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 user 2009-05-01 at 3:10:52 pm Views: 42
  • #22270

    Canon raises outlook, Fujifilm axes 5,000 jobs
    * Q1 oper profit tumbles on weak printer, copier demand
    * Raises outlook on cost cuts, softer-than-expected yen
    * Shares end up 6.1 pct ahead of results
    * Fujifilm sees 90 bln yen 09/10 op loss, to cut 5,000 jobs

    MAI 09 – Japan’s Canon Inc raised its annual outlook as it cuts costs
    and benefits from a weakening yen, after a slump in demand for copiers
    and printers knocked its quarterly profit down by 88 percent.Demand for
    office machines and supplies such as toner cartridges remained weak as
    a global financial crisis means businesses keep hold of their copiers
    and printers for longer and use them less heavily.

    Holdings , a rival in digital cameras and office equipment which has
    been hit much harder by the downturn, forecast a 90 billion yen ($923
    million) annual operating loss as it scraps equipment and cuts 5,000

    Canon, which also competes against Xerox Corp  and Ricoh
    Co Ltd, earlier this month delayed building a toner cartridge parts
    plant in western Japan for a second time, underscoring weak demand.But
    Canon’s overseas sales have been boosted by a softer-than-expected yen.
    The company also said it would aim to cut 172 billion yen in costs this
    year, 60 billion yen more than originally planned.Canon raised its 2009
    operating profit forecast by 12.5 percent to 180 billion yen, though
    that is still down 64 percent on the year. It trimmed its sales
    forecast by 5 percent to 3.33 trillion yen.Mizuho Securities analyst
    Ryosuke Katsura said the operating profit forecast change was
    effectively a downward revision after stripping out currency effects,
    but the results show Canon is holding up relatively well.”Some had
    expected losses for Canon’s first quarter, so I think it’s positive it
    managed to post profits,” he said. “Its cost-cutting efforts should be
    given some credit, but I have yet to see how the company achieves

    Canon itself is bracing for another tough year.
    will probably be a while before the economy stages a convincing
    recovery, and the yen is likely to stay much higher than a year ago,”
    said Managing Director Masahiro Osawa. “We will continue operating in a
    tough business environment.”Canon did not offer an annual dividend

    Rival Xerox last week forecast a weaker-than-expected
    quarterly profit and cut its annual outlook nearly in half, while Ricoh
    predicted a 13 percent fall in operating profit for the year to next

    Ricoh last October bought major U.S. office equipment
    distributor Ikon Office Solutions for $1.6 billion, delivering a heavy
    blow to Canon, whose machines had represented 60 percent of the
    products Ikon had handled, but which have rapidly been replaced with
    Ricoh equipment.Operating profit at Canon, the world’s largest digital
    camera maker ahead of Sony Corp and Nikon Corp , dropped to 20.03
    billion yen ($205 million) in January-March, from 170.83 billion yen a
    year earlier.Sales fell 32 percent to 687 billion yen.

    said it would book restructuring charges of 145 billion yen in the year
    to March 2010 as it sheds jobs and streamlines operations, resulting in
    an estimated operating loss of 90 billion yen this financial year, a
    reversal from a 37.3 billion yen profit a year earlier.

    shares closed up 6.1 percent before its earnings, beating a 4.4 percent
    gain on the Tokyo market’s electrical machinery index . Fujifilm ended
    down 0.6 percent.