Osaka 550-0002 Japan
Sales: $1.342 billion (¥131,589 million in printing ink and graphic arts); $1.428 billion (¥139,911 million) consolidated.
Major Products: Commercial offset, sheetfed, heatset, and newspaper offset inks; gravure inks for flexible packaging; flexo inks for flexible packaging, corrugated carton and paper bag; metal decorating inks; UV/EB inks and varnishes; inks for inkjet printers; and toners.
Key Personnel: Kotaro Morita, president; Masanori Kano, senior managing director; Yoshiaki Uesaka, senior managing director; Naohisa Yasui, managing director; Yasuhiro Hashimoto, managing director. Technical directors: Masanori Kano, senior managing director; Yoshiaki Ueno, director.
Number of Employees: 3,385 (consolidated basis); 794 (non-consolidated basis).
Comments: For Sakata INX, 2013 was an excellent year, with consolidated sales growing 13.7% to ¥131,589 million ($1.342 billion), driven by a 14% increase in ink and graphic arts to ¥131.589 million ($1.342 billion). These increases came primarily from the packaging ink side. Meanwhile, the company enjoyed greatly increased profitability.
“Packaging ink sales figures, including North American metal ink sales, grew in Japan and North America,” said Toshihiko Fukunaga, international operations division general manager for Sakata INX. “In Asia, packaging ink and offset ink also experienced sales growth. As a result, Sakata INX Group sales increased by 13.7% compared to 2012. Raw material costs in Japan did rise. However, the increase in sales volume from emerging countries and cost reductions in Asia and North America resulted in a 42.6% increase in profit compared to 2012.”
Fukunaga said that the improved results were across the board in terms of printing processes.
“With the diversification in media – the conversion from paper to electronic media – in developed countries, offset ink printing and the need for ink is decreasing,” Fukunaga observed. “However, with the economic recovery in Japan, there have been signs that the downtrend is coming to an end. Steady growth in emerging countries was seen with economic growth, and due to strong demand, packaging ink sales volume increased. There is also steady demand in developed countries.
“Packaging and offset inks in Asia, and packaging ink in Japan and North America experienced large increases,” he added. “The developments of environmentally friendly, highly functional ink, strengthening capital investment and human resources, were the factors that made this possible. The completion of the Shiga plant in Japan in March 2014 will become key to expanding digital and specialty products sales, as well as restructuring the printing ink production system in Japan.”
In addition to the new plant in Shiga, Sakata INX’s U.S. subsidiary INX International Ink Co. has been actively adding new capacity. In September 2013, INX International UK Ltd. was running full production at its new 40,000 square foot metal decorating ink manufacturing facility in Heywood, UK. The new facility is 75% larger than the previous one, located in Rochdale, UK.
In the U.S., INX International Ink Co. officials broke ground Dec. 5, 2013 on a new 62,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Lebanon, OH, which should be completed by early 2015. The new facility will produce solvent-based packaging ink as well as three-piece metal decorating, UV/EB and some water-based flexo inks.
“We have plans for capital investments,” Fukunaga said. “Our new plant near Cincinnati, OH is projected to be operational in January 2015.”
“We will work towards installing a production facility that is compliant with environmental standards and on the same level as developed countries,” he added. “We also plan to introduce environmentally friendly products to the marketplace, and we intend to further increase sales volume in growing markets.”