And now, Canon’s real Q3 2015 financial results

by Gannon Burgett

posted Friday, October 30, 2015 at 10:58 AM EST

Earlier this week, we shared what we believed to be the third quarter (Q3) numbers from Canon. Today, we realized that we, alongside a handful of other photography publications (eight from our findings), referenced the wrong year’s numbers. Specifically, we reported on a Rueters article displaying Canon’s Q3 numbers from 2014, not 2015. We would like to apologize for the confusion and make things right by posting the real numbers below.

Looking at Canon’s third quarter financials presentation, we can see that overall operating profit for Canon Inc. is at 925.8 billion yen, up 7.6% year-over-year. However, despite the increase in profit, Canon recorded its net income at 49.2 billion yen, 15.6% lower than last year, year-over-year.

In regards to Canon’s imaging division, the numbers tell a story we’ve been hearing for a number of years now – sales are down and not necessarily looking any brighter. Third quarter camera sales came in at 302 billion yen, a decrease of 4.2% year-over-year. Operating profits of the imaging division also took a hit, down 3.8% year-over-year. For the year to date, the numbers look even worse, with sales dropping 4.6% and operating profit down 11%.

In the financial materials, Canon notes that sales of its ‘office multifunction devices (MFDs),' laser printers and lithography helped fuel the increase in profits while a decrease in demand for inkjet printers and cameras hurt the bottom line.

It’s clear from the numbers that Canon’s camera sales are a continually sinking ship, but what stands out and confirms what we’ve all but known is that the sales of lower-end compact cameras are not just falling, but taking a nosedive. Year-over-year, compact camera sales are down a whopping 29%. In comparison, interchangeable lens cameras are only down 17%. By the end of the year Canon expects these numbers to be -28% and -14%, respectively

Canon's stats for Q3 camera sale numbers YOY
End of year projections for Canon's camera sales

Interestingly, Canon says that despite lower sales of its compact cameras, profits are up, thanks to ‘the growing ratio of high-added-value models,' such as the PowerShot SX710 HS and PowerShot G3 X. Similarly, the high-end DSLR models are making a positive impact in profits, specifically in the Japanese and European markets.

As things currently stand, Canon’s full year projections show it expects total digital camera sales to be down 22%, averaging out a decrease of 14% for interchangeable lens cameras and a 28% drop in sales from compact cameras.

The numbers might not look bright, but it does appear Canon’s focus on the higher-end models is making an impact in a market that is seeing lower-end models being replaced by smartphones on a weekly basis.