24 Jan 2020

Fujifilm Announces Creation of Fujifilm North America Corporation

Fujifilm logo

Fujifilm has announced that effective January 1, 2010 it is creating a new organisation, Fujifilm North America Corporation, which will merge Fujifilm USA Inc. and Fujifilm Graphic Systems USA Inc. Fujifilm Canada Inc. will become a subsidiary of the new company as of April 1, 2010.

"The creation of this unified organisation will enable us to build a stronger presence in the North American markets and realise greater collaboration between businesses," said Ryutaro Hosoda, President Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation. "Most important, it will allow us to serve our customers even more effectively and efficiently by taking full advantage of the skills and knowledge of our people.”

Fujifilm North America will bring together five operating divisions: photo imaging products including digital photo processing equipment and services supplying commercial and consumer customers; graphic systems products and services supplying the printing industry; consumer digital cameras; motion picture films; and the Canada Division (operating as Fujifilm Canada Inc.) which markets multiple Fujifilm products.

Agfa Graphics to acquire assets of Gandi Innovations

AGFA logo

Agfa Graphics to acquire assets of Gandi Innovations Holdings LLC., a leader in large format inkjet printing systems

  • Acquisition enables Agfa Graphics to significantly increase its presence in large format inkjet printing
  • Gandi’s portfolio of mid-range large format printers is completely complementary to Agfa Graphics' inkjet business
  • The proposed transaction will allow Agfa Graphics to serve a large installed base.

 

Agfa Graphics announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire most of the assets of Gandi Innovations Holdings LLC’s North American operations and the shares of its principal foreign subsidiaries.
Gandi Innovations is a global leader in large format inkjet systems.
Since May 2009, it has been operating under CCAA protection in Canada and Chapter 15 in the USA.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory and court approval and the successful closing of the transaction. The price of the transaction is not being disclosed at this point of time, but it will have no major impact on Agfa's financial debt.

Over the period 2001-2009, Gandi Innovations has created a large installed base of inkjet printing engines, reaching a sales peak of 127 million USD in 2008. Sales in 2009 have strongly suffered from the economic crisis (affecting in particular investment goods) and the uncertainty surrounding the company. Gandi Innovations' long established team has a wealth of pioneering expertise and engineering excellence in large format printing technology. Gandi Innovations' customers include many of the world's leading Point of Purchase and large format printing companies. Over the years, they have come to rely on the company's vision, reliability and cutting-edge technology.

Gandi Innovations was founded in 2001 and has its headquarters and its production facilities in Mississauga (Canada). The Group employs 256 highly skilled staff and operates worldwide through sales offices and distributors.

Combined with recent announcements on Agfa Graphics' :M-Press Tiger industrial flatbed inkjet press and the launch of new printing engines in the :Anapurna large format range, the acquisition of the assets of Gandi Innovations strengthens Agfa Graphics' leadership in large format inkjet printing systems.

"The combination of Gandi Innovations' products and Agfa Graphics' products will result in substantial growth for our inkjet business based on an even more complete system portfolio," said Richard Barham, Agfa Graphics' Vice President Inkjet. "This is an important step in implementing our Inkjet growth strategy. As our own portfolio consists of entry-level and high-end inkjet systems, Gandi Innovations' mid-range systems are a 100% complementary fit with our existing inkjet technology."

Gandi Innovations' CEO and co-founder Hary Gandy added: "Joining Agfa Graphics offers Gandi Innovations' staff and customers tremendous opportunities for the future. The combined capabilities and coverage in customer service and research and development will accelerate the launch of new products, deliver new business opportunities and further expand our service to our customers."

 

Robert Horne Group appoint new Managing Director

Paul French

Paul French has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Robert Horne Group.  Paul has been in the visual communication market for over 15 years having started his career at Xerox. In addition to his specialist knowledge he has gained extensive general management experience in a variety of Senior Management roles. In 2001 Paul became Managing Director of Spandex UK, a Sign and Digital specialist Company, part of the International Gerber Technologies.  For the last three years he has been Divisional Director of Robert Horne's Sign & Display division.

