Brother sees 8% growth for fiscal 2021
Brother Commercial Thailand, the local unit of the Japanese printing tech firm, has set a fiscal 2021 growth target of 8% because of rising demand for single-function and medium-sized printers, as well as expansion to a subscription model.
"We have seen a rapid change in the behaviour of consumer and corporate customers during the pandemic," said Teerawut Supapunpinyo, managing director of Brother Commercial Thailand.
"Consumers are spending more time at home, so they demand entertainment as they observe social distancing measures."
For fiscal 2020, which closes at the end of this month, Brother expects to see revenue growth of less than 1%, or about 12 million baht more than its revenue for fiscal 2019.
The company's GTX garment printer and BMB karaoke system saw sales growth of 30%, he said.
Demand for face masks also pushed up sales of the firm's sewing machines, said Mr Teerawut.
He said Thailand's printer market fell 5% year-on-year in 2020 due to a shortage of key components despite strong demand, particularly among persons using them for remote study and work.
With new freelancers and businesses cropping up, demand for labelling and garment printers is on the rise.
As employees adopt remote working, demand for printers is shifting from large units to single function and medium-sized units, said Mr Teerawut, and this trend is happening globally.
"We think this momentum will continue in 2021 and the printer market overall is expected to grow 5-10%," he said.
The supply of printers is expected to return to normal levels by the second half of the year, said Mr Teerawut.
In response to rapid market changes, the company is embracing agile and resilient approaches from April, he said.
Brother wants to ensure business partners receive a quick response and customised solutions, along with incentives and service support in line with their needs, said Mr Teerawut.
"We aim to grow the business by 8% in fiscal 2021, in line with the growth of the printer market. Printers account for 90% of our total revenue," he said.
"Brother no longer focuses exclusively on sales, adding a subscription service with on-demand printing for corporate customers."
The market for this segment is still small, but it is growing as corporations seek ways to cut expenses, said Mr Teerawut.
The company had 300 subscription contracts as of the end of last year, with the number expected to rise to 350-400 this year.
Na-ake Songsiri, deputy general manager for sales and marketing at Brother Commercial Thailand, said the firm is expanding to the business-to-business segment by focusing on the healthcare, retail, logistics and finance sectors, as well as reaching out to new markets such as education and tailor-made solutions to enable customers to select business models that optimise their business needs.