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).

The market for pocket projectors poised for growth

The market for pocket projectors, which are small handheld devices that enable a larger image to be projected onto a wall or screen in either stand-alone or embedded/dedicated formats, is poised for strong growth in 2010 and beyond. The recently released Pocket Projector Technology and Market Forecast Report, from DisplaySearch, forecasts that the total pocket projector market will grow from 0.5 million units and $117 million in revenues in 2009 to 142 million units and $13.9 billion in revenues in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 70% for revenues and 88% for units.

“There were over 130 new pocket projector models released in the market in 2009, along with the first releases of embedded projectors into the market. Despite this, pocket projectors still face challenges of low brightness, short battery life and high price. Continuing progress in all the technologies surrounding pocket projectors will be needed to achieve the expected growth,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch. “Good things really do come in small packages, as pocket projectors eliminate form factor and size limitations for images in portable electronics. They are ideal devices for sharing, either for social, business or entertaining activities,” noted Colegrove.

Currently, the market for pocket projectors is dominated by stand-alone devices, which can be connected to other devices, and allow for additional integrated functions. DisplaySearch forecasts the stand-alone pocket projector will reach 45 million units and $8.9 billion in 2018. DisplaySearch forecasts that shipments of embedded/dedicated projectors will surpass those of stand-alone units in 2014, as current limitations such as power consumption, size, brightness and price are improved. It is estimated the embedded type pocket projectors will reach 97 million units and $5 billion in 2018.

Due to early entrance in the market, pocket projectors leveraging LCOS with color filters dominated in 2009, but DisplaySearch forecasts that DLP and LCOS field sequential technologies will take the lead in shipments for 2010. DLP will lead in revenues while LCOS field sequential will have the highest unit share in coming years. The fastest growing technology in unit and revenue terms will be scanning MEMS.

The DisplaySearch Pocket Projector Technology and Market Forecast Report discusses the technology challenges for microdisplays, light sources, batteries, and the supply chain. It also provides pocket projector specification analysis, BOM (bill of material) analysis, and business strategy recommendation and entrance opportunities. The report profiles about 200 pocket projector-related companies. It provides market history data in 2009 and a market forecast through 2018. The Excel database provides a pivot table with market forecasts for units, revenues and ASPs, by five types of microdisplay breakdowns: DLP, LCOS with color filter, LCOS field sequential, MEMS, and others. The pivot table market forecast also provides a detailed breakdown by seven resolutions, and four form factor/applications: stand-alone; embedded/dedicated to mobile phone; embedded/dedicated to digital camera/camcorder; and embedded/dedicated to other devices. The report also covers touch screens for pocket projectors.

For more information on this report, please contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, or contact at displaysearch dot com or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

SeeWhy reveals lessons learned from top 10 converting websites

Conventional wisdom emphasizes search engine optimization and streamlined conversion and shopping cart processes—reduce the number of steps, offer guest checkout, and the like—to optimize website conversion rates. However, research reveals that the top 10 conversion converting websites are more interested in establishing long term relationships with their customers than making a quick, one-time sale. Still, they convert approximately 10 times as many visitors as the average ecommerce site.

In its new eBook,“Lessons Learned from the Top 10 Converting Websites,” SeeWhy Inc., Andover, Mass., identifies the 10, top-converting ecommerce sites and the strategies they use to drive website conversion. With the top 10 ecommerce sites converting, on average, 23 percent of their visitors into customers—compared to 2-3 percent for typical websites—the research offers valuable insight into the Internet’s most successful conversion practices and the tactics used by the ecommerce teams behind them.

The top 10 converting websites is based on Nielsen data for six months, ending in November 2009. In order to qualify, a website needed to achieve a minimum of 5 million unique visitors per month. Conversion is measured based on the ratio of site visitors to purchasers in a given session.

The book presents the contrarian approach to conversion that has made the top 10 so successful, including the following tenets:

* A customer is for life, not just a session – The top 10 are optimized for repeat purchases, not for the first purchase. They make it easy for returning visitors to purchase. And they drive visitor numbers via traditional direct marketing (email and catalog).

* Superior search and selection – The top 10 have invested in slick merchandising, making their sites easy to browse and pleasurable to shop—especially for unplanned purchases.

* Lifetime remarketing – All of the top 10 use remarketing vs. 25 percent of companies in the ecommerce sector. Done well, remarketing is perceived as good service by customers. As a result, recommendations, suggestions and relevant content delivered through email, get very high open—and very low unsubscribe—rates.

Logitech announces fourth quarter, fiscal year results

Logitech International, Fremont, Calif., announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of Fiscal Year 2010.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $525 million, up 29 percent from $408 million in the same quarter last year. Excluding the favorable impact of exchange rate changes, sales increased by 25 percent. Operating income was $28 million, compared to an operating loss of $43 million in the same quarter a year ago. Net income was $24 million compared to a net loss one year ago of $35 million. Gross marginwas 35.8 percent, up from 25.0 percent the fourth quarter of 2009.

Logitech’s retail sales for the fourth quarter grew by 27 percent year over year.

For the full fiscal year, sales were $2.0 billion, down from $2.2 billion in 2009. Operating income was $78 million, down from $110 million a year ago. Net income was $65 million, compared to $107 million in the prior year.

PMA Monthly Printing and Camera Trends Report through February 2010

PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations, Jackson, Mich., reports the amount of digital printing remained essentially level for the month of February. According to PMA Marketing Research, the volume of prints made from digital still camera images decreased by 1 percent compared to the same month the previous year. Printing volumes at retail minilabs and instant kiosks grew 8 percent and grew 11 percent, respectively. Online ordering fell 16 percent and home printing grew by 2 percent in February.

“The opening of more than 800 new drugstores in 2009 seems to be the main driver behind the continuous growth in the retail channel share and decline in the online channel share,” says Dimitrios Delis, director, PMA Marketing Research. With the absence of significant price changes at retail (see the April 2010 Online Print Price Report), the home channel is maintaining its share. Statistics from the The NPD Group Inc. showed overall camera sales dropped 14 percent in February 2010. Overall demand for digital cameras decreased 14.3 percent in February.

The PMA Monthly Printing and Camera Trends Report, available exclusively to PMA members, provides timely insight into the printing and camera purchasing behaviors of consumers. PMA also translates the camera sales data from NPD Group into year-over-year trends on both a monthly and year-to-date basis.

Available from the marketing research area of the PMA website, the report is available for member download.

Tessera Technologies announces first quarter results

Tessera Technologies Inc., San Jose, Calif., announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Total revenues were $64.3 million. Micro-electronics revenue was $55.8 million, and Imaging & Optics revenue was $8.5 million.

First quarter 2010 Micro-electronics revenue was comprised entirely of royalties and license fees and included a $3.0 million payment for past royalties from United Test and Assembly Center Ltd (UTAC), under a litigation settlement. This compares to first quarter 2009 Micro-electronics revenue which was $106.6 million, and included $60.6 million for past royalties from Amkor received in February 2009. First quarter 2010 Imaging & Optics revenue was comprised of $3.1 million in royalties and license fees, and $5.4 million in products and services.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) net income for the first quarter of 2010 was $9.8 million, which included non-cash charges of $6.9 million for stock-based compensation and $3.5 million for amortization of acquired intangibles. Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2010 was $17.8 million.