Canon sales slip, president to step down


posted Monday, January 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM EDT

Canon's logo. Click to visit the Canon website!Canon Inc. today released its financial results for the 2011 financial year, which showed a slip in sales and before-tax profits over the prior year.

The company reported growing demand for single-lens reflex cameras globally in 2011, but demand for compact cameras was said to have been sluggish in all but emerging markets. Inkjet printer sales were flat, with growth in emerging markets offsetting reductions elsewhere. Production of both compact cameras and inkjet printers was also affected by the earthquake in Japan and flooding in Thailand.

According to the company's FY2011 report, net sales fell 4% to around ¥3.56 trillion, with pre-tax operating profit down 2.4% at ¥378 million. Net income after taxes rose by 0.8%, however, ending at around ¥249 million.

The forecast for 2012 is for demand for compact cameras and inkjet printers to remain flat, while demand for digital SLRs is expected to grow globally. Overall, Canon is projecting 5.4% sales growth, and a 3.2% increase in before-tax operating profits, but a more modest 0.6% growth in post-tax net income.

Alongside the earnings news and projections, Canon has revealed that its representative director, president, and chief operating officer Tsuneji Uchida will step down from all three roles on March 29, 2012. Uchida, who will retain a role as senior adviser, will be replaced as president by Fujio Mitarai, who will also retain his current roles as representative director, chairman, and CEO. Canon states that the change is being made to "promote steady advancement towards achieving the Company’s goals". Bloomberg suggests that Uchida offered his resignation to enable the company to field a younger management team.