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Canon Q4 Profit Edges Down; Sees Growth In FY13; Announces Dividends

Japanese camera and printer maker Canon Inc. (CAJ) reported Wednesday a slight decline in fourth-quarter profit hurt by lower sales amid increasingly challenging conditions. Fiscal 2012 results also declined, while the company projects good growth in fiscal 2013 profit and sales. Canon also announced dividends.

For the fourth quarter, net income attributable to the company edged down 0.4 percent to 61.17 billion yen (about $669.70 million) from last year's 61.44 billion yen. Pre-tax income dropped 3.8 percent to 89.11 billion yen.

Quarterly net sales totaled 951.39 billion yen, down 1.4 percent from 964.76 billion yen in the prior-year quarter.

The company noted that it faced increasingly challenging conditions across all of its businesses, owing to the economic slowdown mainly in Europe and the high valuation of the yen against the euro, combined with the cooling off of demand in China.

For fiscal 2012, attributable net income, on a consolidated basis, decreased 9.7 percent to 224.6 billion yen or $2.58 billion. Earnings per share for the year was 191.34 yen or $2.20. Annual net sales declined 2.2 percent to 3.