Japan’s Canon today said that annual net profit fell 13.6 per cent last year owing to weak demand for cameras in emerging economies and a slowdown in China.
The firm also said company veteran Fujio Mitarai will step down as president but remain as CEO and chairman, following the company’s general shareholders meeting on March 30.
Masaya Maeda, currently chief executive of Canon’s image communication products division, which includes cameras, will become the new president and chief operating officer, the company said.
The camera and office equipment giant reported a 220.21 billion yen ($1.86 billion) net profit for the year to December, while operating profit slipped 2.3 per cent to 355.21 billion yen.
Sales ticked up 2.0 per cent to 3.80 trillion yen, the company said.
“Demand for digital cameras with exchangeable lenses faced severity due to weak emerging market currencies and China’s slowing economy,” it said in a statement.
“Demand for compact cameras also declined as the market shrank.”
The cheaper yen was partly responsible for an increase in operating cost, it also said.
Maeda “has a great track record as the head of the business division”, Mitarai told a press conference today, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Outgoing president Mitarai said that Maeda’s success overseeing the transformation to digital cameras contributed to expanding market share, according to the report.
“I feel our pace of growth is slowing, and so I judged that an engineer is the choice (as the next president) so we can once again achieve strong growth,” Mitarai said.
For the year to December, Canon said it now expects to see a net profit of 230 billion yen, up 4.4 per cent from last year, on sales of 3.85 trillion yen, up 1.3 per cent.
The company added that it expects to see growing demand for business printers, but that a recovery for products in emerging economies requires more time.