The Industrial Products Business comprises Chemical Products and Detergents for Institutional Use Products. Operating income rose overall from the previous year as Lion enhanced efficiency in Chemical Products through business integration, and entered new business fields in Detergents for Institutional Use Products, including hygiene management services and vegetable washing.
During 2016, Lion Specialty Chemicals invested management resources in the four sectors of 1) Automotive, 2) Electrical and Electronics, 3) Energy, Environmental & Infrastructure, and 4) Lifestyle Related Industry, conducting marketing deeply linked to customers in particular business fields, and working to gain loyal customers.
Net sales overall were on a par with the previous fiscal year, with a slight decline in the Automotive field of chemicals for tires due to a decline in domestic automobile production, and in Electrical and Electronics for functional polymers used in smartphones and other electronic devices. Operating income, however, rose as a result of increased sales of conductive compounds and other high-margin products, along with a decline in raw material prices.
In 2017, to pursue the aims of the business integration, Lion Specialty Chemicals will conduct new product development drawing on the technological strengths of the predecessor companies and accelerate global business development in priority fields, such as Automotive and Electrical and Electronics.
During 2016, net sales rose overall on positive performance for commercial kitchen and institutional products, such as commercial-use paper towels, hand soap, and detergents, along with firm sales of detergents for dry cleaning. By sales channel, sales expanded to direct sales companies and food product manufacturing plants. In addition, to meet the continually growing market demand for precut vegetables, Lion Hygiene also developed and began selling detergents and washing machines used in the vegetable washing process.
For 2017, Lion Hygiene will continue to pursue further growth for this business by gaining new customers for its washing machines (such as food product plants), developing products for hospitals and elderly care facilities, and expanding its hygiene management services.