Tokyo-based Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and SIG have signed a joint venture agreement which will bring new value added carton packaging and filling technology solutions to the Japanese food and beverage industry. The 50-50 joint venture will be established as of April 1, 2018, under the name of DNP • SIG Combibloc Co., Ltd., located in Tokyo.
The main focus of the partnership is to provide greater differentiation and added value in the field of carton packaging, technology and services for the food and beverages industry in Japan.
Souichiro Nishitani, Corporate Officer and General Manager of Packaging Operations at DNP said: “The huge variety offered by the packaging system from SIG will enrich the Japanese market and offer clear added value for beverage manufacturers and consumers alike. The aim of our joint venture is to be Japan’s number 2 in aseptic carton packs by 2022.”
Rolf Stangl, Chief Executive Officer at SIG added: “It is an exciting moment in our company’s history. For many years we’ve looked into entering this big and promising market together with a perfect partner. We’ve now found this with DNP. Together with DNP, we are bringing innovative solutions to the food and beverage industry in Japan for current and next generation products.”
Throughout its history DNP, one of the world’s largest printing industry manufacturers, has successfully established a multitude of business operations. For example, DNP has been developing and marketing carton packs and filling systems for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in Japan since 1978. Many food and beverage manufacturers are also using DNP’s aseptic PET filling system. The company is ideally positioned in Japan, with substantial experience in the field of aseptic technology through its network of highly-qualified service technicians and established connections with all major companies in the food and beverage industry.
Packaging solution inspired by nature
Mondi wins an Award
The global packaging and paper group Mondi received a World Food Innovation Award 2018 in the “Best Packaging Design” category. The competition – organised for the fourth time by FoodBev media – recognises the company’s innovative concept for the Pistachio Dream box. Out of 220 entries from over 20 countries, the panel selected Mondi’s submission for its increased shelf appeal of dry food products at point of sale.
The judges welcomed the creative thinking behind the Pistachio Dream. The corrugated outer shell surrounding the nuts’ primary packaging enables easy stacking on the shelf and conveys the brand’s premium characteristics. The packaging structure and opening mechanism resemble the product itself: by simply pulling the two sides of the box apart, the end-user mimics the process of peeling off the outer shell of the pistachio. Besides facilitating easy manual assembly and opening, the exterior walls play an additional role – they provide a convenient receptacle for the empty pistachio shells after consumption. This enhanced functionality supports end-user convenience and boosts brand awareness. Combined with its intriguing design, the Pistachio Dream packaging positions the product as a premium item on the shelf that grabs consumers’ attention.
Armand Schoonbrood, COO Corrugated Packaging at the company, states that “today’s busy lifestyle means that consumers demand products that make life simpler and more comfortable while the product experience, health and environmental aspects continuously influence purchasing decisions. This convenience trend is particularly prominent in the food sector where the number of products on the shelf is continuously rising. Large and small brands compete for customers’ attention. As a result, we aim to develop new packaging concepts that proactively meet these needs and help set the scene for a future that stimulates the senses”.
Continental enjoyed growth and profitability
The technology company Continental enjoyed strong growth and profitability in fiscal 2017. The company increased its sales by 8.5 percent to €44 billion, with an adjusted EBIT margin of 10.9 percent, thus surpassing its targets for the year. At Thursday’s presentation of the preliminary business figures in Hanover, Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the Executive Board, thanked the company’s more than 235,000 employees worldwide for this outstanding achievement: “You have all proven once again that our values create value. We are in top form financially, are pioneering technologically, and remain fully focused on the future. This enables us to shape technological change in our industries as a pioneer and from a position of strength.” The technology company’s net income climbed to €3 billion in 2017, which equates to an increase of 6.5 percent year-on-year and earnings of €14.92 per share. “The Executive Board is proposing to increase the dividend by 25 cents to €4.50, which will be the sixth increase in a row,” said Degenhart.
He expects this profitable growth to continue in 2018: “The start we have made to fiscal 2018 has confirmed our expectations. We are therefore reaffirming our outlook from early January. We intend to continue our successful course of growth and profitability. For the current year, we are still anticipating a significant rise in sales of just under 7 percent to approximately €47 billion before exchange-rate effects, with an adjusted EBIT margin of around 10.5 percent. This is based on growth in the global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles of more than 1 percent to 96.5 million vehicles.”
