The packaging bandwagon marches on

Ramu Ramanathan looks at recent developments at TCPL Packaging, Orient Press, Uflex, Manjushree Technopack and Essel Propack.

20 Nov 2012 | By Ramu Ramanathan

The breaking news in the Diwali week was: TCPL Packaging inking a pact with AR Packaging Group AB from Sweden. The highlights of this agreement is "a strategic partnership and co-operation" in manufacturing, sourcing, sales and marketing in India for solid folding cartons. TCPL Packaging one of the leading Indian manufacturers of folding cartons has signed up a technical collaboration agreement with AR Packaging Group, one of the biggest manufacturers of flexible packaging in UK and Ireland.

Saket Kanoria, the managing director of the multi-locational TCPL Packaging said: "AR Packaging is the ideal partner for us to establish an international footprint and to work with together to service global customers and suppliers for the growing Indian market and Asia in general. We will work closely and will build on our joint strengths which will ensure that we can develop and service the market ahead of our competitors."

The going is buoyant for other packaging majors; what with Orient Press having reported a sales turnover of Rs 46.53 crore and a net profit of Rs 2.49 crore for the quarter ended September 2012. For the quarter ended September 2011, the sales turnover for the group was Rs 41.32 crore and net profit was Rs 7.98 crore.

This is part of the overall growth in the market which is seeing an integrated unit of its kind and focus on innovation. 

Uflex: Ready to benefit from growth
RK Jain, the group president - (corporate finance and strategies) Uflex Ltd says, "Top clients are growing in their business and we are set to benefit from the same." The Uflex client list includes Unilever, Pepsi, Wrigley, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Gillette, Ranbaxy, Perfetti, Joyco, Monsanto, ITC, Godrej Pillsbury, Tata Tea, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Britannia, Dabur, Haldiram, Wockhardt, HUL, Parle Biscuit, and Birla 3M, among others.

RK Jain says, "Our expansion plans will be funded by a mix of debt and equity. Given our track record, banks are comfortable lending to us. Our expansion plans involving investments of $250 million in setting up new manufacturing facilities and capacity expansion in existing locations. Uflex Ltd is currently investing Rs 400-crore ($80 million) to set up a polyester films plant in Kentucky, in the US with an annual capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes. This facility will start production by December 2012." This will be the first greenfield investment to be made in Kentucky by an Indian company, as also Uflex's first manufacturing facility in the USA.

In the quarter ended June 30, 2012, Uflex completed the setting up of its new manufacturing facility for production of 30,000 MTs of polyester film in Wrzesnia, in Poland. The facility involved investments of about $80 million (around Rs 360 crore). The project has successfully commenced commercial production since July 2012.

During the financial year ended March 31, 2012, Uflex Ltd completed the second phase of expansion of its facility in Mexico aggregating a total capacity of 60000 MT of PET film and commissioned an AL-OX coater, CPP plant of 12000 MTs and PET film of 30,000 MTs in Egypt.

The company's total investments in Egypt were pegged at $135 million while the investments in Mexico amounted to $109 million. The facility in Egypt has trade pacts with GCC nations, Southern Europe & Africa, Middle East, West Asia and CIS to access larger markets, while the facility in Mexico has trade pacts and is part of NAFTA, thus has access to a large market like
North America.

The firm is on "a massive expansion drive and are confident of achieving the next milestone of $2 billion revenue mark by FY 2015."

Manjushree Technopack: Expected to grow to 1,00,000 MTPA by 2015
Manjushree Technopack who manufacture flexible laminates and a PET bottle manufacturing unit in Bengaluru, has expertise in rigid plastic packaging solutions, including - PET, PP, multilayer-barrier containers and PET Preforms. In the last year, it has commissioned two more state of the art Husky System for PET Preforms and four ASB blow moulding machines to manufacture PET bottles for the beverage and bottled water industry.

The current capacity of Manjushree Technopack stands at 50,000 MTPA and is expected to grow to 1,00,000 MTPA by 2015, with the commissioning of a new plant in Bengaluru.

Vimal Kedia, the managing director of Manjushree Technopack said, "This year has seen us reach an Rs 3bn turnover. It is only a year ago that we crossed Rs 2bn.  Our strong focus on innovation has seen us introduce new designs like the short-neck pre-forms, and we expect significant demand, particularly from the beverages segment, for such designs. We hope to close
the next year at over Rs 4bn."

The firm has witnessed a 100% increase in its exports last year and they expect it to double this year as well owing to the huge demand for PET pre-forms from USA, South and West Africa and Thailand.

Interestingly enough, the firm has set up a 3 MW wind power plant at Belgaum, Karnataka, as part of their long term plan to gain energy security. In the next three years, they aim to increase generation capacity to 20 MW.

Essel Propack: Substantial rise in laminate tubes
Essel Propack with presence in 12 countries with 24 plants which caters to the oral care, pharmaceutical, personal care, cosmetics, industrial sectors, is seeing good numbers.
Only recently, the group acquired Ras Propack Lamipack and Ras Extrusions after its proposal was approved by the BIFR. Globally, the sector saw a consolidation with the merger of the world's second and third largest tube manufacturers, with the UK-based Betts and Alcan Packaging Beauty merging to become Albea, following the acquisition of a majority stake by the private
equity firm Sun Capital. Albea has 31 plants in 13 countries. Essel Propack is the world's largest laminated tubes manufacturer, has doubled its capacity at Kundain in Goa to 1.5 billion tubes per year at an investment of Rs 40 crore. The Goa facility makes laminated tubes for FMCG clients including Colgate, Hindustan Unilever, Cosme Pharma, Ranbaxy, ITC, Zandu Pharma and Encube Ethicals. Todate, Essel Propack has six units for laminated tubes at Murbad, Vasind
and Wada in Maharashtra, Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, Kundain in Goa, Silvassa in Gujarat, and three for speciality tubes in Pondicherry, Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.

Besides India, Essel Propack has manufacturing hubs in the US, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, Poland, Germany, Egypt, Russia, China, the Philippines and Indonesia. The company has the capacity to produce 2.5 billion tubes a year in India and 6 billion tubes globally. Of the domestic capacity, 70 per cent is accounted for by oral care, while the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors chip in with the rest.