Fujifilm’s existing technology agreement with Xerox will expire on 31 March 2021. It was forged as part of the split agreed last year, following Fujifilm’s thwarted plan to take Xerox over in 2018.
From April 2021 Fuji Xerox will be renamed Fujifilm Business Innovation Corp.
“As a new strategy we aim for sales growth by accelerating the expansion into the global market mainly by OEM supply of our multifunction printers which are highly-valued for quality and robustness,” the firm stated.
“In the production services business, we will maximise synergies with Fujifilm’s graphic systems business and expand into the global market, leveraging our wide line-up of printers from offset to digital and strong customer base in the commercial printing field.”
As part of the current arrangement, Fujifilm sells Fuji Xerox products, including the Iridesse, in Asia and Oceania, while Xerox handles sales elsewhere.
The switch to a Fujifilm channel will be a major change for Fujifilm and for the industry.
The announcement came as Fujifilm released financial results for the year ending 31 March.
Group sales were down 4.8% at ¥2,315bn (£17.7bn). Operating profit fell 11.1% to ¥186.6bn.
Fujifilm said its results had begun to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with economic activities “restrained and rapidly slowing”.
“These severe situations influenced by Covid-19 are expected to continue and we need to pay close attention to the risk of a downturn in the domestic and overseas economies,” the firm stated, and said it could not currently provide forecasts for the new financial year.
Fujifilm’s Graphic Systems business is now part of its Healthcare & Material Solutions division, where sales slipped by 1.4% to ¥1,024bn.
Sales at Graphic Systems were down due to reduced demand for printing plates, which was further impacted by Covid-19.
Fujifilm said it continued to aim for growth in digital printing systems through the development of similar products to its existing Jet Press 750S B2 sheetfed inkjet press.
At its inkjet business, sales also decreased, in part due to the economic slowdown in the huge Chinese market. It launched the Samba JPC head at the end of last year for single-pass industrial printing applications in commercial and packaging print.
“We will continue to develop and supply innovative products for the industrial inkjet printer market, whose areas of application are expanding,” Fujifilm stated.
Also at its Healthcare wing, clinical trials on patients with Covid-19 are underway in Japan and the US using Avigan, an existing Fujifilm influenza and antiviral drug.
Fujifilm said it was responding promptly to increase stockpiles in response to government requests at home and abroad, and had started to increase its manufacturing capacity.