In a conference call for its overall 1Q12 financial results, Canon CFO Toshizo Tanaka reported a “slight decline of 1.2 percent” in sales, a 1.3 percent decline in gross profit as a percentage of net sales, a .2 percent increase in operating profit, and an 11 percent increase in net income.
For the camera segment in particular, “the market overall remained favorable, particularly for the sale of cameras reflecting growth in the emerging market,” Tanaka said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “Among this market environment, we achieved a nearly 30 percent increase in unit sales of SLR cameras, reflecting strong sales of our entry level models, and strong demand for a recently launched camera targeting advanced, amateur users. We also continue to see the best sales for interchangeable lenses. We posted strong sales for new compact digital cameras, launched in March, that incorporated WiFi connectivity. As a result, overall camera net sales increased 7 percent.”
In the full year projection for the camera segment, Tanaka expects “a strong global demand for SLR cameras to continue, driven by such factors as an expanding user base and replacement demand… Canon offers a broad lineup of SLR cameras to meet the wide range of market need. This year, we are updating our lineup with a particular focus on higher-end segment. We have already announced new advanced amateur and professional level cameras. We will use our rich lineup to expand sales 27 percent to 9.2 million unit. At the same time, we will also work to increase sales of interchangeable lenses.”
In compact cameras, Canon is aiming to boost sales by 17 percent to 22 million units. It will launch new cameras “offering image quality that approaches SLR cameras,” Tanaka says.