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Japanese office equipment supplier strengthens screen films and other lines

TOKYO — Konica Minolta, a Japanese office equipment maker, said that it will cut 2,400 employees globally by the end of March 2025 as the company tries to shift its focus to newer business lines as demand for paper printing in offices falls away.

A major supplier of copy machines, the company said on Thursday that it is cutting a broad range of both full-time and part-time jobs, including at overseas sales subsidiaries and factories. Overall demand for office equipment has declined as companies turn to digital solutions.

“Currently, we are seeing weak demand in China and some parts of Europe, such as Germany,” Konica Minolta President Toshimitsu Taiko told a news conference. The company said the job cuts are not solely confined to office equipment divisions, but declined to go further.

The total number of group employees was about 40,000 at the end of March 2023.

The company expects limited financial downside from the restructuring, with the cost of job cuts estimated to be around 20 billion yen ($131 million) in the fiscal year ending in March 2025. This should be largely offset in the following year by improved efficiency.

The company’s digital workplace business segment, which includes copying machines, accounts for more than 50% of total sales. It will focus more on display films used for television and personal computer screens as well as in virtual reality headsets.

The company also supplies films for smartphones, but Noriyasu Kuzuhara, executive vice president of the company, said demand is “stable but relatively weak” at the moment.

The company posted a loss of 103 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2023, its fourth consecutive year in the red. It announced last year that it would sell 80% of its shares in two subsidiaries in China that assemble products like digital camera lenses to a local company.

Japanese office equipment companies have been consolidating. Ricoh and Toshiba Tec will establish a new company this year, that will integrate their development and production of office machines, including printers.

 

 

Author: Nikkei Asia

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