Shutterfly announces reports full-year 2010 revenues up 25 percent

Jeff Housenbold, president and CEO, Shutterfly

Shutterfly Inc., Redwood City, Calif., reported fourth-quarter net revenues increased 27 percent to $166.2 million, and full-year 2010 revenues increased 25 percent to $307.7 million. Net income in the quarter was $32.5 million, compared to $24.1 million. Net income for the year was $17.1 million, compared to $5.8 million the year prior.

“Our strategic investments throughout 2010, combined with our focus on strong execution, innovation and improved efficiencies

Jeff Housenbold, president and CEO, Shutterfly

Jeff Housenbold, president and CEO, Shutterfly

led to record revenues, profits, and free cash flows” says Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO. “We continue to outpace the industry in terms of innovation, user experience, on-trend designs, quality, and customer service. With the social expression and personal publishing markets still in the early stages, Shutterfly will focus on extending our leadership position in these large markets throughout 2011.”

For the fourth quarter, Personalized Products & Services (PPS) net revenues totaled $123.8 million, a 33-percent year-over-year increase, and represented 75 percent of total net revenues. Net revenues from Prints totaled $40.1 million, a 10-percent year-over-year increase. Commercial Print net revenues totaled $2.3 million.

Also, in the quarter, existing customers generated 72 percent of total net revenues, and transacting customers totaled 2.3 million, a 23-percent year-over-year increase. Average order value was $44.41, a 5 percent year-over-year increase.

For the full year, PPS net revenues totaled $218.7 million, a 35-percent year-over-year increase, represented 71 percent of total net revenues. Net revenues from prints totaled $83.9 million, a 4 percent year-over-year increase. Commercial Print net revenues totaled $5.1 million. Existing customers generated 73 percent of total net revenues. Transacting customers totaled 4.1 million, a 24 percent year-over-year increase. Orders increased 17 percent to 9.2 million, with the average order value was $32.88, a 7 percent year-over-year increase.

For the first quarter 2011, the company expects net revenues to range from $52 million to $53 million, a year-over-year increase of 14 to 16 percent. For the full year, the company expects net revenues to range from $363 million to $373 million, a year-over-year increase of 18 to 21 percent.

Personalized Products and Services net revenues primarily include Photo Books, Stationery and folded Greeting Cards, Calendars and Photo-based Merchandise. PPS also includes net revenues from advertising and sponsorship programs and referral fees. The company’s referral fee program was discontinued effective March 31, 2010, and no referral fee revenues have been recorded subsequent to that date. Print net revenues consist of photo print from wallet to large-format sizes. Commercial Print net revenues are excluded from net revenues from PPS and Prints.

Photo-sharing startup Instagram garners $7 million funding

Instagram logo

According to TechCrunch, upstart mobile photo-sharing company Instagram has secured $7 million in Series A funding, including funds from Benchmark Capital, Baseline Ventures, Square’s Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca (through his Lowercase Capital fund), and Quora’s Adam D’Angelo.

Benchmark’s Matt Cohler, who spearheaded the deal alongside Peter Fenton, will join Instagram’s Board. He joins Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom and Baseline’s Steve Anderson there, reports TechCrunch. The iPhone photo-sharing app already has more than 1.5 million users, the report said.

Panasonic reports earnings, plans for growth

Panasonic Corp., Osaka, Japan, reported its consolidated financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended Dec. 31, 2010, of fiscal year 2011, ending March 31, 2011.

Compared to the same period a year ago, consolidated group sales for the third quarter increased 21 percent to 2,285.5 billion yen, from 1,886.6 billion yen. Of the consolidated group total, domestic sales amounted to 1,200.6 billion yen, up 19 percent from 1,004.9 billion yen and overseas sales increased to 1,084.9 billion yen, up 23 percent from 881.7 billion yen.

During the third quarter, although the bleak employment scenario continued to plague developed countries, the global economy has recovered gradually, due mainly to economic stimulus plans in several countries and the sustained high-growth in emerging countries.

In such business conditions, Panasonic group launched a new midterm management plan called “Green Transformation 2012 (GT12)” in the beginning of fiscal 2011. In GT12, Panasonic aims to integrate environmental protection and business growth, and to become ‘Panasonic Group filled with significant growth potential’ in fiscal 2013.

Panasonic resolved at the Board of Directors meeting held in July 2010, to pursue a plan to make Panasonic Electric Works Co. Ltd. (PEW) and SANYO Electric Co. Ltd. (SANYO) wholly-owned subsidiaries. After completing the tender offer for the shares of common stock of both companies, share exchange agreements were executed between Panasonic and PEW, and between Panasonic and SANYO, in December 2010. The acquisitions are scheduled to be completed through share exchange in April 2011, subject to approval of the share exchange agreements at extraordinary general meetings of PEW and SANYO in March 2011. The company is in the process of finalizing its growth strategies and reorganizing business structure in order to maximize synergy for the entire Panasonic Group. Panasonic will accelerate this process in order to achieve its GT12 targets.

