Annual reports & proxy statement

A message to our shareholders.

To our shareholders

In 2023, Quad continued to gain recognition and momentum as a marketing experience, or MX, company that helps brands and marketers make direct consumer connections – in the home, in the store and online. Our integrated marketing platform leverages a tailored suite of solutions that is flexible, scalable and connected to provide a better marketing experience for our clients so they can focus on delivering the best customer experience to theirs.

We continue to aggressively execute our growth strategy as an MX company by:

  • Delivering integrated service excellence, which we achieve by solving clients’ problems, removing pain points and sources of friction from the marketing process while providing transparency on clients’ marketing expenditures.
  • Accelerating market penetration in our key verticals of commerce (retail, consumer packaged goods, direct-to-consumer), financial services and health, and in product lines with the greatest expansion opportunities.
  • Leveraging our unique company culture, which, for 52 years, has been based on doing the right thing and trusting in relationships to grow as an MX company

Our MX suite of solutions span every facet of the marketing journey—from offline to online, across Creative, Production and Media, and supported by data-driven Intelligence and state-of-the-art Technology—and help brands and marketers drive cost efficiencies, improve speed-to-market, strengthen marketing effectiveness and deliver value on investments.

Our data-driven Intelligence solutions empower smarter decisions to maximize marketing effectiveness and generate quantifiable impact. We deploy client-facing, AI-driven Technology solutions to remove friction in the marketing process by helping clients connect marketing strategy, global content creation, analytics and personalized communications across all channels.

Our Creative solutions help our clients increase engagement with their brands to accelerate business growth. Distinctively, we back our creative talent with global production resources that provide around-the-clock service for quickturn design and production support.

Our Production solutions support content across all offline and online channels, a major point of differentiation among our competitive set. While traditional agencies, holding companies and consulting firms outsource implementation, Quad has the internal resources to provide strategy, creation and execution of all campaign elements across print, digital, broadcast and out-of-home.

Our Media solutions provide strategic omnichannel media planning and placement, as Quad manages hundreds of millions of dollars of media billings annually. These solutions prioritize transparency and neutrality, so our clients can feel confident that their media spend is supported by the best data, platform and partners for their unique needs to generate measurable impact. We are bringing an expanded audience targeting and media engagement offering to market in 2024.

Due to the strength of our flexible, scalable and connected solutions, we are winning higher value, higher margin work from leading brands across multiple verticals. For example, we recently helped a leading marketer and licensor of branded footwear and apparel improve its direct marketing performance after it started to experience a drop in its campaign effectiveness. We conducted pre-market testing using our proprietary Accelerated Marketing Insights platform, which evaluated more than 1,400 different combinations of creative and messaging. We leveraged this data to create the optimal “challenger” piece to outperform the direct mailer already in market. We also produced and sent digital “challenger” ads to the same target audience. The results were exceptional. Year-over-year, we helped our client nearly double its response rate and conversion rates, and accomplish twice the click-through-rate, increasing sales more than 250% per buyer.

We continue to scale our offerings as a marketing experience company through strategic investments, such as our December 2023 acquisition of DART Innovation, an instore digital media solutions provider. With DART’s capabilities and technology, we aim to revolutionize the shopping experience for retailers, consumer packaged goods companies and consumers by delivering targeted promotions on digital screens right at the store shelf—the most critical moment in the purchasing decision. These solutions expand and seamlessly integrate into our suite of MX solutions by enabling an integrated consumer purchasing journey across home, online and in-store. Retailers are highly interested in our solutions in this space and, in early 2024, we began leveraging DART’s capabilities to launch the first phase of a roll-out with a large, regional grocer.


2023 Performance

Quad achieved solid 2023 financial results, meeting our guidance across all metrics despite revenue being negatively impacted by external factors including significant postal rate increases well above the rate of inflation; ongoing economic uncertainty, especially early in 2023; and the impact of elevated interest rates on the financial services sector, leading to reduced direct marketing budgets. Backed by a strong Free Cash Flow and proceeds from asset sales, we were able to continue to pay down debt, ultimately achieving a Debt Leverage ratio of 2.0x—our lowest leverage level since 2017.

