Epson mulls revenue revision as consumer spending stalls

Epson mulls revenue revision as consumer spending stalls

Mr Yunyong (centre) presents a new commercial and industrial printer by Epson during Photo Fair 2019 at Bitec.
Mr Yunyong (centre) presents a new commercial and industrial printer by Epson during Photo Fair 2019 at Bitec.

Epson Thailand, the local operating unit of the Japanese printer maker, may revise down its revenue growth outlook to flat for its fiscal year, citing the economic woes that are taking a toll on consumer spending.

"In this fiscal year from April 2019 to March 2020, we expect to revise our business performance to flat growth from a previous target of single-digit growth," said Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn, director of Epson Thailand.

Throughout the fiscal year, overall consumer spending on inkjet printers and home projectors is expected to drop by 15% and 20% respectively, due to gloomy consumer sentiment, he said.

But he voiced optimism that the Thai economy would rebound soon: "It will recover fast, similar to the situation when the country faced a challenging time from political turmoil a few years ago."

The company expects 10% revenue growth from commercial and industrial printers in this fiscal year, with businesses and factories upgrading their digital printing as they pivot towards speedy, low-cost, customised and eco-friendly options, pressured by digital disruption.

Commercial and industrial printers contribute 14% of Epson Thailand's total revenue.

Epson provides printing machines for the textile, photo lab, corporate/architecture, signage and labels/packaging sectors.

Between 2019 and 2020, the company expects the highest growth in its printing machine sales for textile factories, which are ramping up investment in new production technology, Mr Yunyong said.

In the first six months of this fiscal year, the company's revenue from textile printing machines grew by 20% year-on-year.

Mr Yunyong said factories need to upgrade their printing technology to create difference and add value to their products, as they cannot compete with competitors on cost, particularly those in neighbouring countries who pay low wages.

He said the signage sector is another growing market for the company, as outdoor advertising placards and billboards are still cheaper than LED displays.

The government's new construction projects are a boon for architecture printing, while labels are starting to gain ground from One Tambon, One Product packaging and souvenirs.

Photo labs remain a key market for Epson, Mr Yunyong said.

Epson yesterday launched its "Go Big on the Details" campaign, presenting a complete range of digital solutions for commercial and industrial printing among businesses.

The campaign aims to educate customers on digital printing tech in order to broaden the scope of products and services, Mr Yunyong said. Epson's solutions include a rental option for customers.

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