Komori is enjoying strong business in Japan, a reviving Chinese market which has more than compensated for a fall in orders from European customers.
These halved in the first quarter of the year from ¥5.3 billion (€43 million) in 2017 to ¥2.6 billion (€20.1 million). This is attributed to comparison with a particularly strong quarter 12 months ago in France and of course to the UK’s current situation. “UK demand was sluggish due to a sense of uncertainty over prolonged Brexit negotiations,” the company says.
In comparison the strong recovery in the Japanese market has pushed up orders while orders from China have more than doubled as companies there are upgrading presses and involved in relocations to new plants with a reduced environmental footprint. Overall orders for the company rose 10% to ¥21.2 billion (€163.8 million) compared to ¥19.3 billion (€156.7 million).
Sales in the first quarter were static at ¥16.0 billion (€123.7 million). Nevertheless the company reported an increased operating loss of ¥1.3 billion (€10.0 million). This is blamed on research and development expenses. The company is investing in its own line of finishing equipment, is developing machines to print electronics, but the majority of the spend may well have gone on development of the NS40, Komori’s implementation of Landa’s nanography technology.
Komori will install the first beta machine in Japan next spring followed by trial sites outside the country before commencing commercial orders at the end of 2019. The NS40 is a similar press to the Landa S10, but with a different press management system and without Landa’s cockpit. Instead a more conventional control desk provides the interface to the machine.
The Japanese press manufacturer is concentrating on achieving higher reliability, stability and ease of use, it says. It was shown as a concept machine at Drupa 2016.
Komori is also building the sheet transport system to the Landa presses, though the impact has yet to show on the Japanese company’s sales figures. The company can afford to be patient: it has reserves of ¥180 billion (€1.4 billion).
The order breakdown favours sheetfed presses, up more than 20% at ¥12.1 billion (€93.5 million) in the quarter. Orders for the web and security print division fell as a result of a lack of security print business.
Komori, like Heidelberg and K&B, is enjoying increased orders. For its part these come from Japanese printers and from China. Meanwhile the company is preparing for the first test site for its implementation of Landa's nanography technology: the NS40.