Epson Sets Sights on Middle East and Africa for Growth, Says CEO
Printing giant Seiko Epson is shifting its focus to the Middle East and Africa as demand slows in its home market of Japan and other developed nations, according to its CEO, Yasunori Ogawa.
While Epson experienced increased sales during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the rise in remote work, the company anticipates long-term stagnation in mature markets as populations decline and digitalisation advances.
In fiscal 2022, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa were areas of growth for Epson. Building on the success of its specialised subsidiary in India, the company established a new base in Dubai in August to directly manage its strategy in the region. Ogawa expressed confidence in the untapped potential of the Middle East, stating, "Our products are not yet widely distributed in the Middle East and there is tremendous potential there."
Epson's operating profit declined by nearly 70% in the three months ending September, leading the company to revise its full-year forecast from 100 billion yen to 80 billion yen ($535 million). However, Ogawa expects conditions to improve in the second half of the year as inventory costs decrease and consumer demand strengthens amid easing inflation.
To drive growth in developed markets, Epson plans to shift its product portfolio towards commercial and industrial customers who are seeking waste reduction solutions. One example is Epson's PaperLab machines, which recycle used office paper to create blank sheets. Although these machines are currently larger and more expensive to operate than standard printers, the company is working on reducing operating costs.
Epson's commitment to the environment is a key driver in its product development strategy. Ogawa emphasised the company's focus on expanding the use of products that contribute to environmental sustainability, even though it may take time to achieve this goal.
Epson is targeting growth in the Middle East and Africa as demand slows in Japan and other developed markets.
The company experienced increased sales during the pandemic but anticipates long-term stagnation in mature markets.
Epson established a new base in Dubai to directly manage its strategy in the Middle East region.