This Week in Imaging: Latest Financials from Konica Minolta, Epson, Ricoh, Sharp, Xerox; HP is Business-Inkjet Leader; More

18th century colonial kitchen

18th century colonial American kitchen. Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Of note in this busy week of news is the generally good financial results from Japanese vendors for printers and MFPs, as these companies continue to report encouraging earnings and sales increases. It’s important to note, however, that while printer and MFP sales have been higher for many of these companies in Asia and other developing economies (but soft in Japan), Japanese companies who sell printers and copiers outside of Japan are still benefiting from the effects of a depreciated Japanese yen. A weaker-valued yen means that Japanese exports are cheaper worldwide and thus more attractive when compared to competitors. On the other hand, the value of the U.S. dollar has continued to strengthen, making U.S.-manufactured goods such as printers and MFPs more expensive for overseas customers to purchase, and thus less competitive.

The retail merry-go-round claims another victim as Staples acquires Office Depot. Who will benefit? Certainly not the workers, as a “headcount reduction” is planned. Will there be yet another empty shell of a superstore in your neighborhood?

Epson reports favorable financials and claims it’s due to increased sales of ink-tank printers. The only reason we’re mentioning this is that these ink-tank printers buck the established “give ’em the razor and sell ’em the blades” business model. You see, the Epson “L” ink-tank printers cost roughly twice as much to purchase than a comparable cartridge-based inkjet printer, but their low cost of ink more that makes up for it in a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis. Interestingly enough, although Epson has launched its RIPS inkjets in the United States (see here), it hasn’t released any ink-tank printers in the United States. Is it because many Americans still can’t understand the concept of TCO? Is the undeserved prejudice for inkjet printers too powerful, or is the firm leery of mishaps when refilling ink-tanks with bottled ink? Overall, it appears that Americans’ ingrained short-term thinking spurs them to demand both cheap printers and ink (regardless of page yield), thus sacrificing less expensive long-term cost of ownership.

Financial News

  • Healthy Growth for Konica Minolta as Business Technologies Business Drives Sales – Read more here.
  • Revenue, Profit Slip at Xerox; Services Now Making up 54 Percent of Revenue – Read more here.
  • Revenue, Income up for Epson’s Third Quarter; Ink-Tank Printers Lead Revenue Growth – Read more here.
  • EFI Reports Record Revenue for Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2014 – Read more here.
  • Ricoh Earnings up 20.6 Percent, Posts Sales Gains for Office and Production Printing – Read more here.
  • OKI Net Sales and Income up for Nine-Month Period and Third Quarter – Read more here.
  • Brother Printer Sales up, Raises Full-Year Forecast for Income and Sales – Read more here.
  • Sharp Falters with Latest Financial Results, but MFP Business Sees Gains – Read more here.

Product News

  • Ricoh Introduces ‘Legal MFP’ Optimized for Streamlining Legal Document Processes – Read more here.
  • Contex Brings Large-Format Scanning to the Desktop with SD One – Read more here.

Acquisitions

  • Samsung Set to Acquire Brazil’s Largest Printer, MFP Reseller, Simpress – Read more here.
  • Konica Minolta’s All Covered Acquires Preferred Networks – Read more here.
  • Staples Acquires Office Depot for $6.3 Billion – Read more here.

Other News

  • HP CEO Meg Whitman Receives 11 Percent Raise – Read more here.
  • Context: HP is Business-Inkjet Market Leader in Western Europe – Read more here.
  • IPT Digital to Demonstrate JFlex 870 Powered by Memjet’s Aspen Print Engine – Read more here.

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