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Brother sees mixed quarterly results

August 4, 2015

The OEM increased sales year-over-year but saw operating income decline.brother-logo

Brother’s results for the first quarter of 2015 show net sales of ¥177.05 billion ($1.4 billion/€1.3 billion), a 10.4 percent increase on the first quarter of 2014, but operating income fell by 7.4 percent to ¥15.2 billion ($122 million/€111 million). Profits increased by 7.9 percent to ¥15.9 billion ($128 million/€116 million), while the printing and solutions segment saw net sales grow as operating income fell.

The printing and solutions segment saw total net sales of ¥116.9 billion ($943 million/€859 million) over the first quarter, an 8.5 percent increase over last year’s sales of ¥107.7 billion ($868 million/€791 million). However, operating income fell from ¥11.7 billion ($94 million/€86 million) in the segment last year to ¥10.9 billion ($87 million/€80 million) this year. Within the segment, communications and printing equipment saw sales of ¥103.7 billion ($836 million/€762 million), an 8.2 percent rise compared to the same period last year, which saw sales of ¥95.8 billion ($772 million/€704 million).

For the financial year, Brother forecast that it would see net sales grow by 17.4 percent to ¥830 billion ($6.6 billion/€6.1 billion), alongside growth in operating income of 0.8 percent to ¥58 billion ($46 million/€42 million). It also expects a sales increase in the printing and solutions segment of 10.3 percent overall to ¥523 billion ($4.2 billion/€3.8 billion), alongside a 9.8 percent increase alone for communications and printing equipment to ¥463.1 billion ($3.7 billion/€3.4 billion).

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Greentech International ceases trading

August 4, 2015

The message displayed on Greentech's website

The message displayed on Greentech’s website

The UK-based remanufacturer has ceased trading “with immediate effect”.

The company, set up in 2000 and based in Peterborough, UK, previously “specialise[d] in the remanufacturing and refilling of inkjet printer cartridges”, and has now ceased trading, announcing the move on its website. The UK’s Companies House company database still currently lists the remanufacturer as “active”, but the company’s website claims it has ceased trading “with immediate effect”.

The company had employed over 30 staff across its office and production facility, and had moved to a new factory in 2004 to deal with increased remanufacturing production. Greentech had begun as Computerlink, and “was started as a small-scale home operation”, before “rapidly” growing into a remanufacturing business. It stated in its message concerning the cessation of trading that the “label part of the business” is now “being serviced and developed by Label Tack”, and thanked customers “for all your custom and support”.

Greentech International are the latest cartridge remanufacturing business to close, with previous businesses including: Cartridge Supplies Ltd.; Cartrec; Rethink Recycling; Tinto Laser; Phoenix Printer Solutions Ltd.; Tanark; and Green Cartridges Ltd.

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Xerox announces 700 new jobs in Texas

August 3, 2015

The OEM is aiming to hire call centre workers in the state, not long after announcing 3,000 jobs would be cut globally.nr_Xerox_Square_Building_with_New_Logo_2008Jan7-prv

San Antonio Business Journal reported on the plans to hire “hundreds of permanent and temporary call centre workers” in both San Antonio and Houston in Texas. Xerox is said to be planning around 700 new roles, 400 in San Antonio and 300 in Houston, which will “support an undisclosed retail client that is gearing up for the busy holiday shopping season”.

The OEM currently employs 50,000 call centre agents in 175 call centres across the USA, with over 6,000 people employed in Texas alone. The news outlet noted that applicants “must have six months of call centre experience or equivalent customer service experience”, with hiring for 175 permanent posts already begun before a “second wave” for 525 temporary positions in September.

The new jobs announcement comes a week after the OEM confirmed it would be cutting 3,000 jobs worldwide after its poor quarterly results. TWC News reported on the plans to “cut [the] workforce” by 3,000 out of its total 140,000 staff across the globe. The OEM noted that the “company-wide headcount reduction” is due to “restructuring” set for the third quarter of 2015, and that the reduction of staff “will be focused on its services business”.

The announcement came after “lacklustre” quarterly results, including a seven percent decline in revenue and a 12 percent fall in Document Technology revenue as part of that. The results included total revenue of $4.6 billion (€4.1 billion), which was a seven percent decline year-over-year, while the OEM’s Services business represented 56 percent of the total revenue, with $2.6 billion (€2.3 billion). This itself was a fall of three percent compared to the same period last year, while the Document Technology business was $1.9 billion (€1.7 billion), a fall of 12 percent on 2Q2014.

