Stock Market

Ricoh Profit down 85%, 3D printing plans on hold?

Japanese electronics company Ricoh (OTCMKTS:RICOY) have announced their most recent financial results. In numbers released today for the six months ending 30 September 2016 the multinational reports that trading conditions remain unfavorable with an 85.5% decrease in profit compared to the prior period.

The company has been hit hard by currency exchange rate movements and explained that the decrease in sales of 11.3% was due a slowdown in there Imaging & Solutions and Industrial Products segments. Total revenue for the period was 1,095.1 billion yen, with operating profit of 56.1 billion yen, $10.4 billion and $5.3 billion respectively. 

Aside from exchange rate factors, the Japanese economy has proved difficult to predict according to a statement by Ricoh. Given economic uncertainty and unfavorable market conditions the company forecast further decreases in the future. Ricoh also attribute declining sales to fallout from Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union.

Fraud investigation ongoing

With today’s results Ricoh’s Indian subsidiary has yet to disclose financial results and the investigation into whether fraud has occurred is still ongoing. The company have highlighted that they anticipate a loss of 6.9 billion yen once investigations are concluded, this is approximately $66 million at the present exchange rate.

Ricoh reports financial information across three segments, Imaging and Solutions, Industrial Products and Other. Within Imaging and Solutions there are three divisions, Office Imaging, Production Printing and Network System Solutions. Revenue fell in each of these divisions and did sales in the Industrial Products segment.

Of the three segments, Other was the only one to report an increase with a 6% gain in relation to the comparative period. The company explain that the sales increase of, “¥56.9 billion was due to the increase in income and profit in the Leasing business and Camera business. As a result, operating profit in the Other segment increased by 104.0% as compared to the previous corresponding period, to ¥2.6 billion.”

Ricoh Financial Statements for 6 months ended 30 September 2016
Ricoh Financial Statements for 6 months ended 30 September 2016

Ricoh quiet on 3D printing expansion

In today’s release, Ricoh do not mention 3D printing. As an established market participant in the printing and digital imaging sector analysts are waiting for the company to make a concerted effort. While Ricoh do produce a 3D printer and have demonstrated prototype devices at a relatively recent trade show in Japan, the company today remained silent on its plans for the 3D printing industry.

News on Ricoh’s first 3D Printer, the AM S5500P is expected during German additive manufacturing show Formnext, a major event taking place in Frankfurt next month. In Europe Ricoh have signed a deal with Laser Zentrum Nord (LZN) who are the first European customer for the 3D printer.

The 3D printing industry is keen to see more about the AM S5500P as the promised use of PA12 and PA11 by the polymer sintering machine and use of polypropylene are advantageous for applications requiring materials with a high strength to weight ratio.

As we previously reported,

The AM S5500P is an industrial selective laser-sintering (SLS) machine. This technology was developed by Carl Deckard and Joe Beaman and then patented in the 1980s. While the early IP around SLS expired in 2014, the specific term “SLS” is a registered trademark of 3D Systems who acquired the IP in 2001.

Ricoh developed their industrial 3D printer in partnership with another Japanese company, Aspect Inc. Aspect’s president & CEO Seiji Hayano’s, “involvement with AM goes back to 1986, when I first learned about Stereolithography while working for Mitsubishi Corporation.” In 2008, Aspect demonstrated their SLS machine. The SEMplice featured a 16-watt CO2 laser with a scan speed of 5 m/s and a beam width of 0.275mm, it was shown at Japan’s Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS). Hayano also developed the RaFaEl, a powder bed fusion machine.

Ricoh’s most recent financial results are available here [PDF].