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Canon Sees Profits Drop As Camera Sales Decline

Tokyo – Canon reported its operating profit and net income dropped in the double digits for its fiscal first quarter, ended March 31.

Operating profit dropped 33.8 percent from the same period last year to 54.8 billion yen ($551 million) as net income fell 33.5 percent to 40.9 billion yen ($411 million).

Net sales were down 1.5 percent to $8.68 billion.

The company attributed the performance to a sustained hangover from last year’s global economic weakness that showed signs of a slowdown in China and Europe and “greater than expected severity in the markets in which we participate.”

This led to cooling markets and severe price competition, Canon said in a statement on the period.

Canon said its compact camera business declined 37 percent from the first quarter last year, and the interchangeable-lens camera segment dropped 15 percent.

Inkjet printers, on the other hand, showed a 14 percent increase in volume over the same period in 2011.

Canon adjusted its forecasts, saying it now expects to sell 14.5 million compact cameras this year through December, down from 17 million units it had forecast earlier.

Despite weaker camera sales, the company said that it expects a weaker yen versus the dollar to help its overall profit picture.

Canon raised its full-year operating profit forecast by $300 million, with expectations for inflation of its overseas income.

The company said it expects a stronger global economic recovery in the second half of 2013, when the company is planning aggressive sales and marketing activities and new product introductions to improve product competitiveness.