Epson Seeking Greater Returns in China

In a recent article, Minoru Usui, Seiko Epson’s (Epson) President and CEO, said Epson was focusing on two key areas, “production and sales in China.” Usui went on to say that Epson is not only concerned about its traditional markets (inkjet printers, inkjet consumables, page printers, and toners), but also in new fields such as projectors, robotics, and wearable devices such as smartwatches and glasses. As a matter of fact, Epson has changed its segment reporting to Printing Solutions (printers, professional printing, and PCs), Visual Communications (Projectors), and Wearable & Industrial Products (Wearable products, Robotics solutions, Crystal devices, Semiconductors, and Precision products).

Granted, there has to be a case for robotics because of a shortage of workers and a need for more intricate production, but robotics only accounts for two percent of Epson’s revenue today (decline of 0.2 percent in 2015). As explained in its most recent financial results, the Chinese economy is decelerating, so it would seem that Epson would concentrate on its most profitable segments – Printing Solutions and Visual Communications and reduce its exposure to the upcoming recession. Over the past six years, printing and imaging companies have sought to find adjacencies to improve revenue and profit, but few of those have been successful. Is Epson spreading itself too thin?

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