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Fuji Photo Looks To Future And Enters Women's Beauty Product Market

Japan's Fuji Photo Film Co. said Sept. 12 it would enter the health care market, diversifying from the dwindling photo film business to target women's desire for beauty products.The world's number two in color film sales said it will launch the f2i (f-squared-i) series of three skin care items and the f3i (f-cubed-i) series of nine dietary supplements on September 28.

"The company has decided to enter the health care market, which can be said to be the largest industry of the 21st century, which supports people's peace of mind, safety and health," said Fuji Photo Film president Shigetaka Komori.

The company had developed chemical technologies that could be used in health care while creating high-quality films, it said. "We believe we can provide good products by employing the company's diverse and advanced technologies, especially in precision chemistry and precision process control," he said.

Suffering from an ever-shrinking photo film market, Fuji Photo Film expanded into the pharmaceutical business earlier this year by buying a 22% stake in Perseus Proteomics Inc, a Tokyo start-up developing new drugs.

Fuji Photo Film will start selling the new products on the Internet and through mail order, eying profits of three billion yen (US$25.5 million) by March 2007, the company said.

Fuji Photo Film this year slashed 5,000 jobs worldwide and shifted production of digital cameras to China as it weathers tough competition. Competitor Konica Minolta has also been forced to diversify. Minolta will stop making all cameras and camera film to focus on more profitable optics and medical imaging activities. And Nikon is ending production of nearly all film cameras to focus on digital technology.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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