Unit sales of office multifunction devices (MFDs) grew significantly, driven by sales of color models such as the imageRUNNER ADVANCE Gen3 2nd Edition series, which offers enhanced convenience through compatibility with external cloud services, and the imageRUNNER C3020 series of strategic models for emerging markets. By region, the Office Business Unit posted a strong performance in Asia, with double-digit growth in sales.
In laser printers, unit sales growth was driven by new high-productivity models that combine low power consumption with compact body designs. Sales of consumables were on a par with the prior year. Digital commercial printing has enjoyed solid sales thanks to the release of new models for the graphic arts market that have earned significant praise for their high image quality, excellent productivity and ability to handle a wide range of paper types.
Total sales for the business unit increased 0.1% year on year to ¥1,807.3 billion, while operating profit rose 16.7% year on year to ¥220.8 billion.
We expect the market for office MFDs to expand steadily, led by a shift to color models in emerging markets and increased demand for devices that enhance operational efficiency. Amidst the growing risk of information leaks from network-connected devices, we are, among other products, expanding our lineup of next-generation color models, that feature such high-security functionality as protection against program tampering and unauthorized access. Additionally, we are strengthening our ability to propose new solutions that take into account the growing demand for productivity-enhancing office devices.
In laser printers, we expect an ongoing shift to color models and rising demand from emerging markets to underpin the market's development. Performance of the business unit in 2019 is projected to be on a par with that of 2018. We are focusing on mid- and high-speed models designed for high-volume printing and increasing their share of the segment's sales volume. We also aim to increase our proportion of consumable products through cooperation with our OEM partner, thereby boosting overall profitability.