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Nikon Returns to Profit on Camera, Stepper Sales

Nikon Corp.'s digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras
Nikon Corp.'s digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras are displayed at the Photo Imaging Expo 2009 in Tokyo on March 26, 2009. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News

Nikon Corp., a Japanese maker of digital cameras and chip-making equipment, returned to profit in the first quarter as sales of its main products increased. It more than doubled its first-half net income forecast.

The profit was 8.15 billion yen ($95 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 4 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. The median forecast was for a 3.1 billion yen, according to three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 17 percent to 205.2 billion yen.

Sales of digital single-lens reflex and compact cameras rose 33 percent from a year earlier to 4.5 million units. Nikon said it sold 16 steppers and scanners, equipment used to make semiconductors, in the quarter, up from seven.

For the six months ending Sept. 30, the company expects net income of 9 billion yen, up from a previous estimate of 4 billion yen. It raised its sales projection 0.8 percent to 398 billion yen.

Nikon, which is targeting record sales of 1.1 trillion yen for the year ending March 2013, kept its full-year revenue forecast unchanged at 890 billion yen.

Nikon shares, down 17 percent this year, rose 1.5 percent to close at 1,512 yen in Tokyo before the earnings announcement. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.7 percent.

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