KONICA MINOLTA PROFITS UP 17% COPIER SALE

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KONICA MINOLTA PROFITS UP 17% COPIER SALE

 user 2006-11-07 at 11:31:00 am Views: 47
  • #16714

    Konica Minolta H1 profit up 17 pct on copiers sales
    TOKYO,
    Nov 06 – Japan’s Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. on Thursday posted a
    better-than-expected 17 percent rise in first-half profit and raised
    its annual forecast on strong sales of colour copiers and a weaker yen
    .
    The
    office equipment maker, set up after Konica Corp. and Minolta Co.
    merged in August 2003, is betting on growth in toner sales and
    materials used in flat panels after it exited from camera and
    photographic film businesses earlier this year.Operating income came to
    46.26 billion yen ($394.5 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30,
    compared with 39.4 billion yen a year earlier. Sales fell 4.6 percent
    to 493.95 billion yen due mainly to its withdrawal from the photo film
    market.The profit result beat the average estimate of 41.9 billion yen
    from five analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.”Our strategy to expand
    our colour line-ups helped sales of multifunctional models, especially
    in Europe,” company director Yasuo Matsumoto told a news
    conference.Konica Minolta also raised its operating profit forecast for
    the year to March by 21 percent to 96.5 billion yen, above the
    consensus estimate of 90 billion yen.Its domestic rivals such as Canon
    Inc. and Fujifilm Holdings recently reported better-than-expected
    earnings thanks to a weaker yen and strong sales of core products
    .Matsumoto said a weaker Japanese currency helped push up first half
    operating profit by 5.9 billion yen, although fierce price competition
    in copiers and printers also cropped 10 billion yen from the gains.

    COLOUR COPIERS
    Sales
    at its office equipment division gained 9.2 percent to 309.5 billion
    yen in the first half. Operating profit of the segment rose 21.5
    percent to 34.1 billion yen.Earnings from office gear made up almost 75
    percent of the company’s total operating profit.Konica Minolta is
    pushing sales of its colour machines, which tend to use more toner, the
    main source of profit as the machines themselves are usually sold at a
    loss.Its optics business, which makes pickup lenses and lenses used in
    mobile phones, had a 31.3 percent sales increase in the first half. The
    segment’s operating profit also jumped 34.7 percent to 10.7 billion
    yen.Konica Minolta said sales of its pickup lens slowed in the first
    half due to a delay in next-generation DVDs, but strong demand from
    flat-panel makers boosted sales of its film materials.The company said
    its fourth line for TAC, or triacetyl cellulose, film began production
    in September, helping to company boost output and increase its sales
    volume in this business by 50 percent since a year ago.Konica Minolta
    and Fujifilm Holdings are the only two major producers of TAC film,
    which protects the polarisation plate in LCD panels.Konica Minolta was
    the world’s third-largest maker of camera film after Eastman Kodak and
    Fujifilm prior to its withdrawal from the industry earlier this year,
    when it sold its digital single lens reflex camera assets to Sony Corp.
    , and ceased production of compact cameras.Shares of Tokyo-based Konica
    Minolta gained 5.3 percent in the six-month period, outperforming the
    0.4 percent rise on Japan’s precision machinery index.Prior to the
    announcement, shares of Konica Minolta rose 0.1 percent to close at
    1,564 yen