19/08/2020 – News / Packaging / PPE / Food / Pharma / Film / Flexible / FMCG / UFlex / India
UFlex closes quarter with blockbuster performance backed by new products and variants
UFlex Ltd – India’s largest multinational flexible packaging company, and a global player in polymer sciences – had declared its earnings for the first quarter of FY2020-21, recording a stellar performance and “great progress” in leveraging upon growth in the sector off the back of increased demand for personal hygiene and food packaging.
The company’s Consolidated Net Profit surged by 116.7 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to INR 196.5 crore (over US$29.5m) for Q1FY 2020-21. Consolidated Total Revenue for the first quarter of the fiscal 2020-21 stood at INR 1997.5 crore (US$300.3m) – a marginal rise of 0.78 per cent YoY.
A quarter of “great progress”
Speaking of the results, Rajesh Bhatia, Group President (Finance & Accounts) and CFO of UFlex Ltd said that Q1 FY2020-21 had been a quarter of great progress for UFlex. “With innovations seen in FlexiTubes, Spout Pouches and other product portfolio, we have been working relentlessly during these challenging times,” he advised.
“The demand for pouching saw a huge increase, led by personal hygiene category. This was reflected in our quarterly performance via higher sales volumes, huge surge in profitability and much healthier EBITDA margins of 21.1 per cent,” he continued.
“Even amidst the lockdown, we were able to complete the construction of our new facilities in Poland and Russian and start trial runs,” Mr Bhatia added.
Covid-19: “An epic test of leadership character”
The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be “an epic test of leadership character”, according to Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director of UFlex Ltd. “As an essential supplies player, UFlex had the humongous responsibility to ensure continuity of packaging material supplies for food and pharma – which is the lifeline within the present context – alongside allied products. Team UFlex assumed its responsibilities and rose to the occasion in discharging its duties, despite daunting pressures on daily functioning when lockdowns were the order of the day. A natural corollary of all the efforts had to culminate into a remarkable quarter for us.”
He continued: “As regards Covid-19, my personal belief is that the world has to learn to live with this new normal with razor-sharp focus on economics. Otherwise, the fallout will be more disastrous than the pandemic itself – particularly for the underdeveloped and developing world, as they have limited resources to match the fiscal stimulus provided by their developed counterparts.”
In Q1FY20-2021, UFlex made some noteworthy developments that are set to revitalise the packaging sphere, including innovative sanitizer packaging, coveralls and masks developed to aid industry and wider society’s fight against Covid-19.
• FlexiTubes to Pack Sanitizers in 30-200ml sizes: With the outbreak of Covid-19 came a surge in demand for hand sanitizers – and FlexiTubes by UFlex tapped the opportunity to pack sanitizers in multi-layered plastic laminated tubes in sizes ranging from 0-200ml to make them more easily accessible to consumers. This range proved to be an effective and attractive replacement to pack sanitizers that were earlier available in rigid packaging.
• Easy-Tear Structure for Single-Dose Sanitizers: Single dose packs have hitherto been commonly used for one-time use of products like tomato ketchup, face creams, and shampoos – however, such packs are difficult to tear by hand. In order to stay abreast of the rising demand for sanitizers that can be used ‘on-the-go’, UFlex Packaging Business has developed a first-of-its-kind ‘easy-tear structure’ for single-dose sanitizers that offers ease of convenience and can be effortlessly opened by hand.
• Flex Protect Coverall – Jointly developed with IIT Delhi, approved by DRDO: In line with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local’, UFlex developed Flex Protect PPE Coverall in collaboration with IIT Delhi. Approved by DRDO, the Flex Protect PPE Coverall enhances the safety of frontline workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Flex Protect Coverall addresses the inadequacies of conventional PPE Coveralls, with its anti-microbial coating and four layer security seal protecting against the virus and allowing for better breathability.
• Six-layered N95 Mask developed to prevent Covid-19 spread: The company responded with an innovative pivot to its line of business by venturing into the manufacture of safety solutions like N95 Masks. These six-layered personal protection masks without valve are capable of filtering out bacteria and other particles greater than 0.3 micrometre so that the wearer can protect themselves from respiratory diseases. The UFlex N95 Masks has greater resistance to splashes and a strong resistance against fine particles (PM 2.5. The raw material is indigenously manufactured to provide the best safety from harmful bacteria and virus.
Exceptional UFlex product launches
Beyond its much sought after PPE innovations, UFlex launched a number of key product launches for applications in everything from food, to personal hygiene products, FMCG and signage.
