Archives for April 2010

Fourth-quarter loss widens at Fujifilm Holdings

Fourth-quarter restructuring charges at Fujifilm Holdings Corp., Tokyo, Japan, widened the net loss from Y31.45 billion for the three months ending in March, compared to a year-earlier loss of Y18.93 billion. Revenue grew 10 percent to Y584.56 billion from Y530.18 billion.

Its cost of restructuring, including job cuts and downsizing of its photographic product business, totaled Y77.7 billion for the quarter and Y143.7 billion through the fiscal year ended March, the company said.

In the Imaging Solutions segment, consolidated revenue was negatively affected by such factors as declining demand for color films as well as the appreciation of the yen, and other factors. As a result, consolidated revenue in the Imaging Solutions segment amounted to ¥345.5 billion, down 15.8 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Reflecting such factors as the decrease in consolidated revenue and the impact of yen appreciation, operating income before restructuring and other charges for the segment amounted to a loss of ¥15.1 billion. The segment’s operating income after restructuring and other charges amounted to a loss of ¥69.2 billion.

Regarding the color paper business, Fujifilm’s sales decreased due to yen appreciation and other factors, but the company has increased market share through marketing-promotion measures such as high-value-added print services including photo books.

In the electronic imaging business field, Fujifilm’s sales volume increased owing to such factors as the company’s launch of entry-level models designed to meet consumer needs in each region, and the company’s new product introductions.

Fujifilm said its operating profit before the restructuring charge came to Y38.08 billion, a sharp improvement from a loss of Y45.25 billion a year earlier, as demand picked up for digital cameras, copiers and film for flat panel television screens.

The company expects Y25 billion in additional restructuring costs for the current fiscal year to March 2011, but orecast a return to profitability with a net profit of Y60 billion and an operating profit of Y120 billion on revenue of Y2.300 trillion.

Thinking Screen Media closes $2 million financing

Thinking Screen Media announced it closed a $2 million Series B financing from strategic partner, Scala. The deal combined an asset sale and an equity investment. Hans Othar Blix, Scala’s vice chairman, will join Thinking Screen Media’s board of directors.

Thinking Screen Media’s FrameChannel platform enables connected screen owners to select and program the delivery of personalized content to a variety of consumer devices, selecting from a library of more than 1,000 content widgets. The library includes integrations with leading photosharing and social networking sites along with news, weather, sports scores, stock quotes and hyper local content. FrameChannel is available today on devices from more than 20 consumer electronics providers including Tivo, Roku, Samsung, Sony, Philips, Motorola, Kodak, Toshiba, Viewsonic and Apple.

The use of proceeds will largely be focused on enhancing Thinking Screen Media’s offering on set-top boxes and Apple iPad; the company launched an iPad app April 3 and has already released an update.

As part of the deal, Scala has acquired the digital signage division of Thinking Screen Media and it’s SignChannel platform . SignChannel is a SaaS platform for low cost, self service digital signage which Scala intends to bring worldwide.

Pandigital begins shipping Photo Mail Digital Photo frame

Pandigital Photo Mail Frame

Pandigital Photo Mail Frame

Pandigital, Dublin, Calif.,  announced it is now shipping its Pandigital Photo Mail Digital Photo Frame, which debuted at PMA 2010, to several national retailers. The Pandigital Photo Mail Digital Photo Frame is a wirelessly-connected digital photo frame displaying photos emailed directly to its dedicated email address. Customers can share that address with family and friends to allow them to send photos directly to the frame from their own email account – whether it’s from a computer, smart phone or any email-enabled device.  The frame connects to email wirelessly through AT&T’s nationwide wireless network.

Pandigital Photo Mail frames are now shipping to national retailers and will be available for purchase by customers in the next several weeks. The Pandigital Photo Mail Digital Photo Frame will have a MSRP of $179.99. The price of the frame includes the ability to receive 300 photos emailed to the frame with no service fee to the customer. Additional photo allotments may be purchased directly from Pandigital: 100 for $9.99, 400 for $29.99 and 700 for $49.99.

Google adds social media sharing

Google photo sharing

Google's Picasa Web albums adds social media.

Google engineers updated the Picasa blog with additional sharing tools. According to a post by Ping Chen, software engineer, the Picasa Web Album service has added share buttons for Google Buzz, Blogger and Twitter.

“We also know that sometimes you don’t want to share quite so publicly, but actually just want to share a link to a single unlisted photo, without revealing the whole album,” says Chen. “We’ve now made this possible, by updating the “Link to this photo” URL so that the album name is hidden on the viewer’s photo page (the “Share” button still works as normal).

First quarter results of Metro Group

German retailing giant Metro Group, Duesseldorf, recorded sales of Euro 15.5 billion (US-$ 20.6 billion) in the first quarter of 2010, an increase by 2.3 percent compared with the same period last year. Earnings from operations increased 55.9 percent to Euro 136 million (US-$ 181.1 million).

According to a press release, all businesses contributed to the pleasant business development; particularly the Galeria Kaufhof department stores and the Real hypermarkets showed improved performance.

Metro’s Media Markt and Saturn technical stores recorded sales of Euro 4.9 billion (US-$ 5.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2010, 6.1 percent (without currency effects 4.9 percent) more than in the same period last year. In Germany, sales of Media Markt/Saturn were Euro 2.2 billion (US-$ 2.93 billion), approximately flat with the same period last year. In Western Europe, revenue increased by 12.4 percent to also Euro 2.2 billion (US-$ 2.93 billion), mainly due to a better performance in Italy and Spain. In Eastern Europe, growth in sales was 9.1 percent compared with the first quarter 2009; without currency effects the increase was 0.6 percent. The economic environment in this region remained difficult, Metro said. Media Saturn’s operational result in the first quarter 2010 was Euro 78 million (US-$ 103.9 million), slightly lower than in the first quarter 2009 (Euro 79 million/US-$ 105.2 million).