*NEWS*BROTHER:$776M ASSAULT ON INK IND.

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*NEWS*BROTHER:$776M ASSAULT ON INK IND.

 user 2007-01-22 at 1:02:00 pm Views: 32
  • #17266

    Brother to spend €599m in assault on printer market
    599,000,000.00 Euro = $ 776,631,054.87 USD United States Dollars
    01.2007
    -  Japanese office equipment manufacturer Brother has said it is
    planning to spend nearly €600m as well as boost research and
    development (R&D) spending by 46pc in an all-out bid to capture a
    significant slice of the world laser business.In Spain this week the
    company unveiled a new range of colour laser printers at a pan-European
    press conference, reinforcing its commitment to an increasingly
    competitive market.On show were the HL-4040CN and HL-4050CDN, the first
    colour laser printers to include Brother’s own colour engine.
    Previously, it sourced the technology from other manufacturers like
    Hitachi. Brother has taken the decision to build its own product in its
    entirety at a time when colour laser accounts for 15pc of the print
    market with only HP growing faster in the segment in terms of value and
    units.“We have always been a company that has evolved steadily and we
    felt the time was right,” said Yuji Furukawa, chairman of Brother.
    “Together with our mono lasers we can now provide the full service to
    the customer. This year, colour laser will be the big hit from
    Brother.”Brother expects the new range to gain them 10pc of the colour
    laser printer and multi-function category in Western Europe. There will
    be a range of models with different functionality though all will have
    network capability as standard. Products are expected to launch in
    Ireland in the early Autumn.The company also used the event to announce
    a 46pc increase in R&D funding – totalling €685m – and an
    allocation of €599m of to support its ambitions in the colour printing
    market and new generation technologies.The announcement of the
    company’s strategy comes as it prepares to reveal a year of record
    sales and profits. Worldwide, Brother is forecasting sales of €3.7bn
    with profits of €175m, with more than €1bn of sales coming from Europe
    alone.The company will continue to develop it multi function range –
    the single units that combine fax, printer, copier and scanner – though
    it stressed the stand-alone market was still strong.Black-and-white
    printing is also holding up well, according to Brother; after the
    colour boom of a few years ago people are recognising that there are
    savings to be had in mono form laser printers that are better quality
    than inkjet and increasingly affordable.Brother specialises in the SME
    (small to medium-sized enterprise)) and SoHo (small office, home
    office) market. It was established in Ireland 49 years ago as a sewing
    machine manufacturer.Sean Sheehan, managing director of Brother
    Ireland, said: “We have the largest dealer network of any manufacturer
    in Ireland. We’re very strong in the channel because we’ve been
    committed to it in Ireland for decades.”A strong reseller network is
    increasingly important in a market where price erosion has been a
    characteristic of the last few years. Aldo de Smedt, researcher from
    GFK, said prices have bottomed out but painted a bleak picture. “None
    of the print companies are making money by selling printers and more
    and more third party companies are eating into their profits in
    consumables,” he told siliconrepublic.com.The high price of inkjet
    refills, for example, has been a tidy revenue stream for manufacturers
    but as third-party manufacturers dramatically undercut the branded
    product it is a revenue source that is becoming less secure. The price
    of branded cartridges has created some interesting anomalies. It can be
    cheaper in some places to buy a new printer than a refill cartridge
    from the manufacturer.Sean Sheehan said: “It’s about how we convince
    the end user that they should buy the branded version. It’s about good
    quality and long life. You will see us developing some marketing around
    this is the next 12 months.”