Top Companies Report

15. Wikoff Color Corporation


1886 Merritt Road, Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Fax: (803) 548-5728

Sales: $165 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: 28 manufacturing plants in the U.S, Canada and the UK.. Headquarters and primary research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC.

Comments: Wikoff Color enjoyed a strong year in 2012, with sales growth as well as expansion into Europe being key highlights. That growth has continued into 2013.

“Overall, 2012 was a good year for Wikoff,” Geoff Peters, Wikoff Color’s president and CEO, said. “We experienced significant sales growth, and although margins continued to be under pressure throughout the year, we were able to achieve nice growth in net income due to improvement in manufacturing efficiency.”

“Wikoff saw good growth in most of our strategic target markets in 2012,” Daryl Collins, vice president of sales and marketing, added. “Sales in folding carton, flexible packaging, label and security inks were strong.Additionally, we continued to see good growth in our international markets and across our complete line ofinkjet inks.”

Part of that growth came from two new facilities, as Wikoff Color added operations in California and in the UK, developed new ink lines and added new manufacturing capabilities.

“In 2012, Wikoff opened new facilities in both Sacramento, CA, and Leeds, England,” Mr. Peters said. “Both of these facilities exceeded their 2012 sales targets and were profitable in their first year of operation. 

“Other highlights included running Wikoff inks on new EB litho press technology for flexible packaging at drupa, completing our 30-location ERP implementation and building our new inkjet lab, manufacturing and cleanroom facility in Fort Mill, SC,” Mr. Peters added. “We were also very pleased that our director of research and development, Dr. Don Duncan, was elected to be the president of RadTech and the president of TAGA for 2013.” 

In addition, Wikoff continued to excel in new product development with the introduction of UV LED-curable inks and a number of new series of low-migration inks for packaging.

The printing industry continues to look for new ways to grow business, and press technologies are one key area of interest.

“From what we could see, it was a pretty light year for new press sales in the printing industry,” said Mr. Peters. “However, we did see increased utilization of existing presses for a greater return on investment for printers and continued growth in ink sales for our industry.There were a number of new press technologies introduced at drupa, some of which appeared to be very promising.The digital market also continued to experience nice growth.”

Ben Price, Wikoff Color’s director of purchasing, reported that raw material prices finally stabilized during the past year.

“In general, raw material costsstabilized in 2012,” Mr. Price said. “Throughout 2010 and 2011, Wikoff Color’s raw material costs increased drastically, and the supply chain was strained. There were shortages of titanium dioxide, nitrocellulose and carbazole violet to name a few. Rosin resin prices were another significant concern during this time. In late 2011, prices for most of our raw materials peaked, and we have price stabilization with a few modest price decreases throughout 2012. After two years of significant increases, titanium dioxide prices finally changed course in mid-2012 and have improved slightly but still remain significantly higher than historic levels.Supply is not a concern for the majority of our raw materials at this time.

All in all, Mr. Peters is optimistic that Wikoff Color is on track for further growth in 2013.

“Wikoff Color expects to continue to grow in 2013, in the U.S., Canada and overseas,” Mr. Peters added. “We expect sales in all of our strategic target marketsto remain strong with the possible exception of the commercial market, which will continue to see a modest decline in its printing volumes.Wikoff also expects to see solid growth in our inkjet business.If we can successfully continue to drive efficiencies in our manufacturing operations, coupled with the expected sales growth, we should see continued improvement in our net income.”