Leading the way in safe, clean and intelligent mobility
The chairman of the Executive Board believes the technology company to be ideally equipped for the mobility of the future: “Continental is a pioneer when it comes to technology. We are continuing to invest heavily in the technologies of tomorrow, and this strategy is paying off. Take for example our incoming orders in the Automotive Group: We achieved a new record high of nearly €40 billion in 2017,” he said, adding: “Our innovative technologies and the intelligent use of software, electronics and sensor technology are allowing us to make automated and autonomous driving, along with connectivity and electrification, a reality. We are also developing new business areas and customer groups in innovative mobility services. More than any other company in the world, Continental is synonymous with safe, clean and intelligent mobility.”
A 42,000-strong global network of developers and experts of 146 different nationalities is conducting research on how to make Continental’s products and services even more intelligent. “Enhanced with software and intelligent sensors, our products and services keep traffic and goods flowing worldwide – from industrial systems, robots, drones, to cars,” commented Degenhart, adding: “In 2017 alone, our customers from a wide range of industries installed more than 600 million Continental sensors. Today, three out of four cars worldwide feature our solutions, products and systems.”
This is particularly relevant for automated and autonomous driving. Cameras, radar and lidar sensors record data at a rate that can exceed 10 gigabytes per second already at present in the early stages of this technology, and that will increase even more in the fully automated driving stage in the future. Since 1999, the company has produced around 60 million sensors for advanced driver assistance systems in total for this purpose – and this number is rising fast.
When it comes to the combination of drive systems in the future, electric mobility will play a key role. The firm is one of the few system suppliers that can offer full electrification of the powertrain from a single source – from the electric motor to power electronics to energy and thermal management, through to charging technology.
An increasing number of trucks are being equipped with electronic horizon (eHorizon), a highly accurate digital road map as a sensor that ensures drivers drive more efficiently. Since it was brought to market in 2012, this Continental technology has reduced diesel consumption by over 700,000 liters. Altogether, more than 33 million cars and trucks have already been connected with Continental’s intelligent technology.
The technology company is also making tires intelligent. They increasingly come fitted with a few grams of lightweight sensors, which measure air pressure inside the tire itself, ensuring greater safety, less rolling resistance and enhanced efficiency. In 2017 alone, the firm produced some 155 million passenger and truck tires. The latest conveyor belts and hoses likewise live up to this technological trend, with integrated sensor technology that autonomously detects the transported weight and reports any required maintenance and repair work in advance. This means that transportation can keep flowing until an optimum repair time presents itself, thereby minimizing operating costs.
Shaping change, backed by a solid framework of values and from a position of strength
Speaking about the transformation of the automotive industry, Degenhart stressed: “Fast-paced technological change requires our global team to demonstrate the highest levels of flexibility and agility. That is why we are examining how we can gear our organization toward rapid growth and maximum value creation in the long term. We are currently assessing our options. A plan is yet to be finalized.” He also referred to the DAX company’s adaptability: “Continental has been undergoing a process of gradual transformation for nearly 150 years. In the past 20 years alone, Continental has transformed from a purely tire manufacturing business and industrial partner into a global technology company.”
Referring to this transformation, Degenhart underscored the significance of the firm’s pioneering corporate culture: “Over the past few years, we have developed and strengthened the shared values of Continental. This has provided the key foundation for successfully shaping the transformation within our industries and safeguarding the future and viability of our organization. This foundation, coupled with our joint aim of value creation, continues to form the core of Continental’s values alliance. This encompasses all companies in which our corporation has a majority holding, irrespective of their legal or organizational makeup.”
Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer spoke about the DAX company’s financial strength: “Having finances that are in excellent shape allows us to invest heavily and continue to expand our business on a global scale. Our capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment, together with expenses for research and development, all of which came to nearly €6 billion, are testament to this. We are also consolidating our strength in a targeted manner through acquisitions. In the past year alone, we spent nearly €600 million on acquisitions. We systematically reduced our net indebtedness at the same time. We have a rock solid financial basis with a gearing ratio of 12.6 percent and an equity ratio of 43.5 percent.”
