Carlsbad, CA 92010
Phone: (760) 930-1600
Fax: (760) 930-1603
Sales: $65 million in inkjet inks; $1.5 billion (overall)
Key Personnel: Kenneth Manning, chairman; Paul Manning, president and CEO; John Collopy, VP and treasurer; Christopher Daniels, VP, human resources; John Hammond, SVP, general counsel and secretary; Richard Hobbs, SVP and CFO; Stephen Rolfs, SVP; Michael Geraghty, Color Group president.
Major Products: Water-based pigmented and dye-based inkjet inks for desktop printers; water-based, pigmented and dye-based and sublimation inkjet inks for wide format, textile and industrial applications.
Operating Facilities: St. Louis, MO; Morges, Switzerland.
Comments: A global leader in inkjet and colorant technology, Sensient Technologies is also is a leading manufacturer of flavors, fragrances and colors for foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, home and personal care products, specialty printing and imaging products, computer imaging and industrial colors.
Sensient Technologies had a solid year in 2014, with sales remaining steady at $1.45 billion. Adjusted operating income was $221.2 million in 2014, an increase of 7.6% over the adjusted operating income of $205.5 million in 2013.
“It was a successful year for Sensient,” said Paul Manning, president and CEO of Sensient Technologies. “The Color and Asia Pacific Groups delivered strong performances, and the Flavors & Fragrances Group continues to make progress on its strategic initiatives.”
Sensient’s largest division is Flavors & Fragrances Group, which reported revenue of $847 million in 2014, down 3% from 2013, while operating income was comparable.
The Color Group, which includes Sensient’s inkjet inks operations, had revenue of $508.1 million in 2014, up 2.6% from 2013. The company reported that operating income increased 6.5% to $114.9 million, compared to $107.9 million for 2013. These gains were attributed to strong performances from digital inks and North American food and beverage color businesses.
Sensient’s inkjet ink sales are growing, as the company pursues its development as a major actor and innovator in digital industrial printing applications. Its ElvaJet sublimation inks have done particularly well in the textile market.
Dr. Christophe Bulliard, marketing director for Sensient Imaging Technologies SA, said that Sensient Imaging Technologies had another excellent year in North America, with the company’s share of the sublimation ink segment rising faster than the market.
“We are a technology leader in the field of sublimation printing and have been growing nicely in this segment during 2014,” Dr. Bulliard observed. “In 2014, we have launched water-based pigmented inks for cotton printing, offering high color density and excellent rub and wash fastness. These inks complement our position in sustainable printing technologies, as the application of pigmented inks onto textile does not require any washing step.”
Dr. Bulliard noted that this past year, Sensient has continued to fuel the growth of “industrial digital printers” such as those sold by Reggiani, MS Italy (part of Dover) and others, which are used more and more in the sublimation printing.
“We continue to grow our shares by concentrating on high performance and productivity,” he added.
According to Dr. Bulliard, the evolution of the printing industry is diverse.
“The desktop industry is stable as less pages are printed,” he added. “We see positive movements in the digitalization of industrial printing, which is creating new markets and business models. We are less involved in commercial printing.”
Sensient’s products are found in many markets, including food and cosmetics, and the company is well versed on regulatory matters.
“More than regulatory pressure, we see a high degree of responsibility taken by brand owners, resulting in an increased number of industry or customer specific regulations (list of banned or restricted substances). As a producer of regulated chemicals, Sensient shares this responsibility and ensures that composition of our inks corresponds to the expectations.”
As for raw materials, Dr. Bulliard pointed out sourcing is still a concern, in particular for some specialty dyes typically used in the inkjet industry.
Overall, Dr. Bulliard sees new opportunities ahead for inkjet printing.
“We expect new digital printing technologies to be used in industrial applications and have a number of projects running in this perspective,” Dr. Bulliard concluded.