Top Companies Report

1. DIC Corporation (Including Sun Chemical Corporation)


7-20 Nihonbashi 3-chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 103-8233 
Phone: +81 3-3272-4511
Fax: +81 3-3278-8558
Internet: DIC:;
Sun Chemical:
Sales: DIC: $5.44 billion (474.9 billion yen) in graphic arts, including Sun Chemical, which has more than $3.5 billion in sales. Total sales: 
$8.68 billion (757,800 million yen).

Major Products: Broad product portfolio with capabilities in web heatset and sheetfed offset; publication and packaging gravure; news ink and publication coldset; flexographic packaging inks; corrugated packaging inks; energy curable inks and coatings; screen inks, toner, inkjet materials, adhesives for packaging, overprint varnishes, specialty coatings, effect inks, security inks and coatings, printing consumables and organic pigments for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.

Key Personnel: Kazuo Sugie, president and CEO; Kaiji Yamaki, senior managing executive officer; Yoshihisa Kawamura, managing executive officer, Printing Inks and Supplies Business Operations; Yutaka Hashimoto, executive officer, corporate R&D; Tetsuro Agawa, executive officer, technical administration.

Number of Employees: 22,583 worldwide.

Comments: As the global leader in printing inks, DIC Corporation was clearly impacted by the same forces that affected virtually every other ink manufacturer. The global recession took its toll on printers, while raw material costs and supply issues are major concerns. While the economy did improve in the second half of DIC’s fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2010, DIC still had a difficult year overall.

As a result of the recession, DIC’s consolidated net sales were down 18.7 percent. In the graphic arts market, DIC’s sales declined 19.9 percent, to $5.44 billion.

The decline in sales was felt worldwide. In Japan, sales improved continuously and steadily during the period, but fell short of the previous fiscal year. Overseas, sales declined as the January–March 2009 quarter coincided with the worst period of the economic downturn – a situation that was aggravated by the appreciation of the yen.

In contrast, operating income rose 9.7 percent, despite a steep fall in operating income in the Graphic Arts Materials segment in the Americas and Europe, which DIC attributes to declining shipments, among others.

In Japan, DIC’s graphic arts sales declined 3.2 percent to $1.4 billion. Sales of gravure inks were firm as demand for flexible packaging applications, particularly beverage containers and food packaging, remained steady. Sales of offset inks and news inks struggled, owing to, respectively, stagnant sales for publishing and advertising leaflets and declining print runs and page counts for newspapers. 

Still, overall sales of printing inks increased, bolstered by the assumption of commercial rights for the domestic printing inks business of The Inctec Inc., as of the third quarter.

The Americas and Europe proved to be particularly rough for DIC and its subsidiary, Sun Chemical. Net sales for the year declined 25.8 percent. DIC reported that sales of news inks and inks for publishing decreased in North America and Europe amid shrinking print runs for newspapers and magazines.

On a positive note, in Central and South America, sales were essentially level with the previous fiscal year. Although rationalization efforts were partially effective, segment operating income in the Americas and Europe fell.

The story was similar in Asia and Oceania, where net sales decreased 16.7 percent to $658 million. Sales in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) were down slightly due to falling sales of news inks and offset inks, which offset an increase in sales of gravure inks, especially environmentally friendly products. 

Sales also fell in Southeast Asia and Oceania, despite an increase in sales of gravure inks, as a consequence of sluggish sales of news inks and offset inks. In India, sales were on a par with the previous fiscal year as brisk sales of gravure inks countered a decline in sales of news inks.

In major news, DIC and DNP formed a new joint venture, DIC Graphics, which carries commercial rights, employees and facilities of Inctec and DIC. DIC invested 66.6 percent to the JV, so it has become one of DIC’s subsidiaries.

DIC reorganized its business segment during the past year. The segments are now Printing Inks and Supplies; Neo-Graphic Arts Materials; Synthetic Resins; and Chemical Solution Materials. Printing Inks & Supplies would have had $4.7 billion in terms of sales for 2009. Neo-Graphic Arts Materials would have totaled $1.11 billion.

In order to improve the company’s performance, DIC officials worked on reducing costs and improving its product mix to keep profitability. Sales of offset and news inks have been decreasing slightly year by year in developed countries due to stagnant sales for publishing. As a counter measure, DIC has cut costs on a large scale while also starting to focus its business efforts more on packaging inks, which shows firm demand all over the world.