungarian) stamps which were produced – of course- in Vienna. The fee stamps were produced in Hungary from 1869, in the State Printing House managed by the independent Finance Ministry. The provision of the 1867 Compromise concerning postal services came into effect on 1 May. All of the post offices on the territory of Hungary came under the competence of the Hungarian Post Directorate. So a natural claim came forward that independently published Hungarian stamps should be put on the mails of the Hungarian Post. As this claim was approved by the emperor’s government, the first Hungarian newspaper stamp was published on 20 June 1868. However, this was printed in the Viennese printing house and a German inscription could be read on the watermark. The inscription on the stamp itself was Hungarian, and the stamp design was decorated by the Hungarian coat of arms and the crown. The first postal stamp produced in Hungary was issued in 1871 after the stamp production line of State Printing House was developed.

The State Printing House nowadays

After the political transition most of the state monopolies ceased to exist and the competition started for the production of those products which were previously produced by state monopolies exclusively. As the state protection ended, there was no other choice but to reconsider the situation of the Company. In view of these facts, the State Printing House was privatised in 1993. For the development of the company, larger work area, and more modern and cultured working conditions were necessary so the Company moved to Kőbánya, another district of the capital, from its former building near the Buda Castle. The new printing house in Halom Street was opened officially on 4 October 1994. In between the State Printing House took over the equipment and most of the employees of SZÜV Continuous Form Printing House. A brand new division was included in the portfolio of State Printing House from 1997: plastic card production and personalization. The investment started at the beginning of 1998 and a new modern plant was established in Fátyolka Street which developed further in 2000 and became able to produce chip cards. State Printing House established its Document Security Laboratory in 1999 which functions as a centre of R&Đ activities. State Printing House started international expansion in 2005 when it founded joint ventures with its local partners in Romania and Bulgaria and subsidiaries in Slovakia and Russia.

Products

The main activity of State Printing House is the production of security products and solutions which includes tax stamps, securities, food vouchers, stamps, paper-based documents and the security inks and solutions of the Document Security Laboratory. State Printing House produces the Hungarian card based ID documents in consortium: the personal ID card, the driving licence, the motor vehicle ownership card, and the student ID card. Besides card based documents, the Company produces VISA and MASTERCARD EMV cards, prepaid cards, and smart cards for electronic signature. Furthermore, it takes part in development and production of products using RFID technology. The Állami Nyomda Group personalizes and envelopes business forms for banks, and insurance companies and it also produces invoices, delivery notes, printed and blank continuous forms. Gyomai Kner Printing House which belongs to Állami Nyomda Group produces books, magazines and other printed matters.

Sources

* Géza Buzinkay: State Printing House is 150 years old, 2001, ISBN: 963 85674 1 4
* State Printing House Annual Report 2001
* State Printing House website: http://www.allaminyomda.com


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