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 user 2008-05-30 at 2:35:33 pm Views: 47
  • #20224

    HP sees 2008 printer unit sales up 4-6 percent
    May , 2008 DUESSELDORF, Germany – Hewlett-Packard the world’s biggest maker of PCs and printers, sees sales growth at its imaging and printing unit stable or slightly lower this year as it focuses on its digital graphics business.Vyometh Joshi, executive vice president in charge of the unit, told Reuters on Friday he also aimed for an operating margin of 13-15 percent this year and next, compared with 15 percent last fiscal year to end-October.”We would like to grow our business 4 to 6 percent in revenues and make 13 to 15 percent operating profit,” Joshi said in an interview at the Drupa print media trade fair in Duesseldorf, Germany.

    Sales at HP’s imaging and printing unit grew 6 percent last fiscal year.
    Asked whether the targets were for the current fiscal year, Joshi answered: “Yes, for next year also.”HP’s imaging and printing unit made sales of $28.5 billion last year — about a quarter of the company’s total revenues — but almost half of HP’s operating profit.The unit is helped by a lucrative business in printer cartridges which customers must keep buying to keep their HP printers running.Joshi said, however, he saw the future in digital graphics, which had now caught up to an acceptable extent with analogue printing methods in cost and quality, if not yet in speed.In its favor, digital printing is far more flexible, and so more cost-efficient for smaller print runs, Joshi said. For example, changing details for a printed label could take months using analogue, compared with days for digital.Although HP has 46 percent global market share in printers, Joshi said, it accounted for just 1.6 percent of the 50 trillion pages printed worldwide last year, a $781 billion market, because more than 90 percent still used analogue methods.”Instead of focusing just on the printers, we are focusing now on the pages. That’s how we can continue to grow,” he said.

    HP estimates the value of pages printed in the global graphic arts market will be $663 billion by 2010.After the digitalization of music and photos, which are already well advanced, labels, marketing materials and books will follow in the next few years, Joshi predicted.He referred to Google’s ambitious project to scan all the world’s books that are out of copyright, which has already gathered digital versions of more than a million books.”If you want to get a book that’s out of print, digital is the way to do it, because you only print one copy,” he said.

    HP has made several acquisitions in the graphic arts field in the last few years, including most recently that of Israel’s NUR Macroprinters in March for $118 million.Joshi spoke to Reuters as HP showed a new digital printing press for the first time at the Drupa fair, which is due to come to market in the second half of next year.The Inkjet Web Press is aimed mainly at medium-sized to large providers of print services and could revolutionize the way that local newspapers, for example, are printed, he said.Instead of relying on the huge printing presses owned by media groups such as News Corp. , local papers could own their own production or go to smaller, closer-by providers.Product manager Mike Neuffer said the target price for the Inkjet Web Press was around $2.5 million to $3 million, although no prices had yet been set.The press can print at rates of up to 122 meters per minute, HP says. Joshi said this was about half the speed analogue alternatives can produce.Neuffer said such printing presses could also be useful for national or international newspapers for regional print and distribution purposes.