Phone: +49 89 9003 0
Fax: +49 89 9003 222
Sales: $890 million (€790 million).
Major Products: hubergroup is offering customized, high-quality services and technologies around printing inks as well as print-related products for commercial, newspaper, packaging and security printing. Main products include sheetfed, coldset and heatset offset inks; solvent-based gravure inks for packaging; water- and solvent-based flexo inks for packaging; UV offset and flexo inks; security inks; screen inks; fountain solutions, varnishes and transfer inks.
Key Personnel: Executive Board MHM Holding GmbH: Heiner Klokkers, chairman of the board; Taner Bicer, CTO; Christian Rösch, CFO; Ashwani Bhardwaj, director RBU Asia/Pacific; Derek McFarland, director RBU Americas; Dr. Dirk Aulbert, director RBU Europe.
Number of Employees: 3,800 worldwide.
Comments: With its 40 subsidiaries, hubergroup is a global leader in packaging, commercial and publication printing inks, coatings and pressroom auxiliaries. The company had a solid year in 2018, generating sales of $890 million despite the continued decline in the commercial and news ink markets.
“In general, the printing ink market is globally affected by the downturn of commercial print and newspaper print,” said Franziska Niedermeir, global corporate communication, MHM Holding GmbH. “Although the packaging market is still growing, this is not offsetting the decline in commercial print. In combination with the volatile raw material market, 2018 was a challenging year for the hubergroup. We haven’t seen any significant changes in this trend at the beginning of this year.”
hubergroup has put significant resources into creating environmentally friendly inks. For example, the company noted that hubergroup was the first manufacturer to globally launch a wide range of Cradle to Cradle certified ink series and coatings for sustainable offset and gravure print products by mid-2017. In 2018, hubergroup further strengthened its commitment for sustainable inks; for instance, the Gecko Green Line Premium series received the Cradle to Cradle Silver Material Health Certificate. In 2018, hubergroup also announced its partnership with Carlsberg.
“Sustainability is an integral part of product development at hubergroup,” Lutz Frischmann, global product director flexible packaging at hubergroup, said. “Motivated by our customer Töpfer Kulmbach and by Carlsberg’s project ‘TogetherTowardsZero,’ hubergroup has widened its effort to design a specific solvent-based product portfolio. I am proud that our efforts are bearing fruit and that we are now offering the first solvent-based flexo and gravure inks carrying the Silver Material Health Certificate. We are already experiencing a high level of customer interest as a result.”
In addition, Koenig & Bauer and hubergroup announced a cooperation on conventional sheetfed offset inks in May 2018. Thereby, Koenig & Bauer recommends the use of conventional sheetfed offset inks from hubergroup for its high-performance Rapida presses. The aim of this global partnership is to offer joint users the optimum complete service and quality package.
In April 2019, hubergroup presented NewV cure, a new solution for measuring the curing degree of UV inks. “This method will revolutionize UV curing since it is the only objective, science-based, and patented method for determining UV curing,” said Niedermeir. “It will help to increase security in packaging production and to reduce waste as well as rejects due to incomplete curing.”
Raw materials remain a concern for the ink industry, and hubergroup is coping with raw material pricing and availability through its vertical integration.
“hubergroup is one of the few printing ink specialists that manufactures the majority of the key ink components in-house to be able to set its own quality and environmental standards,” Niedermeir observed. “The integrated supply chain offers a high degree of independence from sub-suppliers, especially in the fields of pigments and resins. Nevertheless, the high fluctuations in raw material prices affect the hubergroup. Therefore, the company needed to adjust its ink prices due to higher raw material prices in 2018.”
Niedermeir sees a bright future ahead for hubergroup.
“In 2019, hubergroup will continue its commitment to driving sustainability in the printing ink sector,” said Niedermeir. “While hubergroup will adjust its structure to the declining offset printing market, the leading ink specialist will expand its commitment in conventional and UV sheetfed as well as in flexible packaging and the required raw materials for these product categories.”