Paul comments "This is a really exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to leading this business as we navigate our way through the current trading conditions into what I believe is a period of growth and stability for this business. We have the potential to further enhance our products and services by fully developing the width and depth of our service to customers.  Robert Horne is in a unique position in terms of our offer to market from paper, board, plastics, press room consumables and packaging through to wide format machinery, environmental consultancy and waste management."

EFI declares victory over L&P in important patent litigation on inkjet technology

EFI logo

Electronics For Imaging, Inc., a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, and its superwide format printer unit VUTEk today announced total victory in patent litigation with Leggett & Platt (L&P) involving EFI's ultra-violet (UV) ink curing technology.

After a string of successful summary judgment motions, one of which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, EFI has reached a non-confidential settlement with L&P that does not require any payment from EFI to L&P. L&P dismissed all of its claims against EFI and promised not to sue EFI or any of its customers based on a claim that EFI products infringe any of the patents-in-suit or any related patent.

L&P first filed the lawsuit in May 2005 against VUTEk during EFI's acquisition of the innovative superwide format printer business. L&P claimed that its patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,755,518) covered VUTEk's technology. From the outset EFI maintained that VUTEk invented and patented the technologies first (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,457,823 and 6,616,355). The US District Court in St. Louis agreed with EFI, invalidating all of L&P's asserted patent claims and ordering L&P to pay EFI's costs to defend the lawsuit. The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that conclusion in its entirety. In July 2009, the US District Court held that a second L&P patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,290,874) is also invalid in light of EFI's patents and printer design technology.

On April 21, 2009, L&P sued EFI again, alleging infringement of a third L&P patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,520,602). As with the two other patents, EFI moved for summary judgment to invalidate this third patent using the same prior art previously relied upon by the court. Faced with the very real possibility of losing a third patent, L&P approached EFI to settle the dispute. Under the settlement, EFI will pay nothing, agreeing to dismiss its claims that the '602 patent is invalid and to not oppose L&P's motion to vacate the July 2009 decision invalidating the '874 patent. L&P dismissed all claims against EFI and promised not to sue EFI or its customers under these patents or any related patent.

"We are very pleased with this result. A settlement like this-with a patent plaintiff walking away with no payment whatsoever-is rare in modern patent litigation," said EFI's General Counsel Bryan Ko. "This settlement establishes conclusively what we've maintained all along: that EFI invented and patented this technology first."

Celestial honours for Fujifilm president and CEO

Fujifilm logo

Shigetaka Komori, president and CEO, FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, has received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, in recognition of his accomplishments in industry and in furthering culture through his leadership roles at Fujifilm, Japan's Broadcasting Company—NHK, and a range of industry and cultural organisations.

The Order of the Rising Sun was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government, and was created in 1875. The design of the badge and ribbon presented to signify the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star conveys the powerful energy of the sun and Japan's designation as the "Land of the Rising Sun."

During his tenure at Fujifilm, Komori has been instrumental in advancing the principles of corporate social responsibility throughout the global Fujifilm Group. Komori's most significant initiative has been the implementation of a series of far-reaching growth measures which have led to a dramatic transformation of the company's business structure through intensive investments in facilities, and research and development activities in new, high-growth business fields.

Komori serves as president of the Japan-German Society and the Japan-Netherlands Society. His contributions were recognized in 2004 when he was awarded the Medal with Blue Ribbon by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. In 2006, the Photo Marketing Association International (PMA) awarded Komori the Hall of Fame award, its highest honour. Also in 2006, he received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from His Majesty the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Agfa increases gross profit through efficiency programs

AGFA :mPress Tiger

Compared to the third quarter of 2008, Group sales decreased 8.1 percent to 681 million Euro, which indicates that the crisis-driven decline in Agfa-Gevaert's markets is bottoming-out.

The Group's recurring gross profit margin improved from 30.1 percent in the third quarter of 2008 to 32.3 percent. It was positively influenced by efficiency programs, lower raw material prices and certain one-off effects and negatively impacted by manufacturing inefficiencies due to lower use of capacity.

