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Kodak, Sony and Fuji Report Net Revenue Down

Sony and Kodak will partner for future products, Sony makes minor recovery, Fuji will restructure

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January 31, 2007 – Three major camera manufacturers announced this week their respective net revenue dropped in the 4th quarter of 2006. However, Fuji and Sony reported an increase in sales for the 4th quarter while Kodak's sales decreased.

Kodak reported today that revenue stood at $3.821 billion in the 4th quarter of 2006 that is down 9 percent from the same time last year which was at $4.197 billion, according to a company press release today. Kodak also reported a 25 percent sales drop in digital camera sales and accessories for the 4th quarter. Digital camera sales were slightly offset by the climbing sales of Kodak Picture kiosks that rose by 27 percent. The manufacturer expected digital camera sales to drop as the corporation turns its attention toward higher profit-yielding ventures, according to a Jan. 31 Reuters article.

Kodak and Sony, along with mobile provider Sony Ericsson, announced earlier this month a cross-licensing agreement that would allow each manufacturer access to each other’s patents. Kodak declined to offer speculations of future products the manufacturers might produce, according to a Jan. 3 Reuters article.

As for Sony’s earnings this past quarter, the manufacturer reported over a 5 percent drop in net income at 159.9 billion yen ($1.32 billion USD), that is down from 168.9 billion yen ($1.39) year-over-year. Even though the company faced a net income loss of 5 percent, the net profit fall can be viewed as a recovery compared to a shocking 94 percent profit plummet last quarter, after a series of unfavorable events including a worldwide laptop battery recall.

Sony eported strong performances these last three months, based on its quarterly sales that were the "strongest ever," according to a company press release yesterday. Sony announced that sales totaled 2.607 trillion yen ($21.6 billion), a 9.8 percent rise from last year’s 2.375 trillion yen ($19.68 billion). Sony attributed strong sales to their Electronics, Games, and Pictures divisions, that released products including the PlayStation 3 and movies like The DaVinci Code and Casino Royale.

Like Sony, Fujifilm reported a drop in net income but a rise in overall sales. Fuji net income dropped by 10 percent this quarter to 24.4 billion yen ($203.6 million), down from 27.1 billion this time last year.

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Overall Fuji’s Imaging Solutions division,that includes their digital camera sector, reported that sales of color films and camera units had dropped but that there were adequate sales for its medical equipment and imaging department.

"The principal factors accounting for this decline were lower sales of color films and film development and print services of photo processing laboratories and a drop in digital camera sales, owing to the intensification of price competition," stated a Fuji press release yesterday.

Fuji revenue rose roughly 5 percent to 716.5 billion yen ($5.93 billion), up from 681.7 billion ($5.64 billion). Fuji reported that the company is currently undergoing structural reforms, according to the release, with a reorganization of its Imaging Solutions division.

Within the next two weeks, more manufacturers will be releasing their financial reports for the past quarter. Stay tuned.

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