Ricoh results reflect Covid impact

Jo Francis
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Ricoh has filed results for the seismic nine-month period in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold globally.

Ricoh: investment is focused on commercial printing business’s future expansion
Ricoh: investment is focused on commercial printing business’s future expansion

The Japanese manufacturer’s results for the nine months to 31 December 2020 reflect a period when working from home became the norm across the globe, and demand for commercial printing in general fell dramatically. This resulted in an overall decline in sales of 20% to ¥1,193bn (£8.3bn).

Ricoh has made a goodwill write-off of ¥2,641m and an impairment of ¥7,745m against its commercial printing business, where sales fell by 25.6% in the period to ¥98.1bn.

The financials were also complicated by the sale of part of Ricoh Leasing to Mizuho Leasing in March 2020.

In a statement, Ricoh said: “We have focused our investment on the commercial printing business’s future business expansion, where the impairment losses were recognised. However, the commercial printing business was affected by the decline in customers’ willingness to invest due to the uncertainty over their business’s future caused by the spread of the Covid-19.

“As a result of incorporating investment for growth for future business expansion and formulating a future plan that carefully considers the Covid-19 impact on business performance in the impairment test, the expected contribution’s timing will be later than initially expected.”

Sales at Ricoh’s biggest operation, Office Printing, fell by 22.7% to ¥593.5bn, while sales at Office Services were down 10% at ¥358.2bn.

Turnover at Industrial Printing, which includes Ricoh’s inkjet heads business, slipped by 6.6% to ¥16.6bn.

The bottom line loss for the period was ¥22.4bn.

However, Ricoh said that despite the write-offs, the group expected to achieve its forecasts for the financial year as a whole, “as the result of the steady recovery of business performance in the office printing business, the expansion of profits in the office services business, and the results of the company-wide efforts to strengthen the profit structure this year”.

In the UK, Ricoh’s printing wing has secured a number of significant successes with high-speed inkjet deals in recent months, with installations at Bakergoodchild, PHD Mail, Adare SEC and Paragon Customer Communications.

The business is also poised to reveal further details about its new B2 inkjet press – the Ricoh Pro Z75 – which would have been one of the firm’s Drupa launches.

David Mills, CEO at Ricoh Europe, commented: “While our Q3 results show some positive recovery for our printing business, and we have a sustained, strong market share position, unsurprisingly, trading conditions across Europe have remained tough as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

“However, as reported, we have seen a 30% increase in sales across our services business in Europe, which underlines the strength of Ricoh as a digital services company. While we anticipate that trading conditions will remain challenging across Europe as lockdowns continue, we have been able to pivot our business to effectively support the changing needs of our customers.”

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