Canon to build printer ink plant


Canon Inc. will invest about ¥80 billion to build a factory in Aomori Prefecture to make ink cartridges for printers and photocopiers.

Construction of the factory in Hirosaki will start in November, Tokyo-based Canon said Monday in a statement on its Web site. Production will begin next August.

Canon, which expects an eighth year of record earnings, plans to slash costs by about ¥100 billion each year. Robots will allow Canon to operate the new factory with about 1,000 workers, half the workforce at an existing factory with the same production capacity, spokesman Tomokazu Shinozaki said.

Canon is Japan’s most profitable office equipment maker. Sales of multifunction photocopiers and printers accounted for 63 percent of its total revenue in the second quarter ended June 30.

Separately, HSBC Securities Japan Ltd. analyst Scott Foster downgraded Canon’s stock to “underweight” from “overweight” on expectations of lower profits next fiscal year.