January 28, 2021
For the period Epson’s revenue was ¥278.8 billion ($2.67 billion/ €2.21 billion), down ¥1.0 billion ($9.6 million/ €7.9 million) year-on-year. Business profit was ¥31.1 billion ($298 million/ €246 million), up ¥13.5 billion ($129 million/ €107 million). In its explanation, Epson said that “demand was slow to recover in some regions due to the effects of the coronavirus Pandemic” although “demand steadily improved from the weak first half.” Epson added: “Business profit increased significantly, mainly as a result of high-capacity ink tank printer and ink sales growth, higher selling prices, and strict cost containment.”
Inkjet printer selling prices and ink sales surpassed Epson’s expectations, but the company added: “We expected print demand from people working and learning from home to ease up as economic activity resumed, but it continued in Western Europe, North America, and some other regions. In Latin America and Asia, too, we are beginning to see hints of at-home print demand.”
For Epson, SOHO and home ink cartridge printer revenue increased even though unit shipments declined due to supply shortages. The increase was mainly a result of higher prices.
Epson’s report said: “We continued to be unable to supply enough high-capacity ink tank printers to meet demand. Nevertheless, revenue increased because there were unit growth in emerging markets and developed economies, an improved model mix due to an increase of high added value products, and higher selling prices due to our price maintenance measures.”
Even though the market for office shared printers is slumping due to the pandemic, Epson has steadily captured orders in Japan and Europe. Office shared printer hardware revenue fell short of last year’s level partly because of delivery and installation delays, but total revenue, including both office shared printers and ink, was level with last year thanks to a larger number of machines in the field and an increase in ink sales, according to Epson.
Sales trends were not as Epson expected. Since Epson is shifting to high-capacity ink tank printers, the company expected ink revenue to be lower than last year. Instead, we saw year-on-year ink revenue growth due to the spread of COVID-19, which caused at-home print demand to increase.
Given this situation, Epson has raised its outlook for revenue by ¥20 billion ($192 million/ €158 million), for business profit by ¥15 billion ($144 million/ €119 million), and for profit for the year by ¥10 billion, compared to the previous outlook. The full-year financial outlook now shows ¥980 billion ($9.4 billion/ €7.8 billion) in revenue, ¥50 billion ($480 million/ €)396 million in business profit, and ¥18 billion ($173 million/ €142 million) in profit for the year and expects annual shipments of high-capacity ink tank printers to reach 10.3 million units, an increase from last fiscal year.
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