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CMYK Industries names Indian distributor

August 3, 2015

The South African company has appointed Electrographics Services as its exclusive distributor in India.cmyk-logo-bkg

Electrographics Services was established in 1990, and has a “wide network of resellers” throughout India, with new “fully-owned company offices [and] showrooms” set to be opened in partnership with CMYK Industries. The company is based in New Delhi, and CMYK Industries states that it has an “excellent reputation of outstanding customer service and high quality products”, with the deal seeing Electrographics Services “carry [CMYK’s] entire range of imaging components and other printer supplies”.

The products will become “accessible to the entire Indian aftermarket at competitive prices”, and Electrographics Services will be assisted by CMYK’s “global expertise and understating of complex and diverse markets”. CMYK Industries itself recently became Uninet’s distribution partner for the South African market.

Patrick Naude, CEO of CMYK Industries, stated: “It was important for us to find the right partner and we are delighted to have Electrographics Services as our distributor for the Indian market. Our existing customers all agree that Electrographics was the perfect choice. The Indian market is a diverse market place where trust and integrity are paramount between supplier and customer to grow a mutually beneficial relationship for the long term.”

Azeem, Electrographics Services’ Head of Sales, added: “The Indian market is full of potential and opportunity. Now we are part of the CMYK global family and we can help our industry in India grow to its rightful market share by supplying the highest quality products cheaper than anyone else, because we do not have the old thinking of our competitors who are not changing with times.

“CMYK and Electrographics recognise how to move our industry and the business forward in a new way towards success”.

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Remanufacturing seeing “growing” investment interest

July 31, 2015

moneyAn article has discussed the “growing private equity interest” in remanufacturing worldwide.

Reman Industry Focus hosted an article interviewing Will Burnett, Managing Director of Owner Resource Group, who points out that “private equity interest in remanufacturing companies” across the many industries is “becoming ever more prevalent”. Burnett’s company invests in “manufacturing, distribution and business service companies”, and he stated that such equity businesses “pay constant attention to all segments of the remanufacturing market, fostering relationships with it”.

He added that the company is “biding its time, waiting for the optimum opportunity to invest in a remanufacturer”, as “a quality investment is the priority”. Remanufacturing is “attractive to private equity” because “the general awareness of and growing sensitivity to environmental issues is a nice tailwind for remanufacturing”, while it also “gives the buyer an opportunity to save money over a factory-new product”, and remanufacturers “often have very strong relationships with their customers”.

Burnett points out that as remanufacturing becomes more prominent, and the “sheer size” of the market in the US grows across all industries, “more and more private equities are succumbing to the lure of this opportunity”. With a growing awareness and understanding of remanufacturing, the “durability of the concept” from its origins in the Second World War “is also attractive”, as its industries have “long been attractive markets for private equity”.

He believes that “remanufacturing often mirrors the manufacturing market in numerous aspects”, and it is this, along with other advantages that are “entic[ing]” private equity companies. The firms are looking for “certain key facets”, including “a capable management team, good relationships with long-term customers […] differentiating qualities in the way they go to market, the products or services they provide, or their expertise and reputation”.

Burnett also believes that remanufacturers “must tick a similar set of boxes” to ensure investment”, and once invested in, a “series of careful steps are taken to cultivate a newly-procured remanufacturing company”, including financial capital structures for “acquisitions or capital expenditures”, but firms try not to “hinder the company by using a lot of debt”. Some issues that the industry faces can “dissuade” equity investment though, including the “direct competitors” in other remanufacturers and OEMs, and “feedstock sourcing issues”.

Another is implementing strategies and processes, as companies “have been doing things the way they have been doing them for a long time”. However, Burnett believes that there’s no “reason why private equity won’t continue to be active in remanufacturing […] the potential for very successful partnerships exists”, with the Asian industry “one to watch in the future”, and the mention of remanufacturing at both the G7 and the European Commission’s Remanufacturing Network are indications of the industry’s growth and development.

The article concludes that “the increased private equity investment in remanufacturing reflects the growth” of private equity after the global financial crisis, and “the future of private equity investment in remanufacturing is bright”. Michael Hanley, Ernest & Young’s Global Automotive Leader, also stated that “the aftermarket and remanufacturing is an attractive industry for PE investors as it is a relatively untapped market and it holds many growth opportunities, especially in remanufacturing as the industry and consumers focus more on sustainability”.

