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Thread: leica red figures

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    Member markowich's Avatar
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    leica red figures

    i just posted this in the leica forum:

    here is a press release on leica's finances, published by the online service of the austrian tv company:

    http://futurezone.orf.at/stories/1632850/

    if you buy the S2+lenses now then nobody might be there to provide service after two year's time because leica may have gone under. i've seen financially more sound companies go that route.
    well, i have a big investment in the m system and hope....
    peter

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    Re: leica red figures

    Wait for it....... ;>
    Last edited by robmac; 27th November 2009 at 14:31.

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    Re: leica red figures

    This is good information to know. Thank you for posting.

    Mark

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    Re: leica red figures

    Considering how late in the year the M9 became available (it still isn't shipping in great numbers), and how much R&D went into the S2 and X1, not to mention the M9, and adding to this the cost of the start of production without much of the resulting income yet, I don't see how it could be any other way. I think that 2009 was building up to a peak, whose release we will see in 2010. If the numbers look like this at the end of 2010, I will be worried. As it is, the above report changes nothing.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Wait for it....... ;>
    LOL !!!!!!!!

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    Re: leica red figures

    actually looks pretty good-turnover (revenue) up 14% and M9 S2 not in the pipeline yet. And the costs for those two ARE in (except for capital items)
    EBIT seems fine under the circumsatnces.
    If they expense R&D even partially, then they will have a good '10 and 11 as long as S2 sales fill the inital pipeline commitments (sensors I guess.

    Maybe our resident financial ex pert (PerterA) can comment? Selling Leica long or short?

    Victor

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    Re: leica red figures

    I think this is kind of normal till now.

    What I do not understand is the way Leica treats the high demand for M9s and the S System. They could sell like hell, would they only start production!

    Man, after so many months knowing what was coming demand wise - the big bang was back on 09/09/09, this is almost 3 months now, any other company would have ramped up their production lines an fire on all fronts

    This seems to be a typical Leica issue here, not much change from the past decades unfortunately.

    Hope they can live up to the great things they did technology and development wise with the final production.

    At least the S system is out of my scope for the moment, as I am now a happy Hasselblad user

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    At least the S system is out of my scope for the moment, as I am now a happy Hasselblad user
    Prove it! Any photos coming? What about that little house in the field?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Considering how late in the year the M9 became available (it still isn't shipping in great numbers), and how much R&D went into the S2 and X1, not to mention the M9, and adding to this the cost of the start of production without much of the resulting income yet, I don't see how it could be any other way. I think that 2009 was building up to a peak, whose release we will see in 2010. If the numbers look like this at the end of 2010, I will be worried. As it is, the above report changes nothing.
    i am certainly not a finacial analyst, but it is noted that the increase in sales volume is in the PS sector (digilux, i suppose). and also, it seems that the leica factory operates on 'kurzarbeit' (reduced working hours identical to unpaid leave) when they should do double shifts.
    peter

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    Re: leica red figures

    Well, I AM a former analyst and spent my formative years in financial/strategic planning and M&A in a VERY high-tech manufacturing sector prior to the lure of 'the Street', and lets just say.... well, um.... Ah forget it, it's not worth the inevitable p----ing contests. This whole Leica vs ___ is just tiresome and predictable. It's just a bloody camera company.

    Lets just that say if I were in the market for an S2 (or any MFDB), I'd think LONG & HARD about company-specific and 'orphan product' risk as well as the risk of stagnant product line growth before opening my cheque book.

    In the case of the S2, the company financials are public, their product (line) assertions are public record (give them what weight you will), the firm's history with new product intros, orphan products and as a player in the camera markets are well known, prices and likely ranges are well known, the camera and lens specifics are there (or pending). Whenever the eventual release takes place, all the required information is/will be on the table when it comes time to sign.

    So, if you consider all the above and decide to go ahead.... well one of the problems of truly considering ALL the risks inherent in a course of action and proceeding fwd is that you're left with no one to blame but yourself afterwards if it s----'s the pooch.

    As an adult, making a (truly) fully informed decision (or NOT making one when all the data was readily available) leaves you with no moral high-ground for righteous indignation afterwards if things go south (however you define that) ;<
    Last edited by robmac; 28th November 2009 at 11:14.

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    Re: leica red figures

    They should just forget the S2 system and concentrate on producing and selling M9s and X1 and make money.
    My feeling that the S2 project is going nowhere. I am sure it appeals to some people (it does to me too) but how many potential customers for the S2 are out there?
    They have a good product with high demand and cant deliver. Sad.

