Nikon Cuts Profit Forecast as Global Economy May Slow, Yen Gains

Nikon Corp. (7731), a Japanese maker of cameras and chipmaking equipment, lowered its forecast for annual profit, saying global economic growth may slow and a stronger yen may erode overseas profit.

Net income will probably be 60 billion yen ($765 million) in the year ending March 31, compared with a forecast made three months ago for 65 billion yen, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. That compares with the 68 billion yen average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Nikon and Japan-based camera makers including Canon Inc. (7751) are promoting high-end models, including so-called mirrorless digital SLRs, as smartphones with built-in cameras lure buyers away from point-and-shoot models. Canon, Nikon’s larger rival in cameras, last month cut its sales and profit forecasts citing weaker growth in the U.S., Europe and China.

“Uncertainties in the economy are increasing, while the yen’s gain will likely add pressure,” on profit, the company said in the statement.

Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, will probably total 85 billion yen this fiscal year, compared with the company’s previous projection of 90 billion yen, Nikon said.

Worldwide shipments of cameras fell 1.2 percent to 136 billion yen in June from a year earlier, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association in Tokyo.

Sales of single-lens-reflex models with interchangeable lenses gained about 24 percent, while compact-camera sales dropped 30 percent during the month, according to the industry group.

Nikon introduced its first mirrorless model in October, joining Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. (6752) to feature cameras that have interchangeable lenses without the bulk necessary in types that use mirrors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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