Continuing its strict cost management, Agfa-Gevaert further reduced its Selling and General Administration expenses. The average monthly SG&A expense was brought down from 51 million Euro in the third quarter of 2008, to 44 million Euro in the third quarter of 2009, which is a cost decrease by 13.7 percent. The SG&A expenses represented 19.4 percent of sales, versus 20.8 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

The Group's recurring EBITDA (the sum of Graphics, HealthCare, Specialty Products and the unallocated portion) increased from 54 million Euro in the third quarter of 2008 to 68 million Euro. Recurring EBIT increased strongly from 27 million Euro to 43 million Euro.

The restructuring and non-recurring items resulted in an expense of 7 million Euro, versus 8 million Euro in the third quarter of 2008.

As in the first half of 2009, the non-operating result was affected by pension provisions (mainly concerning inactives), to cover for increased pension deficits in theUSAand theUK. The non-operating result amounted to minus 23 million Euro.

Taxes amounted to 8 million Euro, the same as in the third quarter of 2008.

The net result amounted to 4 million Euro, compared to minus 13 million Euro in the third quarter of 2008.
Balance sheet and cash flow

* At the end of September 2009, total assets were 2,931 million Euro, compared to 3,160 million Euro at the end of 2008.
* Inventories were 514 million Euro (or 97 days). Trade receivables (including deferred revenue and advanced payments) amounted to 532 million Euro, or 70 days and trade payables were 190 million Euro, or 36 days.
* Notwithstanding the limited impact of the securitization program, net financial debt improved to 500 million Euro at the end of September 2009, compared to 569 million Euro at the end of June 2009. Net financial debt improved by 350 million Euro over the past 2 years.
* Net operating cash flow amounted to 55 million Euro.

Agfa Graphics' sales decreased 8.8 percent versus last year's third quarter. Both the market environment and the activity levels were in line with the second quarter, but sales were positively influenced by certain one-off effects.

Profitability was positively impacted by efficiency programs, by lower raw material prices and by the above mentioned one-off effects. Negative effects came from the underutilization of the manufacturing capacity, bad debt provisions and competitive pressure. Compared to the third quarter of 2008, Agfa Graphics further reduced its Sales and General Administration expense with 9 million Euro.
The recurringEBITDA margin amounted to 8.8 percent of sales. The recurring EBIT margin increased to 5.6 percent of sales.

In prepress, Agfa Graphics received its first order for :N92v printing plates from the Chinese Guangzhou Daily, one of the world's top 100 daily newspapers. Furthermore, Agfa Graphics supplied an :Avalon N8 platesetter to Sungwon Adpia, the largest consumer of Computer-to-Plate printing plates in the Korean Printing industry.

In Norway, Agfa Graphics signed an important contract with Hjemmet Mortensen Trykkeri AS, the largest printer in the country. The deal includes the installation of two :Avalon N16 platesetters, a service contract as well as a three-year contract for :Energy Elite printing plates. Agfa Graphics also signed an exclusive 5-year printing plate contract with Roularta Media Group, a majorBelgian-French publishing and printing firm.

Also in prepress, Agfa Graphics announced the signing of an agreement with Kemtek Imaging Systems Ltd. for the distribution, service and support of Agfa Graphics' product range for commercial printers in Southern Africa.

In industrial inkjet, Agfa Graphics' next generation range of :Anapurna large-format printers continued the success of the last quarters. With contracts signed all over the world, Agfa Graphics was able to expand its market position in the large-format segment.

Furthermore, Agfa Graphics introduced new features for its :Dotrix Modular inkjet press. The new Express Print Mode increases the press' productivity by 35 percent. The second feature expands the :Dotrix Modular's color gamut.

In the USA, Digital Packaging Solutions recently installed Agfa Graphics' :Dotrix Modular press. The system enables the company to deliver on-demand services for the packaging industry.

The world's first :M-Press Tiger was successfully installed at the SMP Group in London. The :M-Press Tiger is the second generation of the :M-Press industrial flatbed press. In recent months, various orders were booked for Agfa Graphics' high-end inkjet press.

Outlook - For the rest of the year, the Agfa-Gevaert Group does not expect major changes in the market environment.