Canon points to consumers to shoot profits back up

By Calvin Palmer

Photographic and office equipment maker Canon Inc is looking to consumers to lead the recovery of its fortunes after the company saw its net profit fall 84.5 percent in the first half of 2009 compared to a year ago.

The Japanese company’s managing director Masahiro Ohsawa said: “I suppose that stimulus measures from various countries will eventually kick in. But at this point, our view is that a recovery in office equipment will be difficult to achieve in the near future. We believe consumer products will lead the economic recovery.”

Canon’s net profit plunged to 33.35 billion yen ($351 million) in the six months through June, the first half of its business year, from 214.49 billion in the same period of 2008.

Operating profit slumped 80.4 percent to 64.94 billion yen as revenue slid 29.9 percent to 1.48 trillion yen, a company statement said.

The world’s largest digital camera maker has enjoyed strong sales of high-end digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras in recent years, but it has not been immune to the global economic downturn, which has hit Japanese electronics makers hard

For the second quarter through June, Canon announced a drop of 85.5 percent in net profit to 15.6 billion yen from a year earlier.

For the whole of 2009, Canon left its net profit forecast unchanged at 110 billion yen.

It raised its operating profit projection to 190 billion yen from 180 billion but trimmed its revenue goal to 3.20 trillion yen from 3.33 trillion.

[Based on a report by AFP.]

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