On February 2nd, Konica Minolta announced it’s financial results for Q4 2020. Due to the companies reporting cycle, this is its third fiscal quarter. These provide some insight into the sales performance of its healthcare business. During the quarter, sales originating from the healthcare business returned to growth following three consecutive quarters of sales decline. Quarterly sales reached ¥28.1 bn, compared with ¥25.8 bn during Q4 2019, an increase of approximately +9% year-on-year. This took cumulative 2020 sales to ¥88.4 bn, compared with ¥100.6 bn during 2019, a decrease of approximately -12% year-on-year.
The return to sales growth during the quarter was driven by higher demand for digital radiography (DR) and diagnostic ultrasound imaging systems as well as increased demand for IT services. The sales volume of DR equipment was approximately +6% higher year-on-year, driven by strong demand from hospitals in Japan. Overseas sales of dynamic x-ray systems were strong in America as well as China driven by new product releases. On a volume basis, sales of diagnostic ultrasound systems returned to growth during the quarter, supported by an increase in obstetrics sales in Japan, as well as an expansion within China and other parts of Asia.
The Medical IT Segment
Sales of the Acies Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) were “slow” in the United States, driven by a restricted sales environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, sales of “Informity,” an IT service supporting medical image management and collaboration between medical institutions, continued to grow steadily in Japan.
Recent developments within X-ray
- On September 15th, the company announced the latest release of AeroRemote® Insights, a cloud-based, business intelligence and analytics solution. This latest release is now compatible with Konica Minolta’s X-ray systems to deliver detailed information on asset utilisation, department efficiency, imaging system health and more.
- On June 2nd, the company announced the commercial launch of Dynamic Digital Radiography on the KDR Advanced U-Arm. DDR, or X-ray that Moves, provides a series of individual digital images acquired at high speed and low dose in order to capture patient movement within a single exam, empowering clinicians with enriched diagnostic information. The DDR solution originally received 510(k) FDA clearance during 2019 and combined Konica Minolta’s advanced imaging processing capabilities with Shimadzu’s RADspeed Pro radiographic imaging system. Since then, DDR has seen strong demand particularly within pulmonology and orthopaedic settings.
Recent developments within ultrasound
- On November 23rd, the company announced the launch of the SONIMAGE® HS2 compact ultrasound imaging system.
- On November 10th, the company announced, in collaboration with DiA Imaging Analysis, the expanded deployment of AI on the Exa® Cardio PACS platform.
A steep sales decline projected for Q1 2021
During the quarter, the company maintained it’s revenue forecast for the healthcare business. The company is projecting that cumulative sales for FY2020 (ending 31st March 2021) will reach ¥80bn, resulting in a decrease of -9% year-on-year. This implies that sales are projected to be approximately -35% lower during Q1 2020.