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    Re: leica red figures

    robmac, as the owner of a DMR with an extensive collection of R lenses I really hate the words "orphan product" Despite being dated it really does deliver superb images and Leica does continue to provide service for it.

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    They should just forget the S2 system and concentrate on producing and selling M9s and X1 and make money.
    My feeling that the S2 project is going nowhere. I am sure it appeals to some people (it does to me too) but how many potential customers for the S2 are out there?
    They have a good product with high demand and cant deliver. Sad.
    There are some more considerations in all this:

    1) It was important that they developed something digital from the scratch, in order to get the experience themselves in this area, which a successful camera company needs today - PERIOD. So this was very long overdue and finally they got there. But if the S2 was the right way to start see below ....

    2) It is highly questionable if the S system format and all the glass and cameras following that line were/are the right thing to do. Just to invent something new in order to kind of have not to fight in other camps (35mm DSLR and MFDBs) is obviously not the best thing to do, because sitting somewhere in the middle they get pressure now from both sides. Maybe designing and building a true MF system and starting with the 60MP Dalsa sensor would have been the better solution and showing how compact and advanced they could have built this counterpart to existing systems.

    3) It is not always (actually very seldom or never) successful to invent new standards and formats. Think back about the 110 and APSC film formats, they actually never made it to a huge success. And lately 4/3, although the micro FT seems to become a real killer concept, but this is mainly because of the compactness in combination with a reasonably large sensor and the large volumes they can build on based of the standard FT format.

    4) They should have concentrated more on building the M9 and also on higher volume manufacturing of this camera and develop their flaghip model system (S) more in the background. No need to actually hurry up in the MF arena, as they could easily now surprise with a 60MP S camera and lenses. And money would come from a mature and FF M system.

    5) They were on the 4/3 train and stopped there. In my opinion they should have never jumped on this train like that but as they were already on they should have continued with the Micro 4/3 path, as this one is becoming a great success as we all can see. And frankly, having such a M-FT camera from Leica (I mean a really Leica built and developed camera) instead of their X1 would have been highly accepted by the market and generate another cash flow for them - good for pumping parts of this money into their flagship products.

    But this way around - announcing the S System so long ahead of market introduction and finally delay the product till the camera is almost outdated from the sensor capabilities when it arrives on the dealer shelfs is for sure not the optimal way.

    My 2c.

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    Re: leica red figures

    These short-sighted financial reports are pretty useless. Want a good one which makes the shareholders happy? Cut all investments, sell know-how, patents, machines and you have a great result... But investing into new products which might make a succesful market-position possible in 3, 5 or 10 years? Forget it...
    Luckily, Leica now longer depends on shareholders (or not many)...

    Leica reduced production capacity and personal over the last decades, most of these skilled workers found a new job in the optical/fine-mechanical-industry of Wetzlar/Hessen. Demand for the M9 goes through the roof, but these craftsmen won't come back so quickly, educating new personal takes years. You can see these offerings on their career-site (Feinoptiker, Elektroniker, Industriemechaniker).

    By the way, I think Phase One and Canon are currently the only companies in the market (digital camera solutions for >>500$) which don't make losses - so you don't want to buy a Panasonic, Nikon, Sony... either?
    Last edited by georgl; 29th November 2009 at 02:04.

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    Re: leica red figures

    Well it is only partly true that leica is planing just for the future. The m9 is the best example, the camera was released to make money, QUICK money nothing else. After M8 sales dropped and Leica sales dropped and dropped, they suddenly realized that with just a S2, the whole ship would go under pretty quickly. So they put together a new M camera to get some money back in.

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    These short-sighted financial reports are pretty useless. Want a good one which makes the shareholders happy? Cut all investments, sell know-how, patents, machines and you have a great result... But investing into new products which might make a succesful market-position possible in 3, 5 or 10 years? Forget it...
    Luckily, Leica now longer depends on shareholders (or not many)...

    Leica reduced production capacity and personal over the last decades, most of these skilled workers found a new job in the optical/fine-mechanical-industry of Wetzlar/Hessen. Demand for the M9 goes through the roof, but these craftsmen won't come back so quickly, educating new personal takes years. You can see these offerings on their career-site (Feinoptiker, Elektroniker, Industriemechaniker).

    By the way, I think Phase One and Canon are currently the only companies in the market (digital camera solutions for >>500$) which don't make losses - so you don't want to buy a Panasonic, Nikon, Sony... either?
    i thought nikon is way in the blacks. but of course it depends whether you only count nikon photography division or also microscopes, steppers etc.
    well, leica's financial base (essentially mr kauffmann) is of course much more limited and -even with the m9 success- they are at a serious risk. the S2 is not going to help them.
    peter

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    Re: leica red figures

    M9-development was started in April 2008 when Kodak claimed that a full-frame CCD for the M-system is possible - way before the S2 was introduced. A full-frame-digital-M was always their goal.

