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Special Products

Special Products Sales by Segment 21.7%

Sales and operating income both increased. Thermal printers performed firmly centered on North America and Japan, and new orders were captured in Europe, as well as the yen's depreciation. Going forward, the segment will work to increase its market share in ASEAN, South America and other growth projected regions.

Business Environment and Results in Fiscal 2014

SALES IN THE SPECIAL PRODUCTS SEGMENT

To strengthen its competitiveness, the segment embraces a two-pronged approach of providing the leading industrial markets with high-value-added products on the cutting edge of IT, while supplying the emerging markets with products that are primarily cost competitive. To this end, the segment has strengthened its technological capabilities centered on software engineering, honed its pricing competitiveness and built an optimal global sales and marketing organization to boost its market share even further.

In fiscal 2014, thermal printer sales increased. There was firm demand for thermal printers in the North American and Japanese markets, and new orders were captured in the European market, and the yen's depreciation boosted sales. Demand for dot-matrix printers remained sluggish in European and Asian markets, but sales increased in part due to the impact of foreign exchange rates.

By region, market environments in the Americas were comparatively stable. POS printer sales increased due to firm demand in North America as well as in the South American market. In the European market, sales of our POS printers increased partly due to the capture of new orders. The Chinese market slumped and sales decreased.

As a result of the above factors, segment sales grew 21.1% compared to the previous year to ¥9,455 million (US$92,696 thousand). Operating income soared 279.8% to ¥976 million (US$9,569 thousand).

Sales Volume of POS Printers by Region

(Thousands of units)
  2013 2014 Change
Europe 128 127 (0.8%)
The Americas 229 232 1.3%
Asia 116 82 (29.3%)
Japan and elsewhere 46 41 (10.9%)
Total 520 482 (7.3%)

Outlook for Fiscal 2015

TSP100ECO POS Printer

The segment will continue to supply a product line of POS printers tailored to market needs and build a sales and marketing organization capable of responding to customers with flexibility and attention to detail. We will work to expand sales in the strategic regions of South America centered on Brazil, which is scheduled to host the Olympics following on from the FIFA World Cup, and the ASEAN region.

As regards product strategy, we will strengthen software aspects, including by focusing on strengthening our mobile printers, and by creating new systems utilizing cloud computing.

For business results, we are projecting segment sales of ¥10,240 million, up 8.3% from the previous fiscal year, and operating income of ¥1,340 million, an increase of 37.3% year on year.

Feature Column

Strengthening Our Product Lineup by Reflecting the Needs of Customers

Star Micronics' booth at Retailtech JAPAN2013 / Mobile printer SM-S210i / AsuraCPRNT

Amid a rapid increase in demand for mobile POS printers and mobile payments, we have introduced to the market a variety of mobile printers that are compatible with Bluetooth, Android and iOS. Moreover, the segment also developed AsuraCPRNT, a series of multifunction terminals that can be applied to a wide variety of uses in retail markets in Japan and overseas, and in the hospitality market. These products were praised by many visitors to the Retailtech JAPAN2013 event at which they were exhibited.

Going forward, we will work to further expand sales by steadily developing printers that are compatible with the various operating systems for smartphones and tablets.

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