Next Up With Numbers: Fujifilm

Fujifilm reported their Annual Report for the last fiscal year (ended March 31, 2012), plus while I was away in Alaska they reported their first quarter numbers for the current year. 

Digital cameras are masked a bit in Fujifilm's financials, as they comprise only about a third of the Photo Imaging Group, which in turn comprises only 15% of the overall sales. If you do the math correctly, digital cameras represent about 5% of Fujifilm's overall business, so it's surprising that they break out any information about it, at all.

That said, the key lines are "Sales of the X Series of premium cameras were particularly robust" and "The Company will continue to bolster sales of high-end modules including the X Series." So, yes, we'll get additional X-Pro models and lenses in the foreseeable future.

Using Apple's phrasing, though, digital cameras are a "hobby business" for Fujifilm. Even 100% growth with amazing profitability wouldn't move the Fujifilm bottom line enough for investors to get excited about. And, of course, neither 100% growth nor amazing profitability are in the wings for Fujifilm's camera business.

Overall, digital cameras stopped declining badly for Fujifilm in 2011. In 2012 they eked out a 6% growth rate in sales, which made two years of small gains in a row. However, In their recently reported first quarter of 2013, they reported "overall sales decreased, reflecting the impact of the decline in demand for compact digital cameras." Indeed, this wasn't a modest decline, but a 20% year-to-year decline. The cameras that are increasing in sales for Fujifilm are the X series cameras and a couple of other higher end cameras, such as the HS30EXR and the waterproof XP50. Given that Fujifilm forecasts a gain in sales for the full year, they've got their work cut out for them, as they started the first quarter down. I would also point out that Fujifilm's forecast yen value would indicate that they'll have troubles in Europe (78 yen/dollar, which is about right, 103 yen/Euro, which is high).

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