Top Companies Report

4. Siegwerk


Alfred-Keller-Strasse 55
53721 Siegburg, Germany
Tel: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777

Sales: $1.31 billion (€1.01 billion)

Major Products: Provider of solvent-based, water-based, energy curable and specialty liquid inks and functional coatings and related point-of-use services for the packaging and label industries. Product applications include flexible packaging, narrow web labels, tobacco and folding carton using flexographic, rotogravure and offset printing.

Key Personnel: Herbert Forker, CEO; Oliver Wittmann, CFO; Ralf Hildenbrand, president Asia; Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, president packaging EMEA.

Number of Employees: 4,500 in more than 30 country organizations.

Comments: A leader in packaging inks, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA had an excellent year in 2012, with sales increasing more than 4% to €1.01 billion ($1.31 billion). 

“Siegwerk did well last year,” said Siegwerk CEO Herbert Forker. “We were able to increase our financial performance again after the raw material price driven downturn in the years before and grew as planned in the emerging markets. Our focus on packaging inks paid off, benefiting from rising demands, especially in countries like China and India, where we have a strong presence. However, like our competitors, we have been facing volatile raw material prices, and the publication ink market is decreasing even faster than expected.” 

While Siegwerk enjoyed growth in its core packaging ink segment and in the emerging markets, the publication sector in mature markets was difficult.

“There are regions like Asia and Latin America where we encountered a rising demand for inks, but there were also lowlights, mainly in the mature markets,” Mr. Forker said. “The print media markets in Europe showed disastrous tendencies, and I don’t expect any long-term recovery here. Raw material prices overall are now stabilizing at a high level and we are carefully monitoring availabilities and costs.”
To meet increasing demand, Siegwerk continues to invest in its facilities in emerging markets.

“In general, we invested a lot in infrastructure in the emerging markets,” Mr. Forker said. “With new blending centers in the Philippines and in Vietnam, we opened facilities close to our customers in the Southeast Asian region. From our existing production network, we further developed our business in South America and in the Middle East.”

Siegwerk’s R&D team has long been a driver of the company’s growth, and the past year has seen the company move forward with new food packaging products.

“We introduced a new ink series for food applications, Tempo Nutripack 2, which fulfills the highest standards of low migration,” said Mr. Forker. “We are also the first ink producer to make available all product safety data sheets online, so that customers can easily access them.”

One key goal for Siegwerk was improving its performance, and the company reinforced and extended excellence initiatives in all major functions to globally improve its performance. 

“We strive for improvement in all parts of the value chain to remain a value adding partner for our customers,” Mr. Forker said. “To even better serve our global customers, exchange of know-how plays a critical role.”

As sustainability and product safety are becoming increasingly important to its customers, Siegwerk is working hard on its end. 

“In 2008, our board committed to a sustainability policy and the efforts have paid off,” Mr. Forker noted. “And in everyday work, we continuously reduce the carbon footprint of our products by recycling solvents and reducing energy and water consumption. Beyond that, we develop customized solutions with our customers on a daily basis to help them deliver high quality and safe print solutions.”

Mr. Forker said that Siegwerk is focusing on growth areas while also improving its efficiency in the coming year.

“Looking ahead, we will further follow a two-fold strategy,” Mr. Forker said. “On the one hand, we put our focus on profitable growth in emerging markets. This is crucial because our customers in countries like India, China or Brazil are growing and they expect us to continuously improve our infrastructure and service level. In these markets, we are heavily investing in infrastructure and capacity.

“On the other hand, we will face stagnating or even decreasing volumes in the European markets and the U.S.,” Mr. Forker added. “For some areas like publication, the downward trend will continue. So it will be decisive for us to focus our internal efforts on restructuring and efficiency-increasing projects. All this is intended to best supply our customers with Siegwerk’s quality solutions and services as a reliable partner.”