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Canon Cuts Camera Sales Forecasts

Tokyo – A global economic slowdown, especially in China, forced Canon to cut its profit forecast for the year Wednesday as it lowered sales targets on high-end and point-and-shoot cameras.

In its quarterly earnings report, Canon lowered its operating profit forecast 16 percent to $3.81 billion (380 billion yen), from its April estimate.

Net income was forecast at 260 billion yen in 2013, down 10 percent from projections of 290 billion yen in April.

For the April-June quarter, Canon’s operating profit rose 6.2 percent to 98.3 billion yen to beat earlier forecasts.

Canon had previously warned that point-and-shoot camera sales would be significantly lower this year due to the impact of smartphones on the entry level end of the camera business.

But this time out the company said sales of interchangeable-lens cameras including its DSLRs have also slumped so far this year.

Canon attributed the weaker performance to economic weakness in Europe and slower-than-expected growth in emerging markets. Sales in China were unexpectedly weaker, but the company said it does not expect a prolonged slump there.

Canon reported camera sales now account for more than 60 percent of its overall operating profit.  The company said its global interchangeable-lens camera sales are now targeted to hit 9 million units, down from its April forecast of 9.2 million. Estimates for compact cameras were cut to 14 million from 14.5 million units.