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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CHANGES OUTLOOK ON DAINIPPON INK AND CHEMICALS' Baa3 DEBT RATING TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE

18 Oct 2004
MOODY'S CHANGES OUTLOOK ON DAINIPPON INK AND CHEMICALS' Baa3 DEBT RATING TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE

Tokyo, October 18, 2004 -- Moody's Investors Service has changed the outlook on the Baa3 senior unsecured long-term debt ratings of Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, Incorporated (DIC) to stable from negative. The change in outlook reflects Moody's view that the company's operating performance and balance sheet structure should not experience further downward pressure because of ongoing efforts to strengthen its core businesses and restructure the operation of Reichhold, its loss-making overseas synthetic resins subsidiary.

DIC has leading global market positions in printing inks and organic pigments. Furthermore, its worldwide supply system is one of the strengths upon which it has built and maintained its global position. Given that demand for printing inks and organic pigments is stable, Moody's expects the company's graphic arts materials segment to continue as a strong source of cash flow over the medium term. Sales of graphic arts materials accounted for 53.4% of the company's total sales and 73.1% of total operating profit in FYE3/2004.

On the other hand, DIC is struggling with the restructuring of its operations at Reichhold. It is actively trying to restore the subsidiary's profit structure and has so far restructured the operation according to plan. However, increased raw material costs and the fluid state of demand in the US may partially offset the positive results of this exercise. DIC announced that it will account for impaired losses on all the goodwill of Reichhold -- a total of US$181 million, based on a test of SFAS No. 142 in FYE3/2005. Moody's considers the impact of the impaired losses on DIC's balance sheet as manageable.

Given that the need to restructure Reichhold has now lessened, DIC's ability to improve its leveraged balance sheet should increase gradually. The company's total debt to total capitalization ratio stood at 77.0% at end-March 2004. Moody's will continue to monitor how it can accelerate improvements in its capital structure -- in accordance with its business strategies and restructuring efforts.

Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, Incorporated, headquartered in Tokyo, is a leading manufacturer of printing inks, printing supplies and organic pigments. Its business lines are diversified into synthetic resins, electronics and information materials, and performance chemicals. Consolidated sales for FYE3/2004 were Yen 974.8 billion.

Tokyo
Noriko Kosaka
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Rating Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Tokyo
Takahiro Morita
Managing Director
Rating Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

No Related Data.
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