Regarding earnings, compared to the same period a year ago, operating profit for the third quarter was 95.3 billion yen, down from 101.0 billion yen. This result was due mainly to price decline in products. The pre-tax income was 82.7 billion yen, up from 81.1 billion yen. Accordingly, net income attributable to Panasonic Corporation totaled 40.0 billion yen, up from 32.3 billion yen.

Consolidated group sales for nine months ended December 31, 2010 increased 27 percent to 6,653.4 billion yen, compared with 5,219.9 billion yen a year ago. Domestic sales amounted to 3,390.1 billion yen, up 22 percent from 2,780.9 billion yen a year ago, while overseas sales increased 34 percent to 3,263.3 billion yen, up from 2,439.0 billion yen a year ago.

Digital AVC Networks

Sales in this segment increased to 2,585.4 billion yen, up 0.3 percent from 2,578.2 billion yen a year ago. Despite a decline in sales of mobile phones and digital cameras, this result was due mainly to favorable sales of Blu-ray Disc recorders and flat-panel TVs. Operating profit increased 91 percent to 101.2 billion yen, from 52.9 billion yen, mainly as a result of fixed cost reduction and comprehensive streamlining efforts, offsetting the impact of the yen appreciation.

Components and Devices

Sales in this segment increased to 713.8 billion yen, up 1 percent from 703.7 billion yen a year ago, due mainly to steady sales in general electronic components, despite a decline in sales of batteries and semiconductors. Operating profit improved 28% to 29.1 billion yen, from 22.9 billion yen a year ago. This was due mainly to fixed cost reduction and comprehensive streamlining efforts.

SANYO

Sales in this segment totaled 1,223.0 billion yen. The sales of solar cells, car-related equipment and general electronic components were favorable, while the sales of digital cameras and rechargeable batteries were sluggish due to weak demand. Operating profit resulted in 0.4 billion yen, after incurring the expenses such as the amortization of intangible assets recorded at acquisition.

British retailers accuse DVLA of unfair photo monopoly

The Daily Telegraph reports a group of retailers, including PhotoMe, Jessops and Timpson, has accused government agencies of “plundering” their revenues in a shady effort to bolster Britain’s ailing Post Office network.

According to the article, the retailers “allege the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which is overseen by the Department for Transport, has handed an effective monopoly of the driving licence photo market to the Post Office.”

The photo booth operators are concerned that the UK Border Agency, which is part of the Home Office, is in the process of giving a similar contract to process Biometric Residence Permits directly to the Post Office, too.

Nigel McNaught of PMA International, which is supporting the retailers, is quoted by The Daily Telegraph: “The DLVA has given the Post Office the mandate to handle its license application form. The introduction of other official identity requirements looks set to follow. This is an important market for the retailers and its wrong that the Government is handing it all to the Post Office at the expense of retailers. The Post Office receives £330m of Government subsidies to provide essential services that are not present elsewhere. But this service is being provided elsewhere. If this business is taken away, then it’s our members’ businesses that’s in jeopardy. Our members have asked for MPs to investigate immediately.”

In memoriam: Hans Kuhlmann

PMA Distinguished Service Award Recipient for 2000, Hans G. Kuhlmann, died Jan. 31. Kuhlmann had a 40-year career with the Agfa-Geveart Group, culminating with a term as president of the Consumer Imaging Division of Agfa Corp. Under his direction, the company increased its strength and marketshare in several arenas, including wholesale photofinishing equipment, independent photo specialty and professional markets. While focusing on the diversification of the industry, Kuhlmann helped Agfa expand its manufacturing, facilities in the U.S.A. and establish itself as a market leader in providing private-label consumer film. Kuhlmann later worked in a consulting role for Photofinishing News.

In addition to receiving the PMA Distinguished Service Award, Kuhlmann also received the IPC Leadership Award, the Society for Imaging Science and Technology top award and the Lieven-Gevaert Award for outstanding achievements in the field of silver halide imaging.

A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Washington Township, N.J., on Feb. 5 at 10:00 a.m. Viewing is being held at Becker Funeral Home in Westwood, N.J. on Feb. 4 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m

Condolences may be sent to the family at 29 Rumson Court, Waretown, NJ 08758

Noritsu adopts holding company structure

Noritsu Koki Co. Ltd. shareholders approved the establishment of a NK Works, a wholly owned subsidiary based in Wakayama, Japan. NK Works will take over operations formerly performed by Noritsu Koki, and will continue as the core company in the Noritsu group, including the Imaging business. Mr. Masataka Aoyagi was appointed president.

NK Works will concentrate on manufacturing and selling high quality equipment and consumables and providing technical service. The company’s main focus will be manufacturing and selling minilabs (both dry and silver halide) and related equipment/consumables all over the world, as well as providing technical service for the products we sell. New products will continue to be released under the Noritsu brand name, and NK Works will be the driving force behind the development of new these products, the company said.

The group organization under the newly established NK Works company will be largely the same as the group organization that existed under Noritsu Koki before the company split, with exception of the European region, which will operate under a distributor based system from this time forward, the company said. The decision to switch from a subsidiary based system to a distributor based system was made to enhance operation efficiency, and thereby ensure the best possible service will be provided for years and years to come. New distributors have been set-up in key areas in Europe, run by run by former Noritsu European senior staff members.

