Fujifilm’s business is booming thanks to the success of the film

It’s the time of year when many companies report performance over the past year and Fuji is no different except that all eyes are on recovery from COVID shutdowns and chain issues. supply. So how did Fujifilm do it? The short answer is fine, and for its Imaging division, film is king.

Fujifilm is no slouch when it comes to business, with over 75,000 employees (and growing) and revenue of over 2.5 trillion yen (about $20 billion). I explained how Fuji – as a company – got to where it is today, but in short, the camera and imaging business is now only a small part of its business, with the Imaging division accounting for only 13% of revenue last year at ¥285 billion.

So what are the main results for 2021 to 2022? The 15% increase in revenue to 2.526 billion yen is a significant improvement (and higher than its pre-COVID 2019 results), achieved mainly by its Healthcare division (38% increase). It’s worth noting that this year, Fuji spun off its former Health and Materials division – which accounted for half of revenue – to balance the business more evenly; Healthcare represents 32% of revenue, materials 25% and business innovation (renamed Document Solutions to better reflect the business) 30%.

Imaging performed well with an increase of 17% to 333 billion yen (again 13% of the business) and recorded an increase in operating income (profit) of 147% to 37 billion yen . Where does this extra income come from? The professional imaging segment (digital stills and broadcast cameras) performed well with a 14% rise to 114 billion yen, but the biggest growth came from its consumer imaging segment (analog ) with an increase of 19% to 219 billion yen.

In terms of digital imaging, Fuji specifically notes reasonable sales of the GFX100S and 50S II but nothing around the X system. It also saw revenue increases for broadcast and cinema lenses, indicating a steady recovery for the section. , although there is nothing surprising about it. Consumer imaging fared better and Fuji notes that “revenues soared” from sales of instant photo systems, color photo paper and dry minilabs. Fuji also recorded good sales of new Instax models (Mini 40, Link WIDE smartphone printer and Mini Evo), although it does not indicate unit volume, suggesting that it is less than 10 million. cameras sold in 2019.

Instax prints taken and developed from the Mini Evo.
Instax prints taken and developed from the Mini Evo. | Photo by Ryan Mense for PetaPixel

More importantly, the imaging implosion – in terms of contribution to overall corporate profits – has risen from a low of 9% last year to 16% this year, a significant turnaround. However, it has yet to regain the 24% seen in 2019. Interestingly, Fuji expects a flatter 2022-2023 with revenue up 5% but only 2% for imaging. Clearly, neither Consumer nor Digital Imaging is expected to return to 2019 levels just yet.

Where the Imaging division has proven immensely successful is on return on invested capital (ROIC), significantly outperforming the other divisions at 16.5%. This suggests that sunk costs in research and development (R&D) and manufacturing are currently paying big dividends, although this is likely coming from cinematic rather than digital products. In fact, Fuji only invested 6% of its revenue in R&D last year, which is considerably less than Nikon which exceeds 10%. Of that total, imaging only accounted for 5.7%, well below the 13% it contributed to revenue.

All of this suggests that Fujifilm is consolidating and growing its business well, emerging from COVID with improved strength in healthcare. It has also better balanced its divisions. Imaging hasn’t quite recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but enough to be a robust unit. Expect more from Fujifilm as it builds on its photographic successes.


Picture credits: Header photo by Ryan Mense for PetaPixel

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