A brief scan of ye olde Fool archive yields little discussion of Fuji Photo Film (NASDAQ:FUJIY). I can understand why. The firm is involved in a dizzying array of businesses, and its voluminous financial reports offer enough information to cross your eyes in a matter of minutes. Finally, everything's reported in yen, which is fine if you like calculating numbers in the trillions, but personally, it makes my button finger ache.

On the other hand, this is a big company, and it's taken a big step forward in profitability. For fiscal 2004, ended in March, Fuji notched a 60% increase in net profits, totaling 82.3 billion yen (or $728 million). That's a pretty impressive improvement, given that sales were up only 2% on the year. The reason was a hefty 0.6% increase in operating margins.

As you might guess, digital-imaging revenues outpaced film sales in the firm's traditional business line. (Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK), the world's other big supplier of camera consumables, is just now starting to come back to life and realizing that the future of photography is digital.) Fuji makes digital cameras -- including itsy-bitsy models for insertion into cell phones -- along with supplies and increasingly popular print kiosks.

Fuji's most profitable segment, however, is "information solutions," which got a big bounce last year due to the increasing popularity of LCD screens and televisions. Fuji produces an array of films used in manufacturing the devices, and it sold 30% more of the stuff last year. Apparently, the firm sees a big future for these materials, as it has plans to quintuple capacity by the end of 2005.

Management predicts flat earnings for next year, but if you enjoy the challenge of following big, diverse companies, you may want to give Fuji a look. The balance sheets are clean, with four times as much cash as debt, and last year saw $1.15 billion in free cash flow. With leadership positions in digital photography and panel TVs, Fuji is well positioned to take advantage of current technology trends.

Join other image makers in the Fool's Photography discussion board.

Photographer and Fool contributor Seth Jayson loves Fuji's color film. He's got a freezer full of it, but owns no stake in any company mentioned above. View his Fool profile here.