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Epson spending millions to fuel growth

Epson has outlined plans to spend millions across Europe to improve its growth prospects with targeting the business market a key ambition

Epson is splashing out €50m over the next two years as it looks to ramp up its growth in Europe and put more funds into staff and infrastructure.

By its own description the printer giant has delivered a stable performance over the last few years, despite the turmoil in the global economy, but it now wants to improve its position.

The firm appointed Rob Clark as senior vice president of Epson Europe, earlier this summer, with a brief to go after more growth across EMEA.

In a move designed to give that ambition a boost the firm has pledged to spend €50m and outlined plans to hire an additional 130 staff and open some new offices in Germany, Spain and Portugal.

"My role is to build an EMEA operation from stable revenues to growth. At a time when our competitiors are cutting headcount we will be adding to ours," he said.

"The new hires will be sales related roles supporting our growth targets," he added that it would be making sure that the impact of its investments were felt in the UK, Germany and Spain.

Epson is looking to the business print market to fuel some of that growth. The firm believes that business inkjet printers have a real chance to grow market share at the expense of laser products.

Clark said that although most people associated the Epson brand with the consumer print market it already made more than 50% of its revenues from business sales and wanted to increase that even more.

"We have many opportunities to grow and the business print market is key to our growth in the coming years," said Clark.

"In the short to medium term the biggest opportunity is in office printing and buwsiness inkjet is seen as the replacement for laser in the office," he added.

The firm was providing an update on its strategy as it shared the thoughts of its president Minoru Usui, who had flown into London for briefings.

He said that since he took the helm back in 2008 he had worked hard to make sure that the business focused on the customer and stopped making the mistake of looking to the competition to influence where it spent its R&D Yen.

Pointing to its increased portfolio beyond printers and projectors into robotics and wearables he said that innovation was at the heart of the company and it had a strong pipeline of future technology that would tap into growth areas.

"There might be some sceptics around Japanese companies and their ability to innovate but Epson is a strong global company with a culture of innovation and a spirit of adventure at its core," he said.

He added that the decisions he had taken six or seven years ago were now "starting to bear fruit" and pointed to its strong performance on the Tokyo stock exchange as evidence it was getting the recognition of the markets.

Epson currently spends 6% of its annual turnover on R&D, which equates to around $1.3m every day being spent on its future developments.

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