02 June 2019 Business

Komori prepares for change at the top

Komori continues to report profits, but it is not sitting back, but looking at increasing its portfolio to offset print's declline in the mature economies.

Satoshi Mochida will become president and CEO of Komori on 19 June, succeeding Yoshiharu Komori who has been chairman and CEO. Komori retains his chairman role while Mochida, who has been president and COO, takes the CEO position.

The move follows a year in which sales dipped to ¥90.2 billion from ¥94.2 billion in the year to March 2018. Operating profit also fell, dropping from ¥3.7 billion to ¥2.7 billion in the 2019 fiscal year. Nevertheless the Japanese company remains financially strong with net assets of ¥130.2 billion.

And following IGAS last year, incoming orders increased 5.7% to ¥93.5 billion. The show and personnel costs helped push SG&A expenses up and their control is a priority for the new CEO. Incoming orders have also received a boost from orders for security and currency presses.

Across the regions, only Greater China showed an increase. To date Komori has sold more than 1,600 presses into China. It is being helped by investment in more automated equipment as labour costs increase and environmental regulations become tougher. At the end of the financial year, Komori acquired Shenzhen Infotech Technology, its former distributor in the country. It becomes Komori Printing Machinery (Shenzhen) Co. This follows a similar step to take control of its operations in India a year ago.

European business, while the economies were robust, was hit by Brexit and the uncertainty it has spawned and by the end of tax benefits to boost investment in France.

The company remarks that uncertain market conditions across the mature economies means that printers remain cautious about capital expenditure. However, investment to reduce costs and for presses that are capable of producing high value add products, including packaging, is firm.

“Also, there is a growing call for industrial digital printing systems that can print on B2-size paper and accommodate requests for extremely small print runs and variable data printing due to the ongoing trend toward marketing based on mass-customisation (a type of service that aims to meet the needs of individual customers while employing machinery with high productivity virtually on par with mass-production) and the combination of digital media and printed materials,” says the annual report.

Komori has shipped more than 1,000 HUV equipped presses and has the IS29 B2 inkjet, which can be configured with litho presses to “assemble and efficient printing line” as well as the Komori NP40 which uses Landa technology, point in this direction.

There will be more alliances to offer an expanded range of finishing equipment and consumables. It also plans to push KP-Connect its cloud based business management system which is part6 of the Industry 4.0 move.

It also intends to work towards making its production capabilities more flexible and capable of responding quickly to market fluctuations, reducing manufacturing costs and reducing production lead times.

The financial year ending in March 2020 is projected to reach ¥93.2 billion, an increase of 3.3%, with a dip in operating income to ¥2.3 billion because of an expected appreciation in the value of the Yen and because of a shift in product mix.

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Reorganisation underway

Reorganisation underway

Komori is reorganising is factory to shorter lead times, cut production costs and become faster to market the press manufacturer says in its annual report. The company says that orders for the current year began higher than 12 months previously.

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