09 Aug 2020

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. announces change leadership

Konica Minolta Logo

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced senior management changes.

Jun Haraguchi, President and Chief Executive Officer will return to Japan to become General Manager, Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.  In his new position he will be responsible for global sales operations and marketing strategy.  Mr. Haraguchi has spent the last 13 years in positions of increasing responsibility within Konica Minolta, the last five years as President and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.  During his tenure he led the successful integration of Konica and Minolta, the integration of several acquisitions, most recently Danka Office Imaging, while improving market share and the overall operating performance of the company.  He will remain on the board of directors of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.

Nobuo (Ned) Umehara has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. effective April 1, 2010.  Mr. Umehara, who until recently served as General Manager of OEM Sales for Konica Minolta Business Technologies, has been with Konica Minolta for 33 years.  He has considerable experience in the U.S. market having worked here on two separate assignments in the past, once in the printer division and once within the MFP sales operation.  Mr. Umehara will be leading an organization with strong brand awareness, award-winning product lines, and a solid infrastructure in place.

"It has been a privilege leading a dynamic organization such as Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.," said Haraguchi.  "Despite the tough economy over the past two years, our corporation has been able to grow market share and improve operating performance.  Ned will be assuming responsibility for a company that is led by a strong senior management team and is well positioned for future success.  I want to thank the entire Konica Minolta family for their unwavering support and dedication during my time here, and I look forward to their future success - both individually and as a group."

"I am honored to take on this important role at this time in our company's history," said Umehara.  "Leveraging the strength of the operation, I envision continuing our strategies to expand our presence in commercial print, managed print services, and the solutions business while gaining share in the core MFP business.  One thing is certain, and that is our business partners and end users will not be affected during this transition.  My number one goal is to ensure them they can continue to count on Konica Minolta for industry-leading technologies and superior service."

Grapo Technologies and Orafol Partner to Bring New Capabilities to Traffic Sign Manufacturing

Grapo Octopus Ii

New application package enables traffic sign manufactures to create reflective traffic signs using UV printing technology.

Brno / Olomouc, Czech Republic, March 23  2010 – Grapo Technologies, a manufacturer of UV large format roll-to-roll and flatbed UV printers based in the Czech Republic, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Orafol Europe GmbH, a leading manufacturer of self-adhesive graphic products, special tape systems and reflective materials.  Both companies agreed  to develop an application package that uses Grapo’s Octopus UV digital printers and specially developed inks to digitally produce reflective traffic signs using Orafol`s microprismatic reflective film systems, replacing screen printing technology for many sign applications.

“We are very pleased have been selected by Orafol, a well-known and respected brand in the market, for this unique application” said Radim Kralik, CEO of Grapo Technologies. “Through this partnership, Orafol and Grapo will be able to sell this unique system. It is a rewarding experience for Grapo that Orafol’s due diligence efforts resulted in the approval of our technology for this highly critical application.”

Traffic signs are a very specific application with critical specifications and cannot be produced digitally using normal CMYK inks.  In partnership with Orafol, Grapo Technologies has modified its Octopus UV printing system to the ORALITE ® UV traffic sign printer, developing special inks to address the seven-color requirement for traffic signs.  “For printing on the Orafol`s microprismatic reflective material,” added Kralik, “each color must have perfect physical specifications to ensure proper reflection.  The seven flat color inks we developed are able to be printed directly from one head on the ORALITE ® UV traffic sign printer, replacing traditional screen printing processes which are costly, time consuming and carry a heavier environmental footprint. In addition, screen printing is not a cost-effective process for shorter runs.”

Migrating Traffic Signs from Analog to Digital Manufacturing

With this new system, traffic sign manufacturers will be able to cost-effectively handle short runs and print signs on demand to meet market needs, especially for signs with variable information, directions and other information that may only require a quantity of one or two.

Kralik points out that although Grapo can sell the system under the agreement, Orafol will be the primary coordinator of sales activities.  “There are legal and testing procedures required to gain acceptance from each ministry of traffic,” he explains. “Colors must be certified, but more importantly, the entire system must be certified.  Orafol will be leading the certification process based on their relationships, reputation and experience in this market.”  Not only must colors be specific in order to pass certification, but inks also must demonstrate good adhesion to the reflective materials and last a long time under varying light and weather conditions. The new traffic sign manufacturing system consists of three components:  the ORALITE ® UV traffic sign printer developed by Grapo, custom inks developed by Orafol, and microprismatic reflective material provided by Orafol.

“Because of this easy and reliable technology we expect to see good market reception to this breakthrough solution.” said Dr. Loclair, Managing Director of Orafol. “We are excited to be able to show samples of printed reflective material using this system at  Intertraffic Amsterdam 23-25 March 2010 .” Orafol can be found in Hall 1, Booth 203 at the show.

Agile Development Ensures Fast Production of Niche Products

“This is only one niche market we have been investigating,” said Kralik, “and we are extremely pleased that our nimble and flexible R&D organization was able to respond quickly to the needs of this market as presented to us by Orafol.  This is only one example of how our R&D efforts can benefit not only niche markets but the market as a whole in an environment where new applications arise frequently and requirements for existing applications can change quickly.”

