*NEWS*CANON SEES CHINA SALES UP 30% IN 06

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*NEWS*CANON SEES CHINA SALES UP 30% IN 06

 user 2006-06-09 at 11:18:00 am Views: 73
  • #15686

    Canon sees China sales rising 30 percent in 2006
    SHANGHAI  – Canon Inc., the world’s largest digital camera maker, expects its 2006 Chinese sales to rise 30 percent from a year earlier, despite fierce rivalry from other companies.Yasuhide Tamegai, the company’s China vice president, said he expected the momentum to continue in 2006 afterits Chinese sales expanded by about a third in 2005, far outpacing the 8 percent rise in its global group sales.”We expect 30 percent growth (in China) this year,” Tamegai said on the sidelines of a business forum in Shanghai this past weekend.He declined to give an absolute figure for the Chinese sales, but said they still accounted for under 10 percent of the company’s 2005 global sales, which were 3.75 trillion yen ($33.41 billion) on a group basis.The Japanese photography giant, which competes with Sony Corp.  and Nikon Corp. among others, operates 11 wholly-owned companies and three joint ventures making digital cameras, digital copiers, bubble jet and laser beam printers.Digital cameras have been the major growth driver in recent years for Canon in China, where the country’s expanding middle class is increasingly switching to those products even though they can cost three times as much as traditional cameras.Canon, which entered the mainland market two decades ago, still offers some traditional cameras here, but the number is decreasing, Tamegai said without giving details.Canon also ships a large portion of its Chinese-made products overseas, but so far it has felt little impact from the Chinese yuan, which has climbed 1.1 percent against the dollar since Beijing revalued it by 2.1 percent last July, Tamegai said.”If the appreciation is within a 3 percent range annually, I think we can manage it,” he added.Canon has invested $1 billion in China so far, including a $100 million manufacturing plant near Shanghai — its largest in the world.