Lexmark tags big firms and government in revenue push

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2007, 12:00am

Lexmark International, a United States printer maker whose customers include Lenovo Group, will add distributors and enterprise solutions services programs in the mainland this year, with an eye on generating more business from large companies and government agencies.

'We need to build that infrastructure on the mainland to tailor printer architectures in specific environments and drive productivity, especially among its growing number of multinational companies,' said David Goodnight, vice-president of Lexmark Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Financial details were not disclosed.

In 2005, the business market represented about 53 per cent of Lexmark's revenue worldwide. Sales efforts are focused on finance, services, retail, manufacturing, health care and the public sector. Consumer sales accounted for the rest of Lexmark's annual sales.

'Over the last several years, our business in each industry has moved beyond just products to include print-centric workflow solutions and services which solve specific paper-intensive process problems in these industries,' Mr Goodnight said.

Spun off from IBM in 1991, New York-listed Lexmark has since become a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing and imaging devices for offices and homes. Products include laser printers, inkjet printers, multifunction devices and associated supplies and services.

Mr Goodnight said the company, with about 13,000 staff worldwide, had battled over the No2 or No3 spot in most markets against Samsung Electronics in laser printers and against Epson in inkjet printers. Hewlett-Packard has been the dominant printer supplier worldwide for many years.

'We know we're coming from behind but our primary focus now is China which is also our fastest-growing market in Asia,' Mr Goodnight said, noting that Lexmark's first double-byte-enabled workgroup printers were launched in the mainland around 1997.

The company, which posted US$5.1 billion in revenue last year, also has an original equipment manufacturing relationship with computer maker Lenovo.

Analysys International, a Beijing research firm, estimated printer shipments in the mainland reached 2.33 million units in the third quarter last year, up 12.4 per cent from the same quarter last year. Market revenue in the third quarter was 2.96 billion yuan, up 3.5 per cent from a year ago.

'The government, financial and telecommunications companies, and educational institutions are the main target industry users,' said Li Chong, an analyst at Analysys.