Osaka 550-0002 Japan
Sales: $1.224 billion (¥148,249 million in printing ink and graphic arts); $1.285 billion (¥155,580 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 and coatings; UV/EB inks; inks for inkjet printers; and toners.
Key Personnel: Kotaro Morita, president; Yasuhiro Hashimoto, senior managing director; Yoshiaki Uesaka, senior managing director; Masaki Nakamura, managing director; Hitoshi Nakamura, managing director. Technical directors: Yoshiaki Ueno, director.
Number of Employees: 3,877.
Comments: Sakata INX had a solid year during 2015, with sales of $1.224 billion (¥148,249 million) during the past year. The company did change its fiscal year to end in December, which impacted its final numbers for 2015, but overall, Sakata INX recorded 7% growth through all product lines and regions.
“Newspaper and offset inks sales were weak but packaging ink sales were steady,” said Kotaro Morita, Sakata INX president. “Sales expanded for both offset and packaging in North America against the backdrop of economic recovery. Despite the effects of an economic downturn in the Asian region starting with China, Asia experienced steady sales because newspaper and offset ink sales increased, mostly in India. As a result, sales on a group level increased by about 7% compared with the previous year.”
The shift in media toward digital is having a significant impact on the offset and news ink markets.
“With the digitalization of paper media in Japan, Europe and the US, the newspaper and offset markets are decreasing,” Morita observed. “On the other hand, demand is expanding in countries where the population is increasing, such as India. We expect newly developing countries to increase demands due to economic growth and population increases. We will work to increase sales by introducing differentiating products. As for packaging ink, the market is expanding and is centered around newly developing countries that are expecting economic growth. We will deploy environmentally-friendly products that are suitable for local needs.”
In terms of raw materials, Morita said that the decline in oil prices has led to similar trends throughout most of the raw material chain.
“The effect from the foreign exchange is having a positive result on operating income,” he added. “However, pigment prices, etc. remained at a high level. We will continue to implement various measures to generate steady profits in spite of effects of changes in raw material prices and the foreign exchange rate.”
Recently, Sakata INX added new manufacturing facilities in Asia-Pacific and the US, with plans for more upgrades on the way.
“About one year after a fire at our plant in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in 2014, a new plant was constructed with state-of-the-art safety considerations and was completed in October 2015,” Morita said. “A new plant in Lebanon, OH USA was completed in February 2015, and it mostly manufactures package printing ink.”
Meanwhile, Sakata INX and its US subsidiary, INX International Ink Co., have significant plans to upgrade facilities. Sakata INX Group is planning to reinforce equipment in several countries, including Japan, China and India, and plans to expand two manufacturing plants in the US - Charlotte, NC for metal deco ink and Edwardsville, KS for UV/EB ink.
For Sakata INX, 2016 is the company’s 120th anniversary, and Morita said that the company is looking forward to many more years of success.
“We will mark our 120th anniversary in November 2016, and will focus on developing products that will enable sustainable growth on a global basis,” Morita concluded.