This Week in Imaging: Another Take on Industry Financial Woes

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Along with Konica Minolta’s acquisition of Muratec America, the news this week was dominated by reports of poor industry financials, including lower copier/MFP sales, and dovetails into what we discussed last week – how to offset the decline in office printing, the industry’s greatest challenge.

In recent years, printer/MFP companies have tried to increase sales by either stimulating users to print more by enabling and encouraging printing from mobile devices such as smartphones, or by just trying to capture market share at the expense of others. However in the midst of the ongoing decline, these options probably aren’t working for many. The reality is that attempts at increasing dealer revenue with color printing, A4 printers, workflow solutions, and IT services probably isn’t cutting it for many, and the industry needs to go where the prints are, which isn’t in the office. Meanwhile:

OKI says it’s shifting it’s focus to commercial printers. However, it can only take its considerable toner-based technology so far. Moreover, it’s been releasing niche-based production printing solutions for years now, with color printers that include neon, white, and clear toners as well as textile transfer and label-printing solutions. However, these solutions are for the low end of the commercial printing market and we see that the future will be in production presses, package printing, and direct-to-textile printing. Toner-based isn’t ideal for these applications.

On the upside, Ricoh has made laudable efforts to expand beyond office printing with new product lines and inkjet presses. On the downside, it lacks extensive large-format, as well as package-printing solutions.

Like Ricoh, Konica Minolta has made an effort to expand its product lines and its printing-product line with high-speed presses and inkjet technology. Its acquisition of Muratec America this week also gives it access to Muratec’s industrial label printers, a big PLUS.

Meanwhile, Canon is in a very good position, especially due to its acquisition of Océ and its wide variety of production-printing solutions and expertise. The only areas where it is somewhat lacking are Epson’s strengths – which include Epson textile printing and business-inkjet solutions.

That said, Canon+Océ+Epson would be a match made in heaven.

Acquisitions

AnchorMarking 30th Anniversary, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Acquires Muratec America

“Historically we’ve had a mutual and complementary product lineup with Muratec making this acquisition a great platform to create new synergies together,” said Rick Taylor, president and CEO of Konica Minolta. Read more here.

AnchorKyocera Acquires OnBase Reseller DataBank

“Coming together with Kyocera is a tremendous opportunity for our existing and prospective customers,” said Chuck Bauer, CEO at DataBank. “The acquisition will enable us to offer innovative new solutions and services tailored to rapidly changing market needs.” Read more here.

AnchorNovaCopy Management Buys Compnay

NovaCopy has acquired three companies in the past eight months with seven potential acquisitions, in various stages, currently underway. Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

AnchorKonica Minolta Beefs Up Copier/MFP Security with bizhub SECURE Platinum

The new bizhub SECURE Platinum provides all of the hard-drive security settings provided by bizhub SECURE, plus additional settings for network protection and advanced functions such as user authentication and enablement of the internal audit/job log feature, as well as added focus on other industry requirements such as Finance (PCI) and Education (FERPA). Read more here.

AnchorRicoh Updates Streamline NX Solution with ‘Significant Enhancements’

With Streamline NX, Ricoh says organizations only need to train workers to use one software solution for device management, print, copy, scan, fax, and related workflows. Read more here.

AnchorNew Xerox DocuMate 6460 and 6480 Document Scanners Scan at up to 176 PPM

The scanners accept up to 120 mixed-size documents – including dot matrix paper – into their document feeders and scans them at 300 dpi resolution color. Read more here.

Financial News

AnchorRevenues Slow in Xerox’s Second Quarter, but Net Income Up

Xerox affirmed its full-year revenue, cash flow and operating margin guidance. Financial results for the first quarter were revised to reflect the equity-income impact from the Fujifilm investigation of Fuji Xerox accounting practices. Read more here.

AnchorOKI Reports Loss, Lower Sales for First Quarter

OKI stated however that “its business performance turned out approximately as planned,” as it seeks to shift from office to commercial printers. Read more here.

AnchorBrighter First Quarter for Ricoh, but Office Printing Sales Down

Gross profits increased by 0.6 percent as compared to the first quarter a year ago,, to ¥199.9 billion, mainly due to the increase in sales. Operating profit increased by 74.1 percent as compared to the first quarter a year ago,, to ¥18.9 billion. Read more here.

AnchorGrowth Slows for Konica Minolta in First Quarter

Revenue for the company’s Office Business segment was ¥133.0 billion ($1.19 billion U.S.), down 2.3 percent year-over-year. Read more here.

AnchorHigher Total Sales for Sharp’s First Quarter, but Declining Copier/MFP Sales

However, sales for Sharp’s Smart Business Solutions segment declined by 6.9 percent to ¥72.1 billion ($650 million U.S.) versus the first quarter for the previous fiscal year. Read more here.

AnchorKyocera Reports Improved Financial Results, with Sales, Profits Up

Kyocera notes that average exchange rates for the first quarter were ¥111 to the U.S. dollar, marking depreciation by ¥3 (2.8 percent) from the previous first quarter and ¥122 to the Euro, which was unchanged year-over-year.​ Read more here.


Legal Briefs

AnchorCGI Adds Lexmark to List of Printer/MFP Companies it’s Suing for Patent Infringement

CGI alleges that Lexmark markets and sells systems or products that incorporate the CGI patent technology, and is seeking a jury trial and damages. Read more here.


Other News

AnchorHP Launches Point-of-Sale Systems with Optional Receipt Printers, State-of-the-Art Security

The ElitePOS and its accessories add further customization and flexibility. Read more here.

AnchorY Soft Expands into China

Y Soft Corporation, an enterprise office-solution provider, today announced the establishment of Y Soft China Ltd., a subsidiary of Y Soft, to expand its business in the world’s second largest market. The company also announced a formal partnership with Aurora Office Automation. Read more here.


Market-Research News

AnchorLaser-Imaging Hardware Sales Down in Western Europe

Sales fell in all categories except for laser MFPs, as distributor sales of these devices increased by a percentage point in second-quarter 2017. Read more here.

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July 2017

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