This Week in Imaging: Thoughts on Ricoh’s Fiscal Year; Tech-Savy UAE; More

wildflowers and sky

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

With the big shakeup of last week behind us – Lexmark International’s proposed acquisition by a consortium of investors that include China’s Apex Technology – this week there was no earth-shattering news. Except, that is, news from Ricoh Company, which reported results from its full fiscal year. Despite the fact that sales were up for Ricoh’s year, earnings (profits) were down (by 8.1 percent). This is despite the fact that Ricoh has benefited from a weaker Japanese yen, especially versus the strong U.S. dollar, which makes Ricoh products more price-competitive overseas, especially in the United States. So the difficult economy isn’t just affecting companies such as Xerox, Lexmark, and Canon, whose latest fiscal results we reported on the previous week.

For Ricoh, sales were soft for its Office Imaging group – up only 3.0 percent versus the previous year. But the bright side for Ricoh was in its Production Printing group (recently named by IDC as the “unrivaled leader” in the high-speed inkjet continuous-feed production-printer market), where sales were up 16.6 percent versus the previous fiscal year. Another bright spot was Ricoh’s Network Systems Solutions group, which recorded sales up 11.8 percent versus the previous year.

Speaking of Lexmark, here’s an interesting bit of news. According to international law firm White & Case LLP, Apex Technology and the consortium of investors set to acquire Lexmark for $3.6 billion will be making that purchase in part with a $1,583 billion loan from the Bank of China. White & Case is advising Apex and other investors on the loan.

For a tiny kingdom on the Persian Gulf ruled by hereditary leaders, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is certainly ambitious when it comes to tech. Last year, it announced that its government had gone about 96 percent paperless, while recently it announced that it plans for 25 percent of new construction in its most populous city, Dubai, to be 3D-printed by 2030. This may be in time to provide lots of work perhaps for HP’s first 3D printer the industrial Multi Jet Fusion, which will launch this year. It was developed not only to provide superior speed and accuracy, but exceptionally strong 3D-printed parts (strong enough for instance, to support lifting a car off the ground, as demonstrated by this HP Youtube video).

Financial News

  • Sales Up, But Profits Down for Ricoh’s Fiscal Year – Read more here.

Small and Home-Office-Imaging News

  • New Samsung SOHO Desktop Laser Printer, All-in-One with Wireless, NFC Tap-to-Print, Mobile Print App – Read more here.
  • Epson Updates Creative Print Mobile-Printing App for Printing Photos from Instagram – Read more here.

Commercial and Production-Printing News

  • HP Adds New Latex Series Large-Format Printers for Sign and Display Printing – Read more here.
  • OKI Data, Neopost, Team Up to Provide Easy Label-Printer Solution for Craft-Beer Kegs – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

  • UAE Government, Now ‘Paperless,” Promises that 25 Percent of New Dubai Construction Will Be 3D-Printed by 2030 – Read more here.
  • Canon Europe Partners with Materialise Magics to Provide 3D-Printing Software  – Read more here.

People News

  • Epson America President and CEO John Lang Retiring – Read more here.
  • New Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. CEO Taylor Revamps Top Management – Read more here.
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