09 June 2019 Digital Printing Technologies

Konica Minolta enjoys growing impact of industrial print

The new sectors of inkjet, labels and decor are showing significant increases for Konica Minolta while the reputation of the IQ501 colour device is helping drive sales of colour printers.

Konica Minolta has “significantly increased” sales of the KM-1 digital inkjet press during the 2018-19 financial year, even if the UK arm of the business has been relatively slow out of the blocks.

The first KM-1 in the UK is coming on stream at Colourfast Financial, Brentwood, with others poised to order the B2 UV inkjet press. But as with other capital investments for new ventures, decisions are being delayed because of the continuing indecision around Brexit. Success at Colourfast is expected to be the key to unlock further orders in the UK.

However, the Japanese company is not waiting for the UK to kick into gear. It notes that labels and decor have been part of the same significant expansion as the KM-1, especially in developing markets according to the company’s financial report. The professional print sector increased sales 6.3% to ¥227.7 billion from ¥214.2 billion with a 49% rise in operating products to ¥13.8 billion. It plans to support growing sales with specialist teams for the industrial print products.

As well as success with the KM-1, the company has been successful with colour and mono presses in the US, though globally mono printer sales remained static. Overall business volumes in Europe slowed because there were fewer exports from Europe to China and because, once again, of Brexit. However, sales of colour printers increased.

The IQ501 closed loop colour control technology fitted to the latest generation of production colour printers has had a positive impact on profit levels and this will continue, the company says. It will also continue its efforts in industrial printing. The coming year will also feature product launches in LPP and HPP.

Nevertheless there was growth in the office segment thanks to demand for colour MFPs and from the industrial print area which is earmarked for growth by the business during its current five-year plan. The office division remains the company’s largest, running more than twice the size of professional print, which is itself achieves twice the revenue of its industrial division.

At the group level Konica Minolta reported rise in revenue to ¥1,059 billion from ¥1,031 billion and in pretax profits from ¥49.1 billion to ¥60.1 billion.

By Gareth Ward

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Industrial success

Industrial success

Sales of the KM-1 and label presses are on a roll, powering Konica Minolta to increased sales and profits for the 2018 financial year. And there is more to come with promised launches in the current financial year.

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