For years, the weak spot of the Fujfilm company was its imaging division. One of the reason for that, was that smartphones killed sales of compact cameras. Fuji reacted and launched the X100/S, the X-PRO1, the X10/20, the X-E1/2… but, while sales were “smooth”, the imaging field continued to lose money.
But something changed since the launch of the Fujifilm X-T1. The imaging division finally started to make profits (as I first told you in May 2014 here). Now this is the second report that confirms the overall grow of this line of business. In fact, it’s written Black on White on Page 22 of the annual report: “In the Imaging Solutions segment, consolidated revenue amounted to ¥373.6 billion, up 8.0% from the previous fiscal year.”
However, in the report of the 1st quarter (download zip), Fujifilm says: “Revenue decreased, but the profitability was secured due to the strong sales of instant cameras and profit improvement of digital camera business.” (NOTE that formulated this way – “profit improvement” – doesn’t necessarily mean profit (could also mean “less loss“)… but it’s nevertheless a further step into the right direction.)
So while the overall demand on compact cameras is inexorably decreasing, the X-series sales were strong, and the main reason for that is very likely X-T1.
I’ve checked the AmazonCSC ranking since the X-T1 hit the market, and both combinations, the body only and the kit, hardly ever left the first 15 positions of the ranking (at the moment 6th and 7th of the ranking). In fact, Fujifilm writes:
“In the electronic imaging field, sales of premium interchangeable lens camera, FUJIFILM X-T1, which was launched in February 2014, and others were strong. [...] the sift to high-end models has been proceeding steadily.”
Sure, it’s not just the X-T1. Fujifilm says that “such factors as the expanded sales of instant cameras and camera modules for use in smartphones led to the increase in consolidated revenue. Operating income amounted to ¥3.6 billion, due to strong sales in the photo imaging business, cost reductions, and other factors.”
But the X-T1 is for sure a winner for Fujifilm, and probably the most sold X-camera ever.
FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT
Revenue increased and the segment become profitable, mainly due to robust sales in the photo imaging business, the positive effects of yen depreciation, and successful efforts to reduce fixed costs.
- Sales of instant cameras as well as such high-value-added print services as Year Album expanded.
- Sales increases were recorded for camera modules for use in smart phones, TV camera lenses, and related products.
- Emphasis was placed on expanding sales of premium-model digital cameras
In the electronic imaging field, sales of compact digital cameras decreased, reflecting overall worldwide decline in demand due to the spread of smartphones, but sales of the high-end X Series model were strong. Furthermore, the business comprehensively reduced fixed costs.
In the years ahead, Fujifilm will make efforts to expand its lineups of both the X Series, which leverages its exclusive technologies, and interchangeable lenses, while it works to expand sales centering on interchangeable lens-type cameras.