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PrintFleet experiences double-digit revenue growth

July 31, 2015

The MPS software provider stated that it has “continued its trend” of growth “by investing in new product releases and enhancements”.PrintFleet

The company’s “double-digit revenue growth” has come from PrintFleet “investing in new product releases and enhancements” and from “expanding their list of distribution channels and OEM partners”. It added that “from small resellers to Global 500 enterprises, companies are recognising the need to manage their print environments and drive further efficiencies through automating supplies fulfilment”.

PrintFleet has “continued to expand” its network around the world of “industry-leading partners”, including VOW, Pulsar, ACM Technologies and Katun with its LINK MPS platform. It noted that as the business “continues to grow” and “supports multinational distribution and OEM partners”, the need for “standardised programme support” has also increased, with approximately 50 percent of its revenue “now generated outside North America”.

It claims that this shows the “usability” of its “multi-language solutions and programme support”, with software available in seven languages and “utilised in over 120 countries […] companies are increasingly choosing PrintFleet to power their MPS programmes and data management needs as they relate to their printer business”. Other areas of growth have included “utilisation of its solutions within the dealer channel”, with a 65 percent increase in dealers working with the company directly.

Chris McFarlane, President and CEO of PrintFleet, stated: “Our focus on our core business, combined with the increased market awareness of the benefits of our LINK platform for supply chain automation, has propelled us to a significant milestone. Whatever the business driver is – reducing costs, going green or improving processes – a successful print management strategy must begin with accurate data. Our software enables our customers to make smart decisions.”

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Profits rise at Hubei Dinglong

July 31, 2015

Hubei Dinglong's headquarters

Hubei Dinglong’s headquarters

The company expects profits to rise by up to 20 percent increase in the first half of the year.

Reuters reported that “increased sales of colour polymerisation toner” and “increased profit” from their Wuhan based subsidiary are among the main reasons for the increased profit forecast. The company expects to see net profits rise from 15 percent to 35 percent, or from CN¥71.9 million ($11.5 million/€10.5 million) to CN¥84.4 million ($13.5 million/€12.3 million). Net profits in the same period last year were CN¥62.5 million ($10 million/€9.1 million).

James Chen, Deputy General Manager of Hubei Dinglong Chemical, said: “It is reassuring to see in a challenging market, high quality chemical colour toner can continue to show growth and maintain profit. Our sector is attacked with low cost and variable quality products; it is rewarding to see that the industry’s key players are turning more to high quality, cost-competitive materials like the ones produced by Hubei Dinglong.”

Ian Copsey, General Manager for Europe added: “It is excellent to see global growth for our colour polymerisation toner business. The last 12 months have seen us introduce a number of new products for both the copier and printer colour models. Of course this is a reflection of our total business, but I am pleased to say we make good progress in Europe with new customers and additional lines. The commitment to quality is evident in these newer applications and their relatively fast take up in the printer and copier channels.”

Earlier this year, the company launched a new subsidiary that would be “engaged in internet technology development and consulting”.

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Epson reports quarterly results

July 30, 2015

The OEM reported increased revenue year-over-year but continued to see declines.epson

The 2Q2015 results included a year-over-year increase in revenue of six percent, from ¥246.2 billion ($1.9 billion/€1.8 billion) to ¥260.9 billion ($2 billion/€1.9 billion), but business profit fell year-over-year by 29.8 percent to ¥16.5 billion ($132 million/€121 million). The OEM’s printing solutions business saw a 12 percent growth in revenue to dominate the other segments, half of which saw marginal declines in revenue.

Printing solutions in the quarter saw revenue of ¥171.8 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.2 billion), which gave it the 12 percent year-over-year growth from last year’s ¥159.7 billion ($1.2 billion/€1.1 billion), but failed to match either the peak final quarter of the last financial year or the previous quarter. In 4Q2014, the unit generated ¥209.7 billion ($1.6 billion/€1.5 billion) of the OEM’s ¥301.9 billion ($2.4 billion/€2.2 billion) total revenue, while in 1Q2015 it generated ¥185 billion ($1.4 billion/€1.3 billion) of the total ¥271.5 billion ($2.1 billion/€1.9 billion). In turn, it saw a fall of 5.5 percent in business profit as a segment.

