In the six months to 30 September sales fell 21.6% to ¥33.9bn (£252m), and in a major reversal of fortunes Komori posted an operating loss of ¥2.1bn compared with last year’s ¥2.2bn operating profit. The bottom line loss was ¥3.6bn.
The firm has downgraded its forecasts for a year as a result.
Komori said trading was impacted by several factors. Its prior year was boosted by public subsidies for investment in energy-saving facilities following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This programme has now come to an end.
It also experienced stagnant demand in China, where sales more than halved to ¥3.7bn. In North America the strong yen combined with a delay to some potentially large orders due to a cautious investment outlook resulted in a 22.7% fall in sales in that region, to ¥4.7bn.
Net sales and order intake in Europe were boosted by the firm’s Drupa showcase when calculated in local currency, but exchange rate differences resulted in the company filing a 10.3% fall in sales at what is Komori’s second-biggest market after Japan, to ¥8.3bn.
And despite partner Landa taking ‘hundreds’ of orders for its Nanographic digital presses, which use a Komori chassis, at Drupa these orders are yet to flow through into the Japanese manufacturer’s manufacturing pipeline.
A spokesman told PrintWeek: “Our Q2 result does not include the numbers on products corresponding to Landa. Unfortunately, there is not much to tell about this at this moment.”
For the full year Komori hopes to benefit from sales of specialist high-margin security presses, but exchange rate issues will still cause headwinds. It is carrying out “exhaustive, across-the-board cost reduction measures.”
“Appreciation of the yen will undermine the competitiveness of Komori products in markets overseas and force their sales prices to decline, thereby eating away profit,” the company said.
It has adjusted its future exchange rate assumptions for both the dollar and the euro.