Plans include leveraging inkjet know-how


Fujifilm’s Graphic Communications wing is set to be renamed ‘Printing and Solutions’ as part of the restructure that will see the operation become part of its Business Innovation division.

Announcing year-end results for the year to 31 March, Fujifilm said it planned to “develop services in all printing areas from office and commercial printing to industrial printing as the only ‘solution partner’ in the industry”.

In a reference that appears linked to the recent news about a possible joint venture with Konica Minolta, Fujifilm also stated: “In addition, we will further strengthen the business base by forming a business alliance with an external partner for the procurement of parts and materials and the establishment of structures for toner development/production and supply.”

Group sales grew by 3.6% to ¥2,960bn  (£15.2bn). Operating income nudged up 1.3% to ¥277bn.

Regarding Graphic Communications, Fujifilm said that sales of printing plates decreased due to weak demand for printed materials mainly in Europe and the US.

It shut its European plate manufacturing plant last year.

“In the digital printing field, revenue increased due to growing sales in Europe and the US of production printers launched in the US, UK, France and Canada in April 2023.

“In the inkjet field, revenue decreased due to slower sales of inkjet printheads for the ceramic market, affected by stagnant real estate market conditions in China and sluggish demand in Europe stemming from monetary tightening.”

Sales at Graphic Communications slipped by 3% to ¥331.6bn, while sales at Business Innovation were down 1.4% at ¥826.1bn.

When the figures are restated to combine Graphic Communications into Business Innovation, the unit had sales of ¥1,157bn last year, with sales forecast to increase by 3.5% to ¥1,200bn in the new financial year.

Combined operating income was ¥67.2bn last year, with a forecast of ¥73bn for FY2024.

Fujifilm’s growth strategy for its printing products includes accelerating the digital shift by investing in high-speed, high-image-quality digital printing and digital transformation “which are expected to grow”.

In its printing plates business the focus is on expanding sales of high value-added, processless plates while improving profitability “under a leaner structure resulting from the global consolidation of production lines”.

At Fujifilm’s inkjet business production systems are being reorganised to improve profitability, and sales growth is planned through capitalising on its proprietary know-how in inks and printheads.

“In addition, we will respond to the growth of the commercial/package printing markets by providing brand owners with custom systems that combine our inks/heads and by incorporating digital printing technology into the production lines of our customers’ products,” Fujifilm stated.

Fujifilm will have its biggest-ever presence at the upccoming Drupa show, where it will showcase new toner and inkjet devices.


Author: Printweek

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