Ricoh announces 97% profit increase for Fiscal Year 2022

Camera sales singled out as bright spot

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on May 12, 2023
Ricoh announces 97% profit increase for Fiscal Year 2022

Ricoh’s annual operating profits soared 97 percent, in part driven by “ongoing profitability of camera business.” The company singled out cameras as a fiscal bright spot in the Other category. (Ricoh does not break out camera sales.)

The category “significantly increased revenues and earnings from PFU consolidation and ongoing profitability of camera business. (In 2022 Ricoh acquired PFU Limited, a consolidated subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited that specialized in document scanning.)

Other sales rocketed from 35.5 billion yen in Fiscal 2021 to 123 billion yen in 2022, an increase of 246 percent.  Ricoh is projecting 173 billion yen in sales for the category for Fiscal 2023. That’s an additional 40 percent jump in sales in one year for the category that includes cameras on top of 2022’s strong growth.

It’s important to remember that Ricoh is issuing that number as guidance to investors. Companies tend to be very conservative about such guidance because they can be criminally prosecuted and sued if they are wrong. For example, the US Securities and Exchange Commission went after Elon Musk and investors filed a class action suit after his 2018 tweet that he had “secured funding” for his Tesla electric car company.

Ricoh singling out booming increases in camera division sales is good news for Pentax fans nervous after the financial rollercoaster the company has been on for almost two decades. The Pentax Corporation was one of the largest optical companies in the world 20 years ago with 6,000 employees before being forced by investors into a 2007 merger with Hoya, which quickly closed Pentax’s Tokyo facility. That rocky relationship lasted just four years before Hoya separated Pentax’s medical products such as endoscopes from the camera business, and sold the latter to Ricoh.

And there’s even more good news. These financials cover Ricoh’s Fiscal 2022, which ran from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. That means it does not include the strong presales for the Pentax K-3 III Monochrome, or the Ricoh GR III Diary Edition (camera only), and just two months of the Ricoh GR III Diary Edition Kit.

It’s early days, but the first reaction to the K-3 III Monochrome is certainly heartening. The Japanese photography site Digital Camera Watch reports that preorders for the Matte Black edition had to be halted almost immediately because production cannot keep up with the demand. The Matte Black edition sold out despite being about double the street price of a regular K-3 with a color sensor. Twice. (Presales are tightly regulated in Japan.)

In other words, Ricoh’s 2023 camera sales are already off to a hot start.

Overall Fiscal 2022 revenues were up 375.5 billion Yen, or 21.4 percent, to 2.134 trillion yen for Ricoh Company, Ltd., the company announced May 8. Gross profit jumped 122.7 billion yen, or 19.7 percent, during this period. The increases came despite struggles in office printing hardware and thermal product sales. Production targets for the year were missed.

“Such factors as supply constraints owing to Shanghai lockdown and shortages of certain parts and materials hampered deal and delivery activities in sales units throughout the year,” the company said in its annual fiscal report to investors.

The company began to catch up late in the fiscal year, trimming order backlogs as fourth quarter office printing hardware sales jumped 43 percent over the 2022 fourth quarter.

Digital sales were hot, raising 34 percent over the previous year. Office services were up 27 percent.

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