Cameras Too Expensive For Christmas This Year: Canon's Profits Down 91% (CAJ)

No huge surprises here, but a reminder of the economic mess we’re in: Japanese office equipment and camera maker Canon (CAJ) reported plunging profits late yesterday, with Q4 down 91% year-over-year.

Canon’s cameras are widely considered the best in the world (well, except by fans of archrival Nikon, the world’s other premier camera company), but with entry-level SLR models starting at well over $500 consumers just couldn’t afford them this year.

Guidance for 2009 slashed by two-thirds too.

AFP: Japanese high-tech giant Canon Inc. warned Wednesday the economic crisis would drive down profits by two-thirds in 2009, after a 91 per cent plunge in the fourth quarter of last year…

Canon logged a net profit of 11.62 billion yen (130 million dollars) in the fourth quarter of 2008, well short of the previous year’s 127.85 billion. Operating profit fell 81 per cent to 35.83 billion yen…

“The rapid deterioration in the economic environment since the autumn has triggered a global slump in individual consumption. This has caused damage to the digital camera market beyond our expectation,” [Canon managing director Masahiro Osawa] told reporters.

Canon, which also makes office equipment, said net profit fell 37 per cent in 2008 to 309.15 billion yen. Operating profit dropped 34 per cent to 496.07 billion yen as revenue declined 8.6 per cent to 4.09 trillion yen.

For 2009 Canon expects a much lower net profit of 98 billion yen, operating profit of 160 billion yen and revenue of 3.5 trillion yen.

See Also: Barack Obama’s Photographer Uses Canon

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