Noritsu appointed the following companies to be distributors in the European market.

  • Dipl.-Ing. Th. Mümken Sales GmbH
  • NoriLab s.r.l.
  • NORITEK s.r.o.
  • Color Confidence

The shareholder vote to establish NK Works Co. Ltd. was given final approval Jan. 19, 2011. The company said, under this new alignment, the holding company will be able to gain better access to good information and be better able to decide strategic policies and make corporate decisions, and the subsidiaries will be able to specialize in business activities and execute actions quickly and flexibly. This will also provide enhancement and reinforcement in the ability of the managerial team to function, which will improve our level of competitiveness and efficiency as a group, and thereby maximize our corporate value.

Noritsu Koki will continue to be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Stock Exchange with the same business name.

Mobile consumers willing to pay for GPS, cameras, and memory card slots

All mobile phones have a number of features in common, but manufacturers also try to differentiate their own products by implementing additional functions to make them more attractive to consumers. But not all features are created equal. In fact, some users might even be willing to pay for selected features. A recent survey from In-Stat, Scottsdale, Ariz., identified GPS, digital cameras, and memory card slots as three features that cellphone users are interested in and might pay for when purchasing their next phone.

“In addition to particular features, our survey indicates bar phones with touchscreens continue their dominance in the wireless market as the form factor of choice,” says Research Analyst Greg Potter. “Interest in integration with other devices is also on the rise, with survey respondents indicating they would like to integrate their phone with their car or other devices and to use their phone as a mobile hotspot.”

Some of the report data includes:

* Over 52 percent of respondents indicated their next phone will have a touchscreen.

* A physical QWERTY keyboard is still the preferred method for inputting new contacts.

* Improved indoor cell reception had the highest level of interest for Wi-Fi hotspot use with a phone.

* GPS directions and surfing the Internet were cited as something respondents were willing or might be willing to pay for.

Discover a new 3D print product for retailers on the Imaging Executive podcast

On the new episode of the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, Steven Spiro, CEO and founder of Tracer Imaging, and Stan Freimuth, chairman of Tracer, talk about their company’s new, mass-market, high-speed, high-quality lenticular service that is providing a new print product for the retail channel.

Camera Bits celebrates 15th anniversary with Photo Mechanic discount

Photo Mechanic Screen Capture

Camera Bits Inc., Portland, Ore.,  announced a special promotion to celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary. Camera Bits is

Photo Mechanic Screen Capture

Photo Mechanic Screen Capture

offering single-user licenses for the latest version of their popular photo workflow software, Photo Mechanic 4.6, at its lowest price ever of only $60.  Since its debut in 1998, Photo Mechanic has been widely viewed as the most efficient, powerful and feature-rich editing software for professional photographers, the company claims.

Version 4.6 incorporates many of Photo Mechanic’s most popular features, including Live Ingest, geo-tagging and upload templates to services like SmugMug and Flickr. The special offer does not include the standard one-year free upgrade period that is offered for new or upgrade licenses. Only updates for Photo Mechanic versions within the 4.6.x series (including the upcoming 4.6.7 update) will be available at no cost. Licenses for future versions of Photo Mechanic beyond the 4.6.x series will require the purchase of a standard upgrade license. Discounts for multiple licenses and for educational licenses do not apply to this offer.

System requirements for a Mac are Mac OS X 10.6.x, 10.5.8, or 10.4.11. PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel; for a PC, Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP with Service Pack 1 – 3; Intel Pentium 3 1.2GHz, AMD Athlon 1200 or higher.

Canon film debuts on Monday

Vimeo site launches contest

Vimeo site launches contest

A collaborative film titled “The Story Beyond The Still,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Ut., last month, will debut on the Sundance Channel and Vimeo.com on Mon., Feb. 7.

The film is the result of a contest, sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Lake Success, N.y., and Vimeo.

It invited participants to use the HD video capability of their DSLR cameras to create short, two-to-four minute videos that tell a story based on the final still frame from an initial piece, and then from each successive winning “chapter.” Videos were submitted online and judged by a prestigious group of well-known filmmakers and the Vimeo community itself.

The year-long contest launched in January 2010. The complete short film, including the final chapter starring Judd Nelson, was viewed in its entirety at a private event during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

As the official digital camera of the festival, Canon hosted exclusive educational workshops led by filmmaker Eric Schmidt, creator of the film “I Melt with You,” which was shot using Canon DSLRs and which premiered at the festival. These workshops, targeting film enthusiasts and professionals, highlighted the impact and need for DSLR cameras in the filmmaking industry. Attendees got both technical and creative expertise to advance their careers and involve them with the DSLR video.

The innovative nature of the contest “demonstrates how storytelling has evolved to become a wonderful social experiment in collaborative filmmaking,” says Ari Halper, senior vice president executive creative director of Grey NY. “The awards won by this campaign – including the prestigious 2010 Cannes Advertising Festival: Gold Media Lion, Silver Promo Lion, Titanium/Integrated Lion – are a testament to how this contest has created a new milestone in filmmaking, one that inspires individuals to express themselves in new and interesting ways using the increased functionality of their cameras.”