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Canon Reports Q4 Net Profit Surge

Tokyo –


reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter
net profit shot up almost 430 percent from the same period a year ago, as
global stimulus actions helped spark demand for new cameras.

The company reported a net profit for the October through December quarter
totaling 61.56 billion yen ($669 million), after posting a net profit of 11.62
billion yen last year.

Canon forecast sales and profit for 2010 to grow on an annual basis for the
first time in three years as the global economy recovers.

Operating profit for the quarter climbed 157 percent to 92.13 billion yen
($1 billion), from 35.83 billion yen a year earlier, while sales fell 4 percent
to 954.06 billion yen ($10.4 billion).

The camera and office equipment manufacturer attributed much of the success
to increased sales of more profitable digital-SLR cameras, which helped make up
for slowing demand for business printers and copiers.

The consumer business segment saw 84 percent growth in operating
profit, to 75.14 billion yen.

The growth in demand was assisted in part, the company said, by economic
stimulus measures taken in countries around to the world.

In Canon’s domestic country, Japan, the government gave cash
handouts to households last spring in addition to other incentives to buy
eco-friendly appliances.

For the full year 2009, Canon said net profit fell 57 percent to 131.65
billion yen ($1.4 billion) while revenue dropped 22 percent to 3.21 trillion
yen ($34.9 billion). Operating profit declined 56 percent to 217.06 billion yen
($2.4 billion).

Canon cited the economic downturn and a stronger yen for the performance.
The yen averaged 93.21 to the dollar during the year, up about 10 percent, the
company said.

Canon predicted that conditions will continue to improve as the global
recovery strengthens, and is projecting sales and profit to expand.

For the year, Canon forecast net profit to rise 52 percent to 200 billion
yen ($2.2 billion) on 8 percent higher sales of 3.45 trillion yen ($37.5

The company expects sales of its digital cameras to rise 6
percent to 25.7 million units this year, and forecasts a 5 percent expansion in
the overall global market size for digital cameras in 2010, to about 121
million units.