Canon Sees Slumping Camera Sales, As Consumers Move To Smartphones

CanonREUTERS/Yuya ShinoCanon Inc Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai speaks next to the company’s digital SLR camera EOS-1D X during an interview with Reuters at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo January 9, 2014. Japan’s Canon Inc will aim to hike the proportion of products made at home to 50 per cent within the next three years from 42 per cent, as the export-reliant camera maker banks on the yen weakening further, Mitarai told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Japan’s Canon said on Wednesday that it missed its full-year profit target due to slumping demand for its digital cameras as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones for taking pictures.

The company reported that net profit rose 2.6 per cent last year to 230.5 billion yen ($2.2 billion) thanks to a weak yen and cost-cutting efforts, but that figure missed an earlier prediction for a 240 billion yen profit.

Revenue rose 7.2 per cent to 3.7 trillion, while Canon said it logged a 4.1 per cent rise in operating profit to 337.3 billion yen.

Unlike many Japanese firms which report on a fiscal year ending in March, Canon reports on a calendar-year basis.

Rising profits were mainly due to “the effects of ongoing cost-cutting efforts along with the depreciation of the yen,” it said in a statement, adding that it saw “steady sales growth for office multifunction devices and laser printers”.

Japanese exporters have benefited from the yen’s sharp decline over the past year as it inflates their repatriated income and makes them more competitive overseas.

Canon and Japanese rivals including Sony and Olympus have seen a big drop in demand for their digital imaging products as camera-equipped smartphone sales boom.

For 2014, Canon said it expected to earn a net profit of 240 billion yen and an operating profit of 360 billion yen on sales of 3.85 trillion yen.

Copyright (2014) AFP. All rights reserved.

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