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Konica Minolta Targets 140 Percent Profit Growth
Mar 18, 2004
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Japan-based business appliance maker Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. said it aimed to boost its operating profit by 140 percent in 3 years by focusing on its core business areas of office equipment and optical devices. The camera and office equipment maker said it aimed for a group operating profit of 160 billion yen (approx. U.S. $1.5 billion) in the year ending in March 2007.

Konica Minolta, created last August through the merger of precision equipment companies Konica Corp. and Minolta Co., estimated it would make a group operating profit of 66.7 billion yen in the current business year, combining both firms' full-year results.

"Although it is only 6 months (after the merger), we are overtaking Xerox to become the number 3 player in Europe in color multi-functional printers," Konica Minolta chief executive Fumio Iwai told reporters.

As part of its drive to boost profitability, Konica Minolta plans to cut its group workforce by 7 percent to 32,600 by March 2006. It also plans to slash interest-bearing debt by 43 percent to 175 billion yen (approx. $1.6 million) in 3 years to strengthen its balance sheet.

The company projects group sales to grow 17 percent in 3 years to 1.33 trillion yen (approx. $12.4 billion) due to brisk demand for its mainstay copiers and printers as well as its optical pickup lenses used in DVDs and lens units for digital cameras.

Konica Minolta said it now expected digital camera sales in the next business year to remain virtually flat from this business year at around three million units. The company had previously projected digital camera sales of 3.5 million units for next year.

"We have shifted our focus to profit rather than volume for next year...3 million would be the best we could do," said Masaru Kanbe, Konica Minolta senior executive officer. (Reuters)

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