Olympus plans SLRs, expects return to profit|
(Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 00:03 EDT)
A news article from financial website Forbes.com reports on the status of Japanese camera manufacturer Olympus Corp.
According to the article, Olympus reported operating profits 63% below the previous financial year, despite a 28% increase in revenues. The company's digital camera sales increased 28% to 8.9 million units, below the target of 9.5 million units - a target which has been retained for the current financial year through March 2006.
Price cutting and the ¥5.5 billion restructuring of the division responsible for digital cameras saw Olympus post a net loss of ¥11.8 billion last year, and the restructuring is expected to take time to show positive effect. Still, Olympus expects the drop in prices to slow from 17-18% last year, to just 3% this year. That, combined with plans for two new high-end digital SLRs by March 2006, are expected to bring a 31.5% increase in revenues, and a return to profitability (net profits are predicted to be around ¥23 billion).
The plans for new Olympus digital SLRs shouldn't come as a surprise to regular Imaging Resource readers; we reported early last month that the company was now cooperating with FourThirds system partner Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. to jointly develop DSLR components and technologies. Whether the actual final products based on these will be similar we shall wait with curiosity to see. At the very least we can apparently expect new DSLRs from Olympus, probably by the PMA show next year; we believe Panasonic should be introducing its first FourThirds product in the same timeframe.