Epson Reports Full-Year Results; 100-PPM Line-Head Inkjet Printers May Be on the Way

epson president

Seiko Epson President Minoru Usui.

Seiko Epson of Tokyo reported financial results for its full fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2016, with net revenue up 0.6 percent to approximately U.S. $10 billion, and net profit of U.S. $408 million, down 59.2 percent, both versus the firm’s previous fiscal year.

In its financial-results statements, Epson also said it would be introducing new “line-head” printers this year. In an interview with Business Today last November, Seiko Epson President Minoru Usui referred to these new line-head printers, which appear to be similar to single-pass, page-wide inkjet print heads used by HP Inc. and Memjet printers:

“We have now developed PrecisionCore technology, which has allowed us to dramatically increase the number of nozzles on the print head, and in addition to that we can actually align them in what we call a line head. It means you can print in one pass, which actually will allow us to surpass the speed of laser. Now, you can look at laser printer speed that’s around 50 pages per minute (ppm). However, using this precision core technology in a line-head configuration, we can easily achieve 100 ppm.”

Printing Solutions Group

For Epson’s Printing Solutions group, revenue was up 5.5 percent, but net profit was down 6.7 percent, both versus the previous fiscal year. Within its Printing Solutions Group, Professional (printing) Systems’ revenue was up 2.5 percent, while revenue for Printers (for office and SOHO) was up 7.8 percent.

For its inkjet printers and All-in-Ones, Epson says “prices eroded as competitors stepped up promotions,” but sales of its high-capacity ink-tank printers were “strong,” as were sales of ink due to “improvements” in Epson’s installed inkjet-print base. It noted that the market for its large-format printers was “slow,” but that it “advanced its preparations” to enter growth areas.

Epson also noted that sales of its office inkjet-printer sales in advanced economies filled a gap of declining sales in emerging markets, with sales of high-capacity ink-tank printers “expanding steadily.”

high-capacity ink tank printer sales


IJP sales


For the full year, sales of inkjet products were up 1 percent.

Epson says that for its current fiscal year, it plans to expand sales of its high-capacity inkjet printers, as well as introduce new line-head inkjet printers, as well as continue to expand into professional printing (i.e., graphics-arts printing, textile printing, sign printing, etc.).

Fourth-Quarter and Inkjet Forecast

For its fourth quarter that ended on March 31, 2016, Epson’s revenue was down 6.1 percent, while profits were down 22.9 percent.

For its current fiscal year, Epson is forecasting that sales of high-capacity ink-tank and office inkjet printers will be slightly down in a low single-digit amount, while sales of ink while be down in a high single-digit amount.

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