Risk factors

(as of June 26, 2014)

Ricoh is a global manufacturer of office equipment and conducts business on a global scale. Ricoh is exposed to various risks which include the risks listed below. Although certain risks that may affect Ricoh’s businesses are listed in this section, this list is not conclusive. Ricoh’s business may in the future also be affected by other risks that are currently unknown or that are not currently considered significant or material.

In addition, this section contains forward-looking statements, which are based on our judgments at the date of submission of the securities report.

(1) Ability to respond to rapid technological changes

The document imaging and management industry includes products such as copiers, printers, production printing products and digital duplicators. The technology used in this industry changes rapidly and products in this industry will often require frequent and timely product enhancements or have a short product life cycle. Most of Ricoh’s products are a part of this industry and as such Ricoh’s success will depend on its ability to respond to such technological changes in the industry. To remain competitive in this industry, Ricoh invests a significant amount of resources and capital every year in research and development activities. Despite this investment, the process of developing new products or technologies is inherently complex and uncertain and there are a number of risks that Ricoh is subject to, including the following:

  • No assurances can be made that Ricoh will successfully anticipate whether its products or technologies will satisfy its customers’ needs or gain market acceptance;
  • No assurances can be made that the introduction of more advanced products that also possess the capabilities of existing products will not adversely affect the sales performance of each such product;
  • No assurances can be made that Ricoh will be able to procure raw materials and parts necessary for new products or technologies from its suppliers at competitive prices;
  • No assurances can be made that Ricoh will be able to successfully manage the distribution system for its new products to eliminate the risk of loss resulting from a failure to take advantage of market opportunities;
  • No assurances can be made that Ricoh will succeed in marketing any newly developed product or technology; and
  • No assurances can be given that Ricoh will be able to respond adequately to changes in the industry.

Ricoh’s failure to respond to any risks associated with this industry, including those described above, may adversely affect Ricoh’s future growth and profitability as well as its financial results and condition.

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(2) Highly competitive markets

Ricoh is continually faced with the risk of fierce competition, shift in demand to low-priced products, shorter product life cycle, threat of new entrants and substitute products in the business segments it operates in.

While Ricoh is a leading manufacturer and distributor in the document imaging and management industry and intends to maintain its position, no assurances can be made that it will continue to compete effectively in the future. Pricing pressures or loss of potential customers resulting from Ricoh’s failure to compete effectively may adversely affect Ricoh’s financial results and condition.

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(3) Global business operations

A substantial portion of Ricoh’s manufacturing and marketing activity is conducted outside of Japan, including in the United States, Europe, and in developing and emerging markets such as China. There are a number of risks inherent in doing business in such overseas markets, including the following:

  • unfavorable political or economical factors;
  • fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
  • potentially adverse tax consequences;
  • unexpected legal or regulatory changes;
  • lack of sufficient protection for intellectual property rights;
  • difficulties in recruiting and retaining personnel, and managing international operations; and
  • less developed infrastructure.

Ricoh’s inability to manage successfully the risks inherent in its global business activities could adversely affect its business, financial condition and operating results.

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(4) Economic outlooks in major markets

Demand for Ricoh’s products are affected by cyclical changes in the economies of Ricoh’s major markets, including Japan, the Americas, Europe and South East Asia including China. Economic slowdown and decline in consumption in Ricoh’s major markets may adversely affect Ricoh’s financial results and condition.

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(5) Foreign exchange rate fluctuations

Local currency-denominated financial results in each of the Company’s subsidiaries around the world are translated into Japanese yen by applying the average market rate during each financial period and recorded on Ricoh’s consolidated statements of operations. Local currency-denominated assets and liabilities are translated into Japanese yen by applying the market rate at the end of each financial period and recorded on Ricoh’s consolidated balance sheets. Accordingly, the financial results, assets and liabilities are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

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(6) Procurement of parts and materials

Ricoh relies on externally sourced raw materials in its manufacturing operations, and it does business with a broad range of suppliers to ensure steady supplies of high-quality raw materials at competitive prices. Many of the parts or materials used in manufacturing Ricoh’s products are made from oil. If the price of crude oil rises, the purchase price of such parts or materials may increase as well. Further, unanticipated contingencies among these suppliers or if parts and materials procured by these suppliers suffer from quality problems or are in short supply, Ricoh may be forced to discontinue production. Such events, if occurred, may adversely affect Ricoh's financial position and results of operations.

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(7) Government regulations

Ricoh is subject to various governmental regulations and approval procedures in the countries in which it operates. For example, Ricoh may be required to obtain approvals for its business and investment plans, be subject to export regulations and tariffs, as well as rules and regulations relating to commerce, antitrust, patent, consumer and business taxation, exchange control, and environmental and recycling laws. Ricoh has established a CSR organization to heighten awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility. Through CSR, Ricoh involves its employees in various activities designed to ensure compliance with applicable regulations as part of its overall risk management and compliance program. However, if Ricoh is unable to comply with any of these regulations or fails to obtain the requisite approvals, Ricoh’s activities in such countries may be restricted. In addition, even if Ricoh is able to comply with these regulations, compliance can result in increased costs. In either event, Ricoh’s financial results and condition may be adversely affected.

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(8) Protection of intellectual property rights

Ricoh owns or licenses a number of intellectual property rights in the field of office equipment automation and, when Ricoh believes it is necessary or desirable, obtains additional licenses for the use of other parties’ intellectual property rights. If Ricoh fails to protect, maintain or obtain such rights, its performance and ability to compete may be adversely affected. Ricoh has a program in place under which company employees are compensated for any valuable intellectual property rights arising out of any inventions developed by them during the course of their employment with Ricoh. While unlikely, management believes that there could arise instances in the future where Ricoh may become the subject of legal actions or proceedings where claims alleging inadequate compensation are asserted by company employees.

