Feeds

Konica-Minolta to quit photography market

Can't compete in the digital era

Konica-Minolta today revealed it is to quit photography business after more than 103 years - with the loss of 3,700 jobs worldwide.

The company also said it will move out of the camera market - digital and analogue - beyond the digital SLR systems and lenses it designs for Sony under a development deal forged in July 2005.

Under a new deal with Sony, Konica-Minolta will hand over a "portion" of its digital SLR assets, along with its own-brand digital camera customer service operation, to Sony on 31 March. On that date, it will also stop selling digital and film cameras of its own.

The withdrawal from the broader photography market will take longer, KM said. It will reduce its colour film and photographic paper product lines in stages over the next 14 months, with a view to ceasing production entirely by 31 March 2007.

Its Minilab development system will be dropped on 31 March, when KM's current fiscal year comes to a close. However, KM said it will engage third-parties to ensure existing Minilab systems can continue to be maintained.

Last year, KM's camera business lost ¥7.3bn ($62.3m) on net sales of ¥117bn ($1.01bn). The company today said the operation will this year contribute annual sales of ¥75bn ($650.2m), a year-on-year fall of 35.9 per cent.

KM said the move will necessitate some job cuts, the cost of which will be taken in the current fiscal year. Some staff will be transferred to other firms within the group, but some 3,700 workers need to be shed by 30 September 2007, the company warned, many through early retirement schemes, it hopes. KM currently employs 33,000 worldwide.

KM will focus its efforts on non-consumer businesses, including optical and display devices and medical imaging systems.

KM's move comes just a week after Nikon said it was quitting the film camera market to focus on high-end digital SLR cameras and lenses. In November 2005, Olympus said it too plans to focus on the digital SLR market. ®

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.