Fuji Photo Shifts Focus To Digital Cameras

By Agence France-Presse Japan's photographic film maker Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. said it will invest at least $5.2 billion in the next three years to boost profits while shifting its focus to digital cameras. By revamping its corporate structure and cutting costs, the company aims to boost its net profit to 180 billion yen (US$1.7 billion) in the year to March 2009 from the 80 billion yen expected for the year to March 2004. "We will invest at least 550 billion yen in three years to March 2007," Fuji Photo President Shigetaka Komori told a press conference on the firm's new five-year business plan. The rising popularity of digital cameras has forced Fuji Photo to focus on digital products, but the company will continue film operations for emerging markets, such as India and China, where demand for analog cameras is still strong, Komori said. The investment should help boost annual digital-camera sales from the current 6.2 million units to 13 million units in the year to March 2007, according to the five-year plan. It will also go toward building factories and expanding sales networks in China, and to explore new business opportunities worldwide. Meanwhile, the world's second largest photo film maker plans to cut costs by at least 200 billion yen by March 2007 after reviewing production, sales and procurement, Komori said. Fuji will also shift personnel around within the company to increase efficiency, he said, adding that there is no immediate plan for layoffs. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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