Tokyo: Japan’s Canon Inc reported an 81.5% fall in quarterly profit as a deepening recession hit demand for cameras and office equipment, and it forecast a bigger-than-expected profit decline for 2009.
Operating profit at Canon, the world’s largest digital camera maker ahead of Sony Corp and Nikon Corp, came in at ¥35.8 billion ($401.7 million) in October-December, down from ¥193.58 billion a year earlier.
Canon’s profitability was also hit by steep price falls and the strength of the yen, which makes Japanese products less price-competitive overseas and eats into exporters’ revenues when converted into the Japanese currency.
For 2009, Canon forecast an operating profit of ¥160 billion, down from ¥496.1 billion a year earlier and compared with the consensus forecast for a ¥309.8 billion profit in a poll of 16 analysts by Reuters Estimates.
Shares in Canon, which competes with Xerox Corp and Ricoh Co Ltd in copiers and printers, lost 47% over the past year, compared with a 49% fall in the Tokyo market’s electrical machinery index. ($1=¥89.11)