Fujifilm Says Avigan Drug's Impact on Earnings Uncertain

Economy

Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press)--Fujifilm Holdings Corp. <4901> refrained from releasing projections for fiscal 2020 in its earnings report Friday, citing uncertainty about the impact on its earnings of the Avigan drug, developed by a subsidiary and expected to be effective against COVID-19 disease.

For fiscal 2019, which ended in March, the company booked a consolidated operating profit of 186,570 million yen, down 11.1 pct from the previous year, and a net profit of 124,987 million yen, down 9.5 pct, on sales of 2,315,141 million yen, down 4.8 pct.

The weaker results reflected sluggish sales of office equipment including multifunction machines, as well as Instax cameras.

Since the highly infectious respiratory disease began to spread around the world in late January, the company has been forced to curb sales activities. Meanwhile, it saw a rise in sales of ultrasonic diagnostic imaging systems, which are used for diagnosis of pneumonia.

With the Japanese government expected to approve Avigan for COVID-19 treatment as early as this month, the subsidiary, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., is working to boost its output capacity to provide the drug to 100,000 patients a month in July, with cooperation from more than 10 firms including drug component suppliers.

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Jiji Press