The segment’s total revenue saw printers provide ¥118.2 billion ($949 million/€868 million), a 10.4 percent increase on last year, while professional printing and other products provided the remainder. In the printers sub-segment, high-capacity ink tank printer volumes increased, while consumables sales remained “solid”, providing 77 percent of the sales, while serial dot-matrix sales volumes also grew, providing 12 percent of sales. In professional printing, wide-format machines also saw “solid” sales.

Epson stated that there were a number of factors affecting business profit in the quarter, including a “decrease in printing solutions profit”, inkjet cartridge printer manufacturing “increas[ing]” and the “cost of products manufactured overseas” growing. For the whole financial year, and despite the “many elements of uncertainty in the global economy”, Epson has “not revised” its outlooks, but is “smoothly transitioning our businesses in line” with strategies agreed upon.

These include “expand[ing] sales of high-capacity ink tank printers”, “increas[ing] sales of consumables by improving the install base” and “steadily develop[ing] new business areas”. It predicts that printing solutions will see a 26.1 percent increase in revenue over the year to ¥757 billion ($6 billion/€5.5 billion), with printers growing 18.8 percent and professional printing growing 8.8 percent to revenues of ¥530 billon ($4.2 billion/€3.8 billion) and ¥208 billion ($1.6 billion/€1.5 billion) respectively. Inkjet is predicted to provide 79 percent of the revenue, while dot-matrix machines will provide 10 percent.

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Scottish remanufacturers offered financial awards

July 30, 2015

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland; with Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland; with Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead

Zero Waste Scotland will provide awards of around £100,000 to “encourage remanufacturing”.

Edie reported on the group’s plan to offer £100,000 ($156,254/€142,894) to “remanufacturing innovators” in Scotland, as “investing in remanufacturing” could add around £620 million ($968 million/€885 million) to the Scottish economy and around 5,700 new jobs. Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland’s CEO, launched the fund to “boost remanufacturing innovation”, and to encourage “remanufacturing for items such as commercial and industrial equipment, furniture and small electronics”.

The group is looking for people to develop “innovative solutions to help remanufacture products currently ‘gathering dust’”, with those interested in bidding for funding asked to respond to Zero Waste Scotland by 18 September. The Recycler previously reported on a remanufacturing report for Scotland being released, as well as on calls for remanufacturing subsidies and a remanufacturing workshop that was also announced earlier this year.

Gulland stated: “The remanufacturing sector presents a fantastic economic opportunity for Scotland, and Zero Waste Scotland is focused on getting the right infrastructure and supply of products and materials in place for Scotland to reap the rewards. Enabling the return of high-value, priority products and materials, like electronics and machinery, back into remanufactur[ing] is the key to developing a thriving, profitable remanufacture and re-use economy in Scotland and is the focus of the latest initiative from Zero Waste Scotland to boost these sectors.

“As Scotland’s resource efficiency experts, Zero Waste Scotland is committed to the development of a more circular economy – where materials are kept in productive use as long as possible, we are keen to use the expertise and contacts of business to help solve the issues that will help these sectors reach their potential.”

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Taiwan and Thailand join WTO tariff agreement

July 29, 2015

wto1-color_lThe two countries have officially agreed to the tariff cuts previously announced.

Bangkok Post reported on Taiwan and Thailand’s decisions to “become parties to an agreement” on cutting tariffs for a wide range of IT products. The tariffs were cut by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week, with over 200 products seeing tariffs cut, including printer cartridges, to “zero”.

The finalisation of the deal between the members of the WTO will see around $1 trillion (€923 billion) in world trade “unlock[ed]”. The Recycler reported earlier this month that a “breakthrough” had been made in talks at the European Union Embassy in Geneva between WTO ambassadors, and the deal has now been confirmed.

The organisation’s Information Technology Agreement has agreed to “eliminate tariffs on an array of technology products”, with the products concerned including “semiconductors, MRI machines, GPS devices, printer cartridges [and] video game consoles”. Final details are set to be ironed out at the next meeting in December, but the deal “updates the 18-year-old IT agreement” and “adds 200 products to the zero tariff list”.

The process will see negotiators start talks in September on “schedules of concessions”, known as “staging”, which allows nations to “gradually phase in the tariff reductions for certain products deemed too sensitive”. This will then be followed by “technical negotiations” before the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi from 15 to 18 December, with “the goal of completing the agreement” set for this event.

Taiwan and Thailand confirmed their acceptance of the agreement this week, with the agreement the “first tariff-eliminating deal in 18 years” made by the WTO. Both nations were involved in negotiations that “sought more time to consider the agreement” after it was confirmed last week, but they have now decided to join it.

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