FUJIFILM doesn't focus only on the negatives. Its imaging solutions unit is its smallest, by far, making photographic films and papers, digital cameras, photofinishing equipment, and chemicals. It still leads the film market in Japan and has hammered away at rival Kodak in the US. FUJIFILM's main businesses, each more than 40% of sales, are document operations and information-related products and services. Its document business includes joint venture Fuji Xerox, offering copy machines, printers, and production services. The information unit provides medical imaging, large-scale printing, recording media, optical and flat panel display devices and components. Customers in Japan account for more than 45% of sales.
Similar to Xerox and other rivals, FUJIFILM has expanded into the professional global services business. The company's production services and global services together represent more than a quarter of FUJIFILM's largest segment, document solutions. At about 45% of the holding company's sales, document solutions makes the rest of its money from office products (more than half of the segment) and office printers (16%).
Close behind the document segment is the information unit. Medical and life sciences systems are that segment's largest business, at about one-third of the segment. Information offerings also include products and services for graphic arts applications (about a quarter of the segment), flat panel displays (about a fifth), industrial products and electronic materials (nearly a tenth), with the remainder of the segment about evenly divided between recording media and optical devices.
Imaging is a much smaller slice of FUJIFILM's pie now, about 15% of sales, though the company is still a major global force there. Photo imaging retains the lion's share of this segment, bringing in nearly two-thirds of its sales through film, paper, chemicals, photo finishing, and lab services. Electronic imaging (digital cameras) accounts for the rest. That split has been shifting, however, with photo dwindling as electronic offerings increase.
In 2012 FUJIFILM announced it would expand capacity for certain products with two new facilities. It's investing ¥2.3 billion (about $30 million) to build a factory in the Philippines that will work on optical lenses meant for digital cameras, projectors, and surveillance cameras. That facility will begin operation in mid-2013. On the document side, Fuji Xerox will spend ¥9 billion (nearly $115 million) to build a manufacturing site in northern Vietnam, with plans to be operational late in 2013. It will focus on digital color multifunction devices and small form-factor LED printers, as well as related components.
Revenue for fiscal 2012 (ended March) was just about even with the previous year, sliding less than 1% to ¥2.2 trillion ($26.8 billion). Net income took a bigger hit, falling more than 30% to ¥43.8 billion (nearly $535 million), as expenses grew instead of falling like sales. The sales miss was attributed to the appreciation of the yen, the major earthquake in Japan, and flooding in Thailand. Only the document solutions segment saw a slight increase, though information solutions joined it in turning an operating profit.
FUJIFILM still sees the economic climate as harsh and will be exceptionally focused on profitability. For growth, it considers its greatest opportunities to be in emerging countries and in its medical and life sciences systems, the global and production services from its document solutions unit, and materials for electronics, industrial, and flat-panel displays. Emerging geographic regions it considers most fertile are BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Turkey, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Geographically in 2011 and 2012, it opened local companies in the Ukraine, South Korea, Indonesia, and South Africa.
FUJIFILM has used acquisitions to help further its strategic goals, particularly in the health care sector. To develop more business in medical equipment, it acquired bedside and point-of-care ultrasound company SonoSite for nearly $1 billion in 2012. In 2011 the company acquired the Merck BioManufacturing Network, a provider of contract manufacturing and development services for the biopharmaceutical industry, for ¥40 billion (nearly $500 million). It was renamed Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.
Other health care-related acquisitions included Turkish endoscopy product direct-seller Filmed Tibbi Cihazlar Pazarlama in 2011 and the Brazil-based X-ray film dealer NDT Comercial in 2010. FUJIFILM is the 51% owner of a joint venture with Indian pharmaceuticals maker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories to develop and market generic drugs in Japan, expected to introduce its first products by 2015.
As part of its information solutions business, the company established a joint venture with SVA Electron of China to make color filters used in thin film transistor LCDs, widely used in flat-screen monitors and televisions. FUJIFILM formed another joint venture, equally owned with Kyowa Hakko Kirin, to assert its presence in biosimilar pharmaceuticals (pharmaceutical "copies," often less expensive, of original products whose patents have expired). – less