Financial results included:

  • Achieved Net Sales of $3.0 billion in 2023, a decrease of 8% from 2022 primarily due to lower print, paper and logistics sales, as well as the 2022 divestiture of the Company’s Argentina print operations.
  • Recognized a Net Loss of $55 million in 2023, compared to Net Earnings of $9 million in 2022, primarily due to lower sales, higher restructuring and impairment charges, increased interest expense from elevated interest rates, and lower pension income, partially offset by benefits from improved manufacturing productivity and savings from cost reduction initiatives. Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA was $234 million in 2023 as compared to $252 million in 2022, and nonGAAP Adjusted EBITDA Margin was 7.9% in 2023 as compared to 7.8% in 2022.
  • Achieved non-GAAP Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share of $0.52 per share in 2023 compared to $0.89 in 2022. The decline was primarily due to lower non-GAAP Adjusted Net Earnings, partially offset by the positive impact from share repurchases, which as of year-end 2023 totaled 5.9 million shares or approximately 11% of outstanding shares since the beginning of recent share repurchases in 2022.
  • Generated $148 million of Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities in 2023, compared to $155 million in 2022, and non-GAAP Free Cash Flow of $77 million in 2023, compared to $94 million in 2022. The decline in Free Cash Flow was primarily due to $11 million of increased capital expenditures as the Company continued to invest in automation initiatives and $7 million of lower Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.
  • Improved Debt Leverage Ratio to 2.0x from 2.2x at year-end 2023, at the low end of our long-term targeted leverage range of 2.0x – 2.5x. We ended the year having reduced Net Debt by $564 million or 55% since January 1, 2020.


2024 Financial Objectives

In 2024, we intend to build on our momentum as a marketing experience company. We also intend to ensure that Quad remains a compelling long-term investment for our shareholders by progressing on our multi-year financial objectives, which include:

  • Grow new sales and drive higher profitability through continued diversification of our revenue and clientele. With our suite of MX solutions, there is a significant addressable revenue opportunity with both our large base of existing clients as well as new clients.
  • Achieve continued strong cash generation and use it to further reduce debt with the expectation that we will achieve Net Debt Leverage Ratio of approximately 1.8x by the end of 2024, near the low end of our new, long-term targeted Net Debt Leverage range of 1.75x–2.25x by the end of 2024.
  • Further strengthen what we believe is an industry-leading financial foundation that provides the liquidity for strategically allocating and deploying capital, including growth investments and returning capital to shareholders through opportunistic share repurchases and a quarterly dividend, which was reinstated in the first quarter of 2024.


The Future

I remain confident in our team, our strategy and our future as a marketing experience company that connects the dots of the marketing journey in ways our competitors cannot. Marketers do not have to choose between scale and efficiency, ideas and execution, or creativity and performance. Our tailored suite of solutions helps clients meet their business objectives by driving cost efficiencies, improving speed to market, strengthening marketing effectiveness, and delivering value on their investments.


J. Joel Quadracci
Chairman, President &
Chief Executive Officer

2023 annual report

Shareholders letter and annual report 10-K

2022 annual report

Shareholders letter and annual report 10-K

2021 annual report

Shareholders letter and annual report 10-K

2020 annual report

50 years of creating a better way

2019 annual report

Inventing our future

Forward-looking statements

This site and the information included and linked to on the site contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, our current expectations about the Company’s future results, financial condition, revenue, earnings, free cash flow, margins, objectives, goals, strategies, beliefs, intentions, plans, estimates, prospects, projections and outlook of the Company and can generally be identified by the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “foresee,” “project,” “believe,” “continue” or the negatives of these terms, variations on them and other similar expressions.

These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company’s expectations and judgments and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are unforeseeable and beyond our control. The factors that could cause actual results to materially differ are listed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which may be amended or supplemented by subsequent Quarter Reports on Form 10-Q or other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.