2. Flint Group Headquarters
26b, Boulevard Royal
Tel: +49 711 9816 230
Fax: +49 711 9816 99230
2011 Global Sales: $3 billion (€2.2 billion).
Major Products: Coldset and heatset web offset, sheetfed offset, flexographic, gravure and UV/EB inks; coatings for publication, packaging and commercial applications. A wide range of inks and coatings for narrow web tag and label applications. Photopolymer plates and sleeve systems for flexographic applications; highly engineered printing blankets and sleeves for offset applications; Full suite of pressroom chemicals and supplies. Dry, flushed and press cake pigments, chips and resins for ink and other applications, aqueous dispersions, hyperdispersants and additives for the colorant market.
Key Personnel: Charles Knott, chairman; Antoine Fady, CEO; Michael J. Bissell, executive VP and CFO; Russell Taylor, senior VP global HR & communications; Jan Paul van der Velde, senior VP, procurement; William B. Miller, president, Print Media Europe – America; Craig Foster, president, PCR and Print Media Divisions; Brent Stephen, president, Asia Pacific; Adhemur Pilar, VP and GM, Latin America; Mario Busshoff, president, Flexographic Products; Doug Aldred, president, Packaging and Narrow Web Europe and North America.
Number of Employees: Approximately 6,900 worldwide.
Comments: The ink industry faced another challenging year in 2011, as raw material prices continued to rise through most of the year, while the improvement in the economy did not overcome the higher costs. Bill Miller, president, Print Media Europe – Americas for Flint Group 2011, said that 2011 was a difficult year for the printing industry and for Flint Group, although the company did perform well.
“Economic recovery was not strong enough to spark a notable recovery, though we did see a slight uptick in demand in some segments,” Mr. Miller said. “The major factor contributing to worse-than-expected results was the continuation of highly elevated raw material costs. Even though we saw some raw material costs stabilize, they did so at record-high levels. Considering the economic and industry headwinds that the graphic arts industry has been fighting for some years now, Flint Group performed commendably in 2011.”
Mr. Miller said that Flint Group had plenty of highlights in 2011, beginning with its impressive safety record.
“One of our greatest accomplishments in 2011 was Flint Group’s ongoing commitment to safety and impressive improvement in safety results,” Mr. Miller said. “We ended 2011 with an average recordable incident rate below 1. A rate of ‘one’ is considered ‘world class’, and our employees definitely earn that description. Everyone in the company –at all levels, in all jobs, in all sites –helped to make Flint Group’s safety culture more and more a part of who we are and what we do each day. Safety is an ongoing journey as we continue to strive for perfection. Our employees are doing a great job at making that journey safer and safer.”
Flint Group introduced a number of new offerings to the European print market, including LIBRA ink and fount technology, which enables printers to achieve ink/water balance faster than most other products.
Higher raw material costs as well as supply issues have been a huge concern for ink manufacturers in the last few years. Diane Parisi, vice president supply chain management, noted that the raw material market continues to be a challenge for a number of reasons.
“For example, many raw material costs continue to rise,” Ms. Parisi said. “Costs that have stabilized have done so at much higher levels than years past. In addition, supply is still tight, as crop yields have been sub-optimal while demand is still high. In 2011, just as we’ve done in the past and will continue into the future, Flint Group’s global procurement team addressed these challenges head on. We continue to leverage our worldwide resources, formulating skills and strategic forecasting and planning expertise.”
“Flint Group continues to stay abreast of raw material trends, especially as volatility continues,” Mr. Miller added. “Recent cost increases of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) and Brent crude oil are testament to that unpredictability.”
In an important personnel move, Claudio Labbe, president, Flint Group Latin America retired from the company with effect from July 1, 2012.
Mr. Labbe joined Flint Ink Latin America after the company’s acquisition of Rendic International in 1994. He was named vice president for Flint Ink Latin America South in early 2000. During his tenure with Flint Ink, he started up operations in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. In 2004, he was named vice president for sales and marketing Latin America, and in February 2008, Mr. Labbe was promoted to the position of president Latin America.
“I would like to thank Claudio in particular for extending his commitment and support to Flint Group during what has been an extraordinary career spanning 20 years,” said Flint Group CEO Antoine Fady. “His integrity, commitment and dedication have been of great value to prepare the business for a new chapter of growth.
“Claudio has built a strong business in Latin America and developed a talented team who will ensure that his legacy will continue and further develop,” Mr. Fady added. “Under his overall leadership, the Brazilian and Andean businesses have grown rapidly, and Mexico has become an important business for Flint Group.”
Mr. Labbe was succeeded by Adhemur Pilar, who has been promoted to vice president and general manager for Flint Group LATAM. Mr. Pilar will continue to be based in Sao Paulo, and will focus on further developing the Brazilian and Argentinean businesses.
Mr. Pilar joined Flint Group in 1999 in a general management position in Brazil, and was appointed sales director of Brazil after the acquisition of CQIB. In 2005, he was appointed as general director of Flint Group Brazil, and was appointed as vice president of operations in 2007.
In further organizational changes, Nestor Porto will be promoted to vice president - Andean, Mexico and Caribbean Region, and will report to Mr. Pilar. Based in Lima, Peru, Mr. Porto will continue with his existing responsibility for the Peruvian joint venture (TGV).
Mr. Porto joined Flint Group’s Latin America Division right after Flint’s acquisition of Rendic International in 1994. He has been responsible for starting operations in Central America, Trinidad & Tobago as well as Dominican Republic. In 2002 he moved to Mexico City as regional sales manager for Flint Group’s operations in Mexico and Central America. In 2005, he relocated with Flint Group to Lima, Peru, as regional manager for the Andes, Venezuela and the Caribbean, where he oversees six facilities for the group in this region.
Overall, Flint Group’s leaders anticipate growth in the coming years, as the company has built the foundation for success through its R&D efforts, extensive portfolio of new products in areas such as flexible packaging, narrow web and sheetfed, and emphasis on customer support.
“As a strong player in all the major graphic arts segments, Flint Group will succeed by continuing the simple yet successful formula of creating quality products that customers want and need, and backing them by expert support,” Mr. Miller concluded.