Top Companies Report

4. Sakata INX Corp.


1-23-37 Edobori, Nishi-Ku
Osaka 550-0002 Japan 
Phone: +81-6-6447-5847
Fax: +81-6-6447-5849
Sales: $1.17 billion (109,145 million yen in printing ink and graphic arts); $1.21 billion (113,669 million yen) consolidated.

Major Products: Commercial offset, sheetfed, heatset, and newspaper offset inks; gravure inks for flexible packaging; flexo inks for corrugated carton and paper bag; metal decorating inks; UV/EB varnishes; inks for inkjet printers; and toners.

Key Personnel: Hirotsugu Takamaru, president; Mitsuru Kojima, senior managing director; Masanori Kano, managing director; Yoshiaki Uesaka, managing director.

Number of Employees: 3,051 (consolidated basis); 816 (non-consolidated basis).

Comments: Sakata INX weathered the global recession fairly well during its fiscal year, with ink and graphic arts sales increasing 2.1 percent to $1.17 billion. 

Overall, the company did feel the impact of the economic downturn, as Sakata INX’s total sales dropped 6.1 percent.

“Total sales for Sakata INX Corp. in 2009 were below the previous year by 6.1 percent, due to the shortfall of graphic arts sales and the negative impact of the currency exchange conversion,” said Dr. Kotaro Morita, director of Sakata INX Corp. “However, the operating income in 2009 exceeded the previous year due to improved profitability with cost reductions.”

Dr. Morita did note that the economy picked up in the latter part of the year, and Sakata INX enjoyed improved sales as a result.

“Our sales have been increasing since the second half of 2009 as we see recovery with the global economy, except in Europe,” he said. “The Asian economy recovered rapidly and remains strong.”

The evolution of the printing industry is having a profound effect on ink manufacturers, and Dr. Morita said that Sakata INX is embracing those changes, whether it is the growth of the digital market and the increased interest in flexible packaging and environmentally friendly products.

“The digitalization of printing is moving ahead and advertising media is changing the internet, so conventional offset printing on paper has been reduced and the ink market is in a declining trend,” Dr. Morita said. “All ink makers are competing very hard to increase market share in a limited market. We produce high quality inks at a competitive price and focus on the sale of inkjet inks and color toners in accordance with the rapid growth of digital printing market.

“Meanwhile, the flexible packaging printing market is getting larger, especially in Asia, and the demand for environmentally friendly inks is increasing,” Dr. Morita added. “We have strengthened our development and sales of environmentally friendly inks to meet the market requirements.”

Sakata INX is enjoying growth throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and the company is expanding the production capacity for offset inks in Maoming, China, and for gravure packaging inks in Vietnam during fiscal 2010. Sakata INX also expanded its inkjet ink efforts.

“We consolidated three inkjet in companies in the USA and Europe under one organizations – INX Digital International Co. – to expand the inkjet ink side of our business,” Dr. Morita said. “We also started several promising business expansion projects in Asia.”