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(9) Securing and retaining skilled personnel

Ricoh believes that in order to maintain mid to long term competitiveness, securing and retaining highly skilled personnel at the right time is essential. Ricoh has placed emphasis on securing and retaining such personnel. However, failure by Ricoh to recruit and train qualified personnel or the loss of key employees may adversely affect Ricoh’s future growth, financial results and condition.

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(10) Employee benefit obligations

With respect to its employee benefit obligations and plan assets, Ricoh accrues the cost of such benefits based on applicable accounting policies and funds such benefits in accordance with governmental regulations. Currently, there is no immediate and significant funding requirement; however, if returns from investment assets continue to decrease and/or turn to be negative due to market conditions, such as the fluctuations in the stock or bond markets, additional funding and accruals may be required. Such additional funding and accruals may adversely affect Ricoh’s financial position and results of operations.

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(11) Environmental laws and regulations

Ricoh’s operations are subject to many environmental laws and regulations governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, the use and handling of hazardous substances, waste disposal, product recycling, and soil and ground-water contamination. Ricoh faces risks of environmental liability in our current and historical manufacturing activities. Costs associated with future additional environmental compliance or remediation obligations could adversely affect Ricoh’s business, operating results, and financial condition.

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(12) Financing business

Ricoh provides financing to some of its customers in connection with its equipment sales and leases. Ricoh evaluates the creditworthiness and the amount of credit extended to a customer prior to the financing arrangement and during the financing term on a regular basis. Depending on such evaluations, Ricoh makes adjustments to such extensions of credit as it deems necessary to minimize any potential risks of concentrating credit risk or non-payment of credit. Despite the application of these monitoring procedures, no assurances can be made that Ricoh will be able to fully collect on such extensions of credit due to unforeseeable defaults by its customers.

In addition, these financing arrangements that Ricoh enters into with its customers result in long-term receivables bearing a fixed rate of interest. However, Ricoh finances these financing arrangements primarily with short-term borrowings subject to a variable interest rate. Although Ricoh engages in hedging activities, Ricoh is not able to fully hedge this interest rate mismatch.

If Ricoh is unable to successfully manage these risks associated with its equipment financing business, Ricoh’s financial results and condition may be adversely affected.

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(13) Product liability

Ricoh may be held responsible for any defects that occur with respect to its products and services. Based on the defect, Ricoh may be liable for significant damages, which may adversely affect its financial results and condition. Furthermore, as Ricoh increasingly provides products and services utilizing sophisticated and complex technologies, such defects may occur more frequently. Such potential increase in defects, which could result in an increase in Ricoh’s liability, may adversely affect its financial results and condition.

In addition, negative publicity concerning these defects could make it more difficult for Ricoh to attract and maintain customers to purchase Ricoh products and services. As a result, Ricoh’s financial results and condition may be adversely affected.

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(14) Alliances with other entities, joint ventures and strategic investment

Ricoh engages in alliances with other entities to create various products and services to fulfill customer demands. Ricoh believes that an alliance is an effective method for timely development of new technology and products using management resources of both parties. However, if Ricoh’s interest differs from other parties’ interests due to financial or other reasons, Ricoh may be unable to maintain the alliance. Ricoh also makes strategic investments to acquire interests in companies that Ricoh believes would support existing businesses and/or lead to new businesses. Such strategic investments may not necessarily lead to the expected outcome or performance and may result in increased time and expenses being incurred due to the integration of businesses, technologies, products and/or personnel necessitated by such investments. Accordingly, these types of management decisions may have a significant impact on the future performance of Ricoh. Failure to maintain an on-going alliance, establish a necessary alliance or make a strategic investment to acquire an interest in a company may adversely affect Ricoh’s future financial position and results of operations.

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(15) Information security

Ricoh obtains confidential or sensitive information from various sources, including its customers, in the ordinary course of its business. Ricoh also holds trade secrets regarding its technologies and other confidential or sensitive information relating to marketing. To prevent unauthorized access and/or fraudulent leakage or disclosure of such confidential or sensitive information, Ricoh has implemented an internal management system, which includes measures to improve security and access to its internal database, as well as employee training programs to educate its employees with respect to compliance with applicable regulations relating to information security and data access. Despite Ricoh’s efforts, however, confidential or sensitive information may be inadvertently or accidentally leaked or disclosed and any such leakage or disclosure may result in Ricoh incurring damages, which may adversely affect Ricoh’s reputation. In addition, Ricoh may incur significant expenses for defending any lawsuits that may arise from such claims. Furthermore, the leakage or disclosure of Ricoh’s confidential or sensitive marketing and technological information to a third party may adversely affect Ricoh’s financial results and condition.

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(16) Influence of disasters or other unpredictable events

Ricoh will do its utmost to ensure the continuation of business activities and fulfill its social responsibilities as a corporate citizen in the event of an earthquake, fire, hurricane, flood, and other natural disasters, pandemic of a new strain of influenza or other unpredictable events. Measures taken to mitigate such risks include periodic inspections of equipment and facilities, conducting disaster drills, implementation of systems to confirm employee safety and formation of a business continuity plan. In spite of these measures, however, in the event of an earthquake on a scale beyond our assumptions or other disasters or events that may temporarily suspend operations could adversely affect Ricoh's financial results and condition.

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