    We know very little about Mr. Kaufmanns influence within the family-company which has in fact immense economic power, especially since Leica is an unusual investment. Speculating about these things without further facts is propably just harmful - we should be happy that he seems to be willing to invest against all odds and protect them for other short-sighted investors.
    It will take Leica at least a decade to become a solid company again as it was before the Leitz-family sold it in the late 60s. We have to learn again to think in long terms: it's not about the S2, it's about the investment into a new market. It's not about this year or next year, it's about the long-term perspective.
    They have three new cameras/systems - all in a unique market position, Many competitors went bankrupt or "crazy". I think they haven't got this opportunity since the introduction of the M3. It depends on their future decisions - what will they do with the money earned and know-how generated with M9/S2/X1?

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    Re: leica red figures

    Well I still think the whole S system was a waste. (Just out of a business standpoint) If they just would have put some money and effort into the M9 which went into the S2, they could have created a killer camera. I'm not saying I don't like the M9, but it also is still far from perfect or the best possible.

    They just tried to create a M9 with a FF sensor as cheap and fast as possible.

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Well I still think the whole S system was a waste. (Just out of a business standpoint) If they just would have put some money and effort into the M9 which went into the S2, they could have created a killer camera. I'm not saying I don't like the M9, but it also is still far from perfect or the best possible.

    They just tried to create a M9 with a FF sensor as cheap and fast as possible.
    +1
    peter

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    They just tried to create a M9 with a FF sensor as cheap and fast as possible.
    Do you have some evidence of this, or is it just your deduction based on what you can observe?

    I think that Leica did a credible job on the M9, and they managed to solve all the big problems with the M8. I don't think the M9 is perfect, and for now, I will hang on to my M8 and wait and see, but I might well get an M9 at some point.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Well Carsten it really is just a evolutionary camera . Basically the bottom line on it is the same sensor just bigger so that contract with Kodak can most likely can be held in check price wise with just going bigger instead of a whole new chip from another OEM at maybe higher costs. So they probably got a nice deal on just getting bigger and really the rest is just firmware but a new body had to be made and really just a new shell had to be done. Obviously looking at it from the surface side it is just a bigger upgrade and can still keep a 7k price tag on it. Obviously some assumptions there as well but it is a improved camera by a good deal now. Certainly more desirable to many people so right now a nice successful upgrade from the M8 but most likely still able to keep a lot of internal costs down as well and still hold vendor contracts on some parts from 2006 of the M8. So in Leica's eyes a winner financially.
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    Re: leica red figures

    I agree, the M9 is certainly a better and nicer camera than the M8, but personally, for the difference of about €5500-€2000=€3500 if I sell the M8, it just isn't worth it for me at this point. The Contax/Sinar takes care of my high-res needs, and the M8 of the more spontaneous shots. At some point I will certainly move up, but I am in no rush.

    Good for Leica that they pulled it off though, even if it is more evolutionary than revolutionary. With the money they earn from all the pent-up demand for the M9, they can spend some more time designing the M10 with a stronger processor, higher-res screen, and a couple of other needed upgrades.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Well the bottom line for their camera division at least the M9 maybe considered their bread and butter money. I'm sure the X1 once released will cause some stir. I hear through the grapevine it is pretty good image quality. I get to play with one in over a week, should be interesting. Even though it sounds expensive compared to other systems like it , most likely having the Red dot people will buy it regardless.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    It depends on their future decisions - what will they do with the money earned and know-how generated with M9/S2/X1?
    Renege, I hope, on their statement about "no R10" and get about developing and marketing an R10 Digital! The market potential will dwarf that of the S2.
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    Re: leica red figures

    I guess the X1 will sell. Leica has a good reputation, although they are probably too expensive for what they are in the P&S area. People will pay more just to have the peace of mind of knowing that the camera is good, even if the price is high, I guess. Leica has managed to make good money from the D-Lux 2 and D-Lux 3, so this counts as their first attempt at making their own high-end P&S, I suppose. I hope it works out. Interesting camera, but not really my favorite focal length.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Roger, I tend to think that if Leica makes good money with the M9, X1 and S2, and all indications are that the demand is good (so far), then they can reconsider entering the single-lens reflex market with a ground-up digital design. They would certainly add backwards compatibility with the R.
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    Re: leica red figures

    I agree, the M9 is only an evolutionary step over the M8. M-users wanted a full-frame-M but Leica was busy developing an entirely new digital system for a good reason: they didn't want to depend on the M-system alone.
    They were looking at the market to find a gap within the offerings, just like the M and X fills a gap. The S-System (not just the S2 but also the whole market for Leica) was the answer, while they realized that the market below is going to be EVIL (at least that's what was suggested).

