Despite increasing sales of Iridesse and greater than forecasted sales of the Baltoro inkjet press, high end colour press placements for Xerox fell 12% in 2019, pulled down by declining sales of Versant models. Unit sales of high end mono machines increased 8% thanks to a replacement cycle gain. Sales of iGen5 also increased.
In what was the first full year under the control of the John Visentin led management team, overall revenues declined 4.7% to $9,066 million (r$9,662 million), but pretax profits increased to $822 million ($549 million) as reorganisation changes took effect.
This has come from shared services, implementation of AI and bots within the business, procurement gains, supply chain improvements and from IT. The company has also shed staff: at the end of the year it employed 27,000 worldwide, 5,400 lower than a year previously.
Speaking to analysts, CEO Visentin, looked back on what was he said was a successful year, with $3 billion in free cashflow and growth in pretax profits. “Automation,” he says, “is the key to a frictionless high velocity business. Businesses expect an Amazon-like experience.”
The company was poised to be the first to introduce a 3D metal printer and was making headway in developing a digital packaging proposition, “engaging select customers to refine the requirements of our technologies and validate our business proposition, delivering greater personalisation and operational efficiencies”. This will include marking and coding as much as direct printing of cartons.
“We have innovations and enhancements in the pipeline for 2020,” says Visentin.
Much of the focus in the last year has been on improving distribution through dealers, branding previously independent names under the Xerox brand.
Last week, too late for impact on the 2019 results, Xerox bought UK dealer Arena Group for an undisclosed sum. Arena operates from six locations across the north and north midlands with headquarters in Wakefield. It has been a Xerox and a Ricoh dealer handling print management technology, selling to small and mid sized businesses.
“There is no better time to join Xerox, a company undergoing a digital first transformation and investing in the future,” says Adrian Fitzpatrick, managing director, Arena Group. “With our complementary client bases and Xerox’s comprehensive portfolio of offerings, we will be able to address the growing needs of the SMB market together.”
By Gareth Ward
Xerox has suffered a further dip in sales, despite increasing sales of Iridesse and greater than anticipated interest in Baltoro. This only increases the logic for acquisition of HP, says CEO John Visentin.