News Column

Earnings Canon UPDATE2

January 29, 2014

TOKYO , Jan. 29 -- ( Kyodo ) _ (EDS: ADDING INFO IN 3RD, 10TH GRAFS) Canon Inc. said Wednesday its group net profit for the business year ended in December rose 2.6 percent from the previous year to 230.48 billion yen , as positive effects of the weakening yen more than offset sluggish sales of digital cameras. The maker of printers, photocopiers and cameras said its consolidated operating profit grew 4.1 percent to 337.28 billion yen on group sales of 3.73 trillion yen , up 7.2 percent. Canon's overseas business accounted for around 80 percent of its total sales in 2013. The results fell short of the company's earlier projections of a group net profit of 240 billion yen and group operating profit of 360 billion yen on sales of 3.75 trillion yen . The company said sales of compact digital cameras plunged 28 percent in 2013 from the previous year to 13.20 million units, due to weak economic conditions and the spread of smartphones equipped with cameras. Sales of cameras with interchangeable lenses fell 7 percent to 7.65 million units, it said. But sales of laser printers and copiers were solid due partly to the introduction of new products amid brisk business demand, the company said. The company expects sales of compact digital cameras to fall around 20 percent to 10.50 million units in 2014, with those of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses to remain almost flat at 7.6 million units. For compact digital cameras, the company plans to focus on high-end products as well as reviewing its product lineup to improve profitability, Canon Executive Vice President Toshizo Tanaka said at a news conference in Tokyo . For the current business year through December, the company said it expects to post a group net profit of 240 billion yen , up 4.1 percent from 2013, and a group operating profit of 360 billion yen , up 6.7 percent, on sales of 3.85 trillion yen , up 3.2 percent. The company set its assumed foreign exchange rate for the dollar at 100 yen and the euro at 135 yen , compared with 97.84 yen and 130.01 yen respectively in 2013. The company said it will pay a full-year dividend of 130 yen per share, unchanged from the previous year. As for the effect of a sales tax hike in April, Tanaka expressed the view that slowing demand after the hike is likely to have a limited impact on the company's earnings. "There's sales growth in some domestic sales companies ahead (of the tax hike) and it can't be helped that there would be an opposite reaction to that," Tanaka said. "But we don't believe that will be so significant as to affect our earnings as a whole."

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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