Tokyo: Japanese camera and copier giant Canon Inc on Thursday forecast a 21% rise in operating profit for 2011, roughly in line with market expectations, helped by higher camera sales and cost cuts.
Strong sales from its mainstay office copier and laser printer business and an aggressive push into emerging markets are also expected to boost Canon’s profits.
The world’s largest maker of digital cameras expects ¥470 billion ($5.72 billion) in operating profit for the year that ends in December, against the average estimate of ¥472.5 billion in a poll of 19 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
It projected sales to rise 10.6% to ¥4.1 trillion.
Canon, which also makes inkjet printers, aims to sell 30 million digital cameras in 2011, 9% more than a year ago and assumes a dollar/yen exchange rate of ¥85 for this year and a euro/yen rate of ¥110.
The firm, which competes against Sony Corp and Nikon Corp in cameras and Xerox Corp and Ricoh Co Ltd in copiers, posted a 10% fall in operating profit to ¥82.8 billion for October-December compared with a year earlier, hurt by heavier spending on reseearch and development.
For the past business year, the maker of EOS and IXY brand digital cameras booked a 79% surge in operating profit to ¥387.6 billion, which was well flagged to the market after the firm revised up its forecast to ¥390 billion in October.
Eastman Kodak Co on Wednesday reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss, while Xerox issued a profit forecast that was at the low end of analyst estimates and said its finance chief would retire -- sending its shares down more than 7%.
Canon shares rose almost 8% last year, outperforming a 3% decline in the benchmark Nikkei average. Its shares closed 2.2% higher at ¥4,195 on Thursday before the company released its results.