Adobe posts lower Q1 profits - but exceeds expectations

Adobe Hq

Adobe Systems Incorporated today reported financial results for its first quarter fiscal year 2010 ended March 5, 2010.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2010, Adobe achieved revenue of $858.7 million, compared to $786.4 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and $757.3 million reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.  This represents 9 percent year-over-year revenue growth.  Adobe's first quarter revenue target range was $800 to $850 million.

"Stability in our creative business, combined with strength in our Acrobat and Omniture solutions, helped drive strong financial performance in Q1," said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe.  "The market trends enabling our diverse business remain strong and we are bullish about the upcoming launches of Flash Player and Creative Suite."

First Quarter Fiscal 2010 GAAP Results

Adobe's GAAP diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were $0.24, based on 532.6 million weighted average shares. This compares with GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.30 reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 based on 527.8 million weighted average shares, and GAAP diluted loss per share of $0.06 reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 based on 532.0 million weighted average shares.

GAAP operating income was $176.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared to $207.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and $153.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.  As a percent of revenue, GAAP operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was 20.6 percent, compared to 26.4 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and 20.3 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

GAAP net income was $127.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared to GAAP net income of $156.4 million reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and GAAP net loss of $32.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

First Quarter Fiscal 2010 Non-GAAP Results

Adobe's non-GAAP diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were $0.40.  This compares with non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.45 reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.39 reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Adobe's non-GAAP operating income was $289.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared to $295.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and $265.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.  As a percent of revenue, non-GAAP operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was 33.7 percent, compared to 37.5 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and 35.0 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Non-GAAP net income was $211.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared to $236.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and $206.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release.

Second Quarter Fiscal 2010 Financial Targets

For the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Adobe is targeting revenue of $875 million to $925 million.  The Company's operating margin is targeted to be 21.0 percent to 24.5 percent on a GAAP basis, and 33.5 percent to 35.5 percent on a non-GAAP basis.  In addition, the Company is targeting its share count to be between 531 million and 535 million shares, and it is targeting non-operating expense between $16 million and $18 million.  Adobe's GAAP and non-GAAP tax rate is expected to be approximately 25 percent.

These targets lead to a second quarter diluted earnings per share target range of $0.23 to $0.30 on a GAAP basis, and an earnings per share target range of $0.39 to $0.44 on a non-GAAP basis.

Japan's DIC is First to Use Yuan for Trade: Report

Dic Group

According to published reports citing the Nikkei business daily, DIC Corporation, parent company of Sun Chemical and the world’s largest printing ink manufacturer, become Japan’s first company to use the Chinese yuan for trade settlement.

According to a March 24, 2010 MarketWatch report citing the Nikkei business daily, DIC switched from using U.S. dollars to yuan to transfer payments from its units in Shanghai and Shenzhen to the Japanese parent company. A DIC official added that the switch was done on a trial basis.

China has been strengthening attempts to turn the yuan into an international trading currency, and has loosened controls to allow transfers.

FUJIFILM Dimatix Spectra printheads dominate Dongguan China Sign Expo 2010

Dimatix Polaris

Citing a surge in market demand for its Spectra brand printheads that began in 2008 and more recent design mandates for its new, high-performance Polaris Q-Class units, FUJIFILM Dimatix is calling the China Sign Expo 2010 a resounding success and a sign of greater things to come.

More than 40,000 sign industry professionals from all over the world attended the China Sign Expo held in the International Exhibition Center here from March 2nd through 6th, 2010. Nine of the leading Chinese printer manufacturers and dealers showed 34 wide-format printers based on FUJIFILM Dimatix Spectra brand printheads in the 30,000 sq-m show floor. Of those, 22 were powered by new Polaris PQ-512 series Q-Class printheads.

"For FUJIFILM Dimatix, for the OEM manufacturers who design and build the printers and for the dealers who sell them, China Sign Expo 2010 was an outstanding show!" said Howard Baldwin, Vice President of Sales.

"In the 3.2-meter category our high-performance, ultra-slim Polaris PQ-512/15 and new PQ-512/35 printheads dominated by every meaningful measure the wide-format product offerings on the show floor, while the new Polaris PQ-512/85 printhead helped to break the performance barrier on a 5-meter grand-format printer using only two printheads per color to produce 200 sq-m/hour in two-pass mode" Baldwin exclaimed.

The shared physical features and identical interfaces common to all Polaris models allow the printhead to be easily used across many different printer models and applications. Everything from a 15 picoliter close-up viewed point-of-purchase or 85 picoliter long-distance viewed graphics to a 200 picoliter coating on differing media with different ink types are covered by an extensive range of drop sizes and compatible ink types.

Commenting on the versatile Spectra Polaris series, Jiang Hong, CEO of Runtianzhi Flora remarked, "I have been waiting for this type of printhead for many years. The new Spectra Polaris family of heads from Dimatix is taking inkjet to a new level in performance with the highest speed and quality in the market today. The additional water capability, along with traditional solvents and UV-curing inks, can serve a wide variety of applications."

