Canon Inc. yesterday lowered its sales forecast for 2005 by 5% to 3.6 trillion yen ($32.36 billion) but said profits and revenues would continue to climb.
Canon said in a slide show release on its Web site that it was aiming for a group pre-tax profit of 500 billion yen in 2005, compared with the 448 billion yen it earned last year and its 2004 forecast for a profit of 470 billion yen.
Profits at Canon are being powered by healthy demand for multi-function network copiers and hot- selling digital cameras, in which it commands about 20 percent of the global market, running neck and neck with Sony Corp for the top spot.
Canon had previously targeted 2005 sales of 3.8 trillion yen, but the yen’s surge against the dollar, severe price competition in digital camera makers, and falling prices for color laser beam printers (LBP) appear to be concerning the Tokyo-based firm.
The new target for 3.6 trillion yen would still be above the consensus forecast of 3.448 trillion made by 15 analysts polled by Reuters Research.
“There is a possibility that color LBP prices will fall further, but we are prepared to deal with this development,” Canon President and CEO Fujio Mitarai was quoted by a company spokesman as saying at a meeting for analysts in the afternoon.
Canon said it planned to bolster its lineup of digital cameras, office equipment and steppers — key tools for making semiconductors and liquid crystal displays (LCD). It also said it planned to begin mass- production of next-generation displays for thin televisions in 2006.