With $3.250bn in sales revenue for 2011—up from $2.8 billion the year before— Kansai Paint operates three state-of-the-art automotive paint plants from its headquarters in Osaka, Japan and is the leading supplier of automotive coatings to Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, Honda, Peugeot and Renault worldwide.
In 2011, after a year of bitter opposition, a competition watchdog approved Kansai Paint’s $260 million takeover bid of South Africa’s Freeworld Coatings. The deal represents a significant push into the continent for Japan’s largest paint and coatings maker.
In Japan, Kansai’s largest operating segment, in the area of automotive OEM coatings, the company has been putting its efforts into developing new technologies such as the Waterborne 3-Wet Coating System, which gives a high-quality external appearance and actively works to reduce emissions of CO2, as well as its clear top coat with improved scratch resistance. The company said it is striving to open up new markets through these new technologies. In the second half of the term under review, the subsidy system for Japanese auto buyers who purchase an eco car came to an end and this impacted the number of vehicles being manufactured but despite this Kansai said it still managed to record an increase in sales. In the auto refinishing area, Kansai bolstered its range of environmentally friendly coatings as well as reinforced its color-matching online system, striving to expand its sales. In industrial coatings, as demand recovered supported by strong exports for construction machinery, the company said its coatings for beverage cans were in high demand due to the intensely hot summer and as a result recorded an increase in sales. In decorative coatings, the slump in new housing constructions and capital investment in the private sector continued throughout 2011, so as a consequence Kansai said it focused on repainting and recoating existing structures and as a result it was able to record an increase in sales. In the area of marine and protective coatings, Kansai has expanded sales in ship repair, namely anti-fouling paint for the vessel’s hull and functional coatings for repairs, but due to the slump in the new ship construction market, its sales for the term under review decreased. In the field of protective coatings, in order to receive orders for bridge repairs Kansai promoted its high value-added products but both public and private investment in these structures continued to fall, so as a consequence it registered a decrease in sales for this area. Kansai’s sales in Japan totaled $1.885bn, an increase of 2.3 percent on the previous term.
In India, the next largest operating segment, in the field of automotive coatings, new manufacturing plants owned by domestic automakers as well as Japanese manufacturers have moved into full production and due to this expansion in production, Kansai’s sales have risen accordingly. Furthermore, with the expansion of the Indian economy centered on internal demand, the company has seen a positive increase in its sales in the field of decorative coatings. As a result, Kansai’s sales in India totaled $512 million, an increase of 12.8 percent on the previous term.
In Asia, in automotive coatings, rising demand from China coupled with a large-scale increase in the number of automobiles manufactured in Thailand and Indonesia led to a growth in sales. In the industrial coatings field, Kansai has been able to increase sales, centered on construction machinery, in China and Thailand. As a result, Kansai’s sales in Asia totaled $509 million, an increase of 18.1 percent on the previous term.
In Europe, customer manufacturing in the area of industrial coatings continued its steady progress and consequently sales in Turkey have shown some growth. As a result, Kansai’s sales in Europe totaled $115 million, an increase of 6.2 percent on the previous term.
Kansai Paint launches Ales Cool
Kansai’s new Ales Cool is a solar radiation-reflective coating that can reduce the heat energy that is generated on a sun-exposed roof. Ales Cool forms a coating film that can efficiently reflect sunbeams containing solar (infrared) rays. Ales Cool benefits from a raw material that is effective at reflecting infrared rays which is contained in both the topcoat and the undercoat and this creates a double-blocking effect that delivers improvements in heat performance. By applying a coating of Ales Cool on the roof, the rooftop temperature during the hottest part of the summer can result in temperatures cooler by some 10 to 20 degrees centigrade the company said. This can lead to reductions of up to 40 percent in terms of the cost of electricity consumption in order to keep indoor temperatures at a comfortable level, and energy conservation simulations have shown that this reduction in electricity consumption also translates into a reduction of as much as 40 percent in CO2 emissions.
YEAR ESTABLISHED: 1918
REVENUE: $3.250 billion (2010: 2.8bn)
• Automotive coatings
• Industrial coatings
• Decorative coatings
• Marine and protective coatings
Shoju Kobayashi, chairman; Yuzo Kawamori, president; Koichi Imada, executive vice president.