TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s Canon said Wednesday that net profit grew 10.5 per cent in 2014 owing to the impact of a weak yen and cost cuts as well as strong demand for its office equipment.
The camera and copier maker’s annual profit came in at 254.8 billion yen ($2.2 billion), while operating profit rose 7.8 per cent from a year ago to 363.5 billion yen.
Sales edged down 0.1 per cent to 3.7 trillion yen but the profit gains came thanks to “continuous cost-cutting activities and the yen’s depreciation”, Canon said.
Japan’s currency has declined sharply against the dollar recently, a plus for exporters as it inflates the value of repatriated overseas income.
“Demand for office multifunction devices and laser printers maintained steady growth,” Canon said. But it added “demand for interchangeable-lens digital cameras continued to face harsh conditions due to the economic slowdown.
“As for digital compact cameras, demand continued to shrink in both developed countries and emerging markets”.
Canon and domestic rivals including Sony and Olympus have seen a big drop in sales of their digital imaging products as camera-equipped smartphone sales boom.
Despite the slowdown, Canon said it expects both sales and profit to grow in 2015.
The firm forecasted net profit to rise 2.0 per cent to 260 billion yen this year, operating profit to expand 4.5 per cent to 380 billion yen, and a 4.6 per cent rise in sales to 3.9 trillion yen.