Xerox kills off iGen

Xerox has released its figures from its first quarter of the current financial year, alongside a plan to streamline its products which includes discontinuing the iconic iGen line of production presses.

The results continue with more of the turmoil that we saw in last year’s figures.  Thus the first quarter revenue was down $213 million year on year to $1,502 million. The gross profit fell $146 million to $443 million while gross profit margin fell from 34.3 percent last year to 29.5 percent in Q1 this year. This translated into a pre-tax loss of $150 million, as against a profit of $85 million for the same period last year, and a net loss of $113 million, down from the net profit of $71 million in Q1 2023.

Xerox has said that some of this poor performance is down to its continuing efforts at restructuring, particularly selling off some of its direct business operations in Latin America, which I covered last month. Also, Xerox is no longer benefiting from royalty income from Fujifilm or from its PARC facility, which it gave away last year.

Given that Xerox has previously blamed some of its troubles on having the wrong mix of products, it has sought to address this by cutting back on its press manufacturing activities. Thus Xerox is to discontinue the iGen5 and Nuvera presses though it will fulfil orders through 2024 while it still has stocks. Instead, Xerox will continue selling the Iridesse, Versant and PrimeLink toner printers. However, these are manufactured by Fujifilm Business Innovation following the earlier breakdown of the Fuji Xerox joint venture. 

In addition the Xerox has said that it “will continue taking and fulfilling orders and providing life-of-contract support for the cut sheet Xerox Baltoro HF Inkjet Press as we evaluate strategic options for our high-speed inkjet technology.” This does not read like a long term commitment to continue manufacturing the Baltoro HF. 

At the same time, Xerox says that it has recently signed an agreement with another as yet unnamed vendor to supply Xerox’s customers with high volume continuous feed printers. 

Xerox has said that it will focus on its workflow automation software, including the FreeFlow Workflow Software, Predictive AI Pro and XMPie personalisation tools. So this sounds as if Xerox is getting out of the press manufacturing business and instead planning to rebadge other OEMs products, using its own software to add value and distinguish itself. 

It’s worth remembering that the original iGen, alongside the Kodak/ Heidelberg Nexpress, was one of the highlights of Drupa 2000. It signalled that digital printing could be not just a way of handling very short runs, but a viable business model in itself, as well as a way of starting urgent jobs off digitally before finishing the run on offset. 

Xerox expects total revenues to fall 3-5 percent throughout this year and that its core business revenue will remain flat. The company also expects that its operating income margins will rise by 5.1 to 7.5 percent as its restructuring efforts take effect.

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