Ricoh Camera Business: Strong and Growing

Ricoh reports Q3 results; cameras remain a bright spot

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on Feb 14, 2024

Ricoh reported 3rd quarter financial results to investors on Feb. 6, and once again singled out the results of Ricoh Imaging and Pentax. “The camera business remained strong and sales increased,” Ricoh reported. Strong results from the company’s Ricoh Imaging division — which includes Pentax cameras and lenses, and the Ricoh GR III series — have become a regular feature of Ricoh’s quarterly and annual reports to investors over the past few years.

Overall, Ricoh otherwise reported results that were somewhat mixed for the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal 2024, which covered October to December of 2023. Office services sales were up; the thermal printer business continued to miss targets because of weak demand in the US and Europe.

“Operating income has been revised downward to 60 billion yen…it will not be possible to make up for the shortfall in production revenue in the first half,” Ricoh reported to investors.

That means that the stronger financial performance of the 3rd quarter and projected for the 4th quarter will not be enough to make up for the weak results of the first two quarters.

The overall Ricoh conglomerate has struggled with weak sales of office machines and services since the much of the workforce stopped going to the office during the pandemic. And while the pandemic is over, the workforce has not returned to the office; occupancy remains considerably below pre-pandemic levels.

But for the last two years Ricoh has consistently pointed to camera sales as a bright spot for growth and profitability. When Ricoh reported its results for Fiscal 2023, which ended March 31, 2023, the company said 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.)

Ricoh has continued to single out camera sales revenue and profitability growth in reports to investors, with the Feb. 6 report that “The camera business remained strong and sales increased” being the latest.

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 2028 tweet that he had “secured funding” for his Tesla electric car company.

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