Canon Inc, Japan’s largest office machine maker, said on Thursday it believed it could target higher profits and sales in 2004.
But it cut its projection for calendar 2003 sales of steppers — large machines used for making semiconductors — to 75 from 83.
Canon said earlier on Thursday its profit for July- September jumped 27 percent on strong sales of digital cameras and colour copiers.
It maintained its full-year forecast, predicting a 38 percent rise to a record 263 billion yen ($2.43 billion).
. . . Canon, established in 1937 as a camera maker, only counts on cameras for about 20 percent of its total sales. More than two-thirds of its revenues comes from copiers, ink-jet and laser beam printers (LBP), and other office machines.
Within that segment, demand for Canon’s colour copiers have been particularly strong as customers replace monochrome models, which suffer from tough price competition in Europe but have recently been selling well at home.
Some analysts said the performance of copiers may out-shine that of printers in the third quarter following a surge in shipments of LBPs to its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partner Hewlett- Packard Co from late last year.
“Canon benefitted from Hewlett-Packard’s introduction of sub $1,000 colour laser printers which Canon OEMs (supplies) and it slightly over-shipped,” said Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Kaye.
“The September quarter…and also the December quarter may face something of a (negative) rebound or a suck back,” he said.