Top Companies Report

15. Wikoff Color Corporation


15. Wikoff Color Corporation
1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Tel: (803) 548-2210
Fax: (803) 548-5728

Sales: $155 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent-based and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, security inks, UV inkjet inks, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.

Key Personnel: Geoff Peters, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Martin Hambrock, VP of Canadian operations; Don Duncan, director of R&D; Ben Price, director of purchasing; Art Dennis, director of manufacturing; Buck Rorie, VP of finance and administration.

Number of Employees: 490.

Operating Facilities: 29 manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada. Headquarters and primary research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC.

Comments: Wikoff Color enjoyed a decent 2011, as the company continues to make gains in flexible packaging and inkjet as well as expanding its global reach.

“Wikoff saw sales improvement in 2011, continuing the trend that started in 2010,” said Geoff Peters, Wikoff Color’s president and CEO. “With raw material prices continuing to rise throughout the year and the challenge of passing through the full amount of the material cost increases, margins remained under pressure during all of 2011.

“We have seen positive growth in our packaging and label customer base and we are optimistic about the outlook in both of those markets,” Mr. Peters added. “Additionally, we were excited by the growth in our energy curable product lines and in our label and flexible packaging markets. Overall, the commercial printing market did not fare as well, but we saw the strong commercial printers grow their businesses as others contracted or went out of business.”

Wikoff Color is always looking for opportunities to grow its business, including adding new facilities and products to its portfolio.

For example, during the past year, Wikoff Color expanded its operations into the UK
“Wikoff recently opened new facilities in the UK and in Sacramento, CA, expanding our geographic footprint,” Mr. Peters noted. “We also significantly grew our inkjet business and strengthened our technical service capabilities by adding new people and processes to what we already offered to our customers. We have also invested capital in our inkjet business and in equipment to grow our energy curable product lines.Key personnel additions include a product manager for our inkjet business and a manager of our international sales efforts.”

Mr. Peters reported that raw material supply issues have stabilized for the most part, but costs remain high.

“Supply has stabilized across most categories of ink raw materials, so obtaining the materials we need is no longer a significant concern,” Mr. Peters said. “That was not the case a year ago, when there were supply issues with rosin resin and a number of pigments, including carbazole violet and phthalo greens and blues. While we have experienced some price relief as supply has improved, our overall raw material cost is still substantially higher than it was two years ago. We continue to work with our suppliers to look for opportunities to improve our supply chain and control our costs.”

Mr. Peters sees the company’s expansion into new markets as being the key to Wikoff Color’s growth in the coming years.

“Wikoff’s growth areas continue to be in the packaging, especially flexible packaging, and label markets, our inkjet business and across all of our energy curable product lines,” Mr. Peters noted. “We are also very excited about our expanding international presence and the customer base we are building overseas.

“Unfortunately, we do not see significant improvement in the global economic environment in 2012,” Mr. Peters concluded. “Recognizing that the macro conditions won’t drive much growth, we are counting on our geographic expansion, continued improvement in the packaging and label markets, and the further growth of our inkjet business to drive strong sales improvement for Wikoff Color in 2012 and beyond.”