Other leading manufacturers and dealers also featured FUJIFILM Dimatix printhead designs.

  • Wit-Color Digital Science & Technology Co. presented seven Polaris-based printers, including two it debuted as part of its new 3.2-m 4-head Smart Polaris series, which is capable of imaging media at resolutions up to 720 x 600 dpi and at rates up to 85 sq-m/hr.
  • Zhejiang Gongzheng Technology Development Co., Ltd. showed six Spectra-based 3.2-m devices, including five utilizing from two to six Polaris PQ-512 series heads that were capable of imaging up to 600 x 800 dpi at rates from 23- to 46 sq-m/hr.
  • Teckwin International debut its new TS3000 flatbed featuring 12 Polaris PQ-512/15 printheads, and also showed its UV3200 design with eight Polaris PQ-512/15 heads.
  • Anhui Liyu Computer Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. displayed its PS3208 wide-format featuring eight Polaris PQ-512/15 heads.
  • Honghua Digital Technology Stock Co. Ltd featured six Spectra-based printers, including three machines powered by the Polaris PQ-512/15 and the new PQ-512/35 and PQ-512/85 printheads.
  • Major printer dealers Yong Xiang and Beijin Technology Development Co. showed Agfa GandiJet and DGI Polarjet, and Honghua Nano printers powered by FUJIFILM Dimatix Spectra brand S-Class and Nova, and Skywalker printheads, respectively.

Spectra Polaris PQ-512 printheads utilize the binary operating capability of Dimatix' VersaDropTM jetting technology and Q-Class hybrid construction to deliver ink drop sizes from 15 to 200 picoliters from 512 individually addressable nozzles at frequencies up to 45 kHz fired at 8 meters/second velocity with exceptional straightness.

Polaris series printheads are compatible with a broad range of inks, including UV-curable inks and aggressive organic solvents, making them suitable for a variety of commercial and industrial printing applications such as wide-format, label and package printing, at resolutions to 1000 dpi. An integral mounting bezel designed with precision registration points enables drop-in alignment - a unique feature that allows each 256-channel jet module to be exchanged and accurately registered in the field without the need for special tools or recalibration.

X-Rite shows profits in Q4, first since 2007

X Rite Logo

X-Rite, Incorporated today announced its financial results for the quarter ended January 2, 2010.

The Company reported fourth quarter 2009 net sales of $50.1 million compared to $45.7 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $60.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. These results were in the range of Company expectations given the general market conditions and reflect an improving situation with sequential quarter growth of 9.9 percent and a narrowing decrease on a year over year basis in the quarter of 17.6 percent. Net sales for the full year were reported at $191.7 million, 26.7% lower than $261.5 million for 2008.

"It has been gratifying to see how the Company has managed so well through the unusually difficult challenges of 2009" said Thomas J. Vacchiano Jr. , X?Rite's Chief Executive Officer. "Not only have our profit improvement plans been highly effective in the year, but in the fourth quarter of 2009 and now the first quarter of 2010 we are beginning to see the returns on our sales, marketing and new product initiatives in places like Greater China and more broadly across our industrial sector."

X-Rite reported that its' new myPANTONETM app is being featured in a series of iPhone advertisements by Apple in major news publications such as USA TodayTM and The Wall Street JournalTM. Released in September of 2009 in Apple's iTunes store, this product combines Pantone's "cool factor" with X?Rite's leading color management technology.

Supported by the Company's profit improvement actions and narrowing sales difference from the prior year, the Company reported net income of $0.1 million and operating income of $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. A net loss of $64.7 million was reported in the same period in 2008, which included a $58.1 write down of goodwill and indefinite?lived intangible assets related to the Pantone acquisition in 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $12.7 million or 25.3 percent of sales as compared to $16.0 million or 26.3 percent of sales in the same period in 2008. Full year 2009 adjusted EBITDA was reported at $44.6 million or 23.3 percent of sales, compared to $60.7 million or 23.2 percent of sales for the full year 2008.

The Company also reported continued progress in working capital management contributing to positive operating cash flows in the fourth quarter and the year. Combined with the reported adjusted EBITDA result the Company was able to reduce its first and second lien debt obligations by $3.9 million in the fourth quarter and $45.7 million for the year. This yielded a secured net debt position for the Company at the end of 2009 of $154.5 million, netting cash of $29.1 million.

Rajesh K. Shah, X?Rite's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "I have now been with the Company for approximately six months and I continue to be impressed by the capabilities and potential of X?Rite. We have made excellent progress in reducing our cost structure and strengthening our balance sheet. As market conditions improve X?Rite's profit leverage and cash generation prospects should be attractive to investors."

Vacchiano closed by saying, "a combination of variables, including improved market conditions, customer interest in new products , and increasingly effective new sales and marketing initiatives are yielding year over year sales growth for the Company in the first quarter of 2010. At this point we expect to report first quarter sales growth in the mid to high single digits."