Hedged against exchange-rate fluctuations and raw-material price increases under control
When asked about the considerable exchange-rate fluctuations seen at times in recent months, Schaefer was relaxed: “Our margin is hedged because Continental mostly produces locally for the local markets. Exchange-rate effects thus impact sales and operating earnings to a similar degree. This means that the corporation is naturally hedged against fluctuating exchange rates.” Continental states its annual sales targets before any exchange-rate effects. The absolute impact of this can affect sales significantly, depending on exchange-rate trends. Continental believes that negative exchange-rate effects of more than €1 billion are possible in the current fiscal year, assuming the current exchange rates represent the average for the year as a whole.
Turning his attention to the commodities markets, Schaefer commented that Continental could deal with the levels of price changes seen over the past three years. That said, in the current year Continental still anticipates additional negative effects of approximately €50 million from price increases for natural and synthetic rubber.
Sales climbed by €3.5 billion, or 8.5 percent, to €44.0 billion. Organic sales growth, i.e. adjusted for changes in the scope of consolidation and exchange-rate effects, came to 8.1 percent.
EBIT rose by €466 million, or 11.4 percent, to approximately €4.6 billion in fiscal 2017. The EBIT margin came to 10.4 percent after 10.1 percent in fiscal 2016.
Adjusted EBIT, adjusted for changes in the scope of consolidation, acquisition-related amortization and special effect, amounted to over €4.7 billion in 2017. This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 10.9 percent. The absolute figure was 10 percent higher than the previous year’s figure of €4.3 billion, which represented a ratio of 10.6 percent in 2016. With regard to the comparison with the previous year, Schaefer mentioned a number of isolated, unrelated events that impacted the previous year’s result with around €480 million.
In 2017, Continental invested roughly €2.9 billion in property, plant and equipment, and software. This drove the capital expenditure ratio up to 6.5 percent after 6.4 percent in the previous year. Research and development expenses rose by 10 percent year-on-year to €3.1 billion, corresponding to 7.1 percent of sales (2016: 6.9 percent).
As at the end of 2017, Continental’s liquidity reserves totaled approximately €5.6 billion, consisting of cash and cash equivalents of €1.9 billion and committed, unutilized credit lines of €3.7 billion. “The available funds combined with our extremely low indebtedness give us considerable flexibility and the capacity to respond quickly to change,” explained Schaefer.
The positive business performance resulted in a growing number of employees. At the end of 2017, the technology company employed more than 235,000 people worldwide, over 15,000 more than at the end of 2016. This increase can be attributed primarily to extended production capacity, growth through acquisitions and systematic expansion of the R&D areas.
Christian Traumann takes over the Presidency of Interpack 2020
Christian Traumann, Director and Group CFO of Multivac, has been elected as President of interpack 2020 by the constituent assembly of the Trade Fair Advisory Council. Christian Traumann has already held the position of interpack President in 2011 as well as Vice President for the years 2014 and 2017. The leading international trade fair for the packaging sector and associated processing industries takes place on a three-year cycle at the Trade Fair site in Düsseldorf. In 2020 the date for interpack will be 7 to 13 May.
Christian Traumann, Director and CFO of Multivac Sepp Haggenmüller SE & Co. KG, has been working for the Multivac Group since 2002. In February 2015 he was elected Chairman of the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association within the VDMA (German Engineering Federation). In addition to this, Christian Traumann is involved with the University of Applied Sciences in Kempten as a member of the board of trustees, as well as being a commercial judge at the regional court in Memmingen.
“As regards the packaging industry, interpack is the most important leading trade fair and one, which is used by exhibiting companies to present their innovations to an international public,” explains Christian Traumann. “I am looking forward as President to being able to make a contribution to the success of the next interpack.”
Before he started working at Multivac, Christian Traumann, who studied business economics, was Commercial Manager and company signatory at Transtechnik GmbH in Holzkirchen, and he was also Head of Auditing for the accounting firm BTP (Prüfung Beratung Treuhand, Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft mbH, formerly BTR) in Munich.