Tokyo: Japanese precision equipment and camera maker Nikon Corp reported a surprise quarterly profit after offseting weak demand for its chip equipment with cost cuts, but said it expects wider losses this year.
Its operating profit came to ¥730 million ($7.68 million) for April-June, against a profit of ¥28.7 billion last year and beating an average estimate for a loss of ¥3.7 billion by 3 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
For this full financial year to next March, Nikon, which also makes digital single-lens reflex cameras and compact cameras, lowered its forecast to an operating loss of ¥30 billion, compared with its previous forecast for a ¥12 billion loss and below an average estimate by analysts of a ¥4.9 billion loss.
The world’s No.2 maker of chip steppers after Netherlands-based ASML is restructuring its stepper operations as it awaits a recovery in spending by major chipmakers, who are just emerging from a prolonged downturn.
Steppers are multi-million dollar machines used to scan circuitry onto silicon wafers to make semiconductors. Canon Inc also competes in the market.
Shares of Nikon rose 51% in April-June while Canon rose 12% and rival precision equipment and camera maker Olympus Corp gained 45%.