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    Re: leica red figures

    I know folks are holding out for a R system but I really believe no way in hell will they ever get there. Dead comes to mind on R. It's just over and too much a market to get into and a marketing hell going up against Canon and Nikon.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I know folks are holding out for a R system but I really believe no way in hell will they ever get there. Dead comes to mind on R. It's just over and too much a market to get into and a marketing hell going up against Canon and Nikon.
    Guy, unfortunately for the R system, I totally agree with you on this one. I think Leica's idea of their future in the DSLR arena is in the S2; in fact, I think that Leica's idea of the DSLR future per se is that 35 mm digital reached its limits, and the future developments are in bigger-sensor camera systems like the S2, and they wanted to be the first on the starting block. Now, wether this is true, wether Nikon and Canon are thinking about going big (S2-like), wether they will and if so when & how, this is something else and topic for a wider discussion - I am not sure they would give up to their actual line-ups for this, in case I think that 35 mm DSLR will stay as a amateur-prosumer thing; but, it's a bit now since such rumors got started re: Nikon going bigger than 35 mm. Leica choose to be leading the herd, which can grant them a position advantage, but imagine if Nikon and/or Canon will go big as well, at half the price, with a wider lens line-up, more accessories right off the bat, and all of them cheaper than Leicas? that would be very interesting for us all, but for now we have to play the wait-and-see game and we need to take photos in the meantime - now where is that Phase case
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    Re: leica red figures

    The cultural shift required at, say, Canon to produce a new camera, new format, new lenses, which in some ways compete with their existing lineup will almost certainly prevent them from following in these footsteps. The Japanese can be very conservative. Leica can do it because they lost the R battle and are not competing against themselves. If they ever re-enter the DSLR market, I can only imagine that they would position their new R so that there is a smooth step up to the S.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Mods,

    Shouldn't this thread be in the Leica forum?

    Steve

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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post

    We know very little about Mr. Kaufmanns influence within the family-company which has in fact immense economic power, especially since Leica is an unusual investment. Speculating about these things without further facts is propably just harmful - we should be happy that he seems to be willing to invest against all odds and protect them for other short-sighted investors.
    It will take Leica at least a decade to become a solid company again as it was before the Leitz-family sold it in the late 60s. We have to learn again to think in long terms: it's not about the S2, it's about the investment into a new market. It's not about this year or next year, it's about the long-term perspective.
    They have three new cameras/systems - all in a unique market position, Many competitors went bankrupt or "crazy". I think they haven't got this opportunity since the introduction of the M3. It depends on their future decisions - what will they do with the money earned and know-how generated with M9/S2/X1?
    100% agreement

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    Re: leica red figures

    Since we went OT a touch thinking ahead I think the next revolutionary step for Nikon and Canon, Canon especially since they build there own is looking at 5.5 or 5.8 micron size sensors with the same quality features pack more of those MPX in the same size chip but again this is a next step and the technology needs to get there.Or make a whole new S2 size or close to it size sensor than make new glass. Canon as big as they are can really do anything they want even take a big loss and not fee the pain. They have a much more risk / reward option going since they are very flush in the whole market. Not just camera's but the whole company. I don't have the crystal ball but Leica may have really spurned canon andNikon on for this gap market as well. Time will tell.
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    Re: leica red figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Since we went OT a touch thinking ahead I think the next revolutionary step for Nikon and Canon, Canon especially since they build there own is looking at 5.5 or 5.8 micron size sensors with the same quality features pack more of those MPX in the same size chip but again this is a next step and the technology needs to get there.Or make a whole new S2 size or close to it size sensor than make new glass. Canon as big as they are can really do anything they want even take a big loss and not fee the pain. They have a much more risk / reward option going since they are very flush in the whole market. Not just camera's but the whole company. I don't have the crystal ball but Leica may have really spurned canon andNikon on for this gap market as well. Time will tell.
    IMO Canon's next step should be putting the 5DII's chip inside a mirror-less video camera with an EOS lens mount...

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    Re: leica red figures

    Also a great idea, seems us still guy's maybe holding very still in the future. Good point Yair

    Not making me happy though. Might have to hang up the straps at that point
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