• FLEXPACK 5100 – a semi-film forming PU for surface and reverse inks: UFlex Chemicals successfully launched Flexpack 5100, a semi-film forming PU developed for surface as well as reverse inks. It provides high gloss for surface inks and good lamination bond for reverse inks. It provides suitability for both flexographic and gravure printing processes. Flexpack 5100 is free of chemical compounds like TDI, MDI and Tin, making it ideal for indirect food additives for packaging and suitable as per new BIS notifications IS 15945:2020 for safe printing inks.
• FLEXCOAT PC OPV 1009 – a water-based playing card OPV: Another launch for UFlex Chemicals Business was FLEXCOAT PC OPV- 1009, an environment-friendly water-based Overprint Varnish (OPV) for printing over paperboard used for playing cards. It is specially designed to give excellent slip property with very low CoF value, high scuff-resistance and good gloss besides smooth lay and anti-blocking properties. It is suitable for both inline and offline processes and has got the stamp of approval from leading card manufacturers.
• CI FLEXMATT – a two-component OPV: CI FLEXMATT Two Components OPV is a matt coating specially developed for the CI Flexo printing process. This ‘soft-feel’ overprint varnish provides excellent adhesion on a variety of substrates – including PE, PET, and BOPP – besides excellent matt effect and scuff resistance. It complies with food packaging regulations and is most suitable for hygiene care products.
• Metal Embossed Sheets for home interior and OOH: UFlex’s Cylinder Business developed Metal Embossed Sheets that are used for decorating interiors of modular kitchen, false ceilings, furniture etc. to enhance aesthetics. UFlex reports that its new innovation is being received well for use in Out of Home (OOH) properties, on applications like corporate signboards, and lift and Metro wall decorations.
• Silver Scratch Film for the packaging and label industry: UFlex’s Holography Business has developed a premium product – Silver Scratch Film, in 12 and 15 micron variants – for the packaging, labels and decoration industry. This film which was recently commercialised, holds huge potential both in the Indian and overseas markets.
IBA banks on UFlex as trusted partner for printing
Beyond the wide array of new product developments, the firm was delighted to continue its work as IBA’s trusted partner for printing MICR instruments.
Earlier this year, UFlex’s Holography Business was once again certified by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to continue the printing of security products in the Banking sector for another two years – from April 2020 up to March 2022.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) requires special printing system with overt and covert features for bank cheques, legal tenders and various other negotiable instruments – and UFlex is leading the industry in printing such security documents for member banks of IBA.
Celebrating 35 years of excellence
Since its inception back in 1985, UFlex has grown to become India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solutions company, and a leading global player in polymer sciences. UFlex today has state-of-the-art packaging facilities at multiple locations in India with installed capacity of around 135,000TPA and packaging film manufacturing facilities in India, UAE, Mexico Egypt, Poland and the USA.
Integrated within its core business profile are allied businesses such as Aseptic Liquid Packaging, Engineering, Cylinders, Holography and Chemicals, which serve to further provide UFlex with a superior edge over competition. UFlex offers technologically superior packaging solutions for a wide variety of products – such as snack foods, confectionery, sugar, rice, other cereals, beverages, tea and coffee, dessert mixes, noodles, wheat flour, soaps, detergents, shampoos, conditioners, vegetable oil, spices, marinades & pastes, dairy products, frozen food, poultry, anti-fog, pet food, pharmaceuticals, contraceptives, garden fertilisers, plant nutrients, motor oil, lubricants, and automotive and engineering components.
All UFlex plants are ISO 9001, 14001, HACCP and BRC certified. The firm caters to over 140 markets worldwide, including USA, Canada, South American countries, the UK and other European countries, Russia, South Africa, CIS, Asian and African nations. UFlex Ltd’s clients on the global stage include P&G, PepsiCo, Tata Global Beverages, Mondelez, L’Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram’s, Amul, Kimberly Clark, Ferrero Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Nestle, Agrotech Foods, Coca-Cola, Mars Wrigley, and Johnson & Johnson, amongst others.
UFlex has been bestowed with various prestigious national and international awards in recognition for the excellence of its products, including Dow’s 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation, and the Sustainability Awards 2018, besides the recently received ‘Packaging Company of the Year’ accolade by PrintWeek Awards 2019.
UFlex became the first company in the world to recycle mixed plastic waste – a feat for which the firm earned recognition at Davos Recycle Forum.
For further details on UFlex Ltd, visit: www.UFlexltd.com