KM pro print wing back in the black despite multimillion toner hit

Jo Francis
Friday, May 13, 2022

Konica Minolta has put a price tag on last year’s disruption to toner supplies caused by an explosion at one of its Japanese factories.

Konica Minolta: economic activity will recover at different rates
Konica Minolta: economic activity will recover at different rates

In its year-end results just announced KM noted that the production print unit at its Professional Print wing had been affected by a shortage of toner due to the toner factory accidents, which also included a fire, and caused a shutdown of its Tatsuno and Kofu factories while the issues were resolved.

It also resulted in an increase in toner air freight costs at its Digital Workplace office business.

Expenses related to the toner supply issues came to ¥1.99bn (£12.7m). 

At its production print unit, KM said the sales volumes in the current fiscal year came in at 91% (colour models), 93% (monochrome), and 92% (all models) of the prior year levels. 

“The results are affected by temporarily suppression of sales of models in order to prioritise the toner supply to existing customers, corresponding to the undersupply of toner in the three-month period ended December 31, 2021 due to the explosion accidents at Tatsuno factory,” the manufacturer stated. 

However, KM also said that the demand for equipment, consumables and services at the unit had recovered overall, resulting in sales up about 12% year-on-year. 

At its industrial print operations, sales volumes were up across all areas: inkjet presses, label presses, textile presses, and digital embellishment. 

KM said this was due to “the robust recovery of demand in daily necessities, recovery in apparel market in Europe in addition to the shift toward digital printing among industrial print companies”. 

The overall Professional Print Business division posted sales of ¥194.7bn, up 14.8% year-on-year. The prior year’s operating loss of ¥7.8bn was turned around, and the division made an operating profit of ¥1bn. 

KM had already flagged ¥10.9bn in impairment losses relating to past acquisitions including at Konica Minolta Marketing Services EMEA.

Overall group sales in the year to 31 March were up 5.6% at ¥911.4bn, while operating losses increased from ¥16.2bn to ¥22.2bn. 

KM also confirmed that it had breached some of the financial covenants stipulated in some of its syndicated loan agreements. However, KM stated that it had obtained the consent from all the relevant financial institutions “not to request the company to forfeit the benefit of time due to this breach, thus, we believe there is no significant uncertainties regarding the premise of going concern”.

KM’s share price fell by 10.2% on the announcement, to ¥440 (52-week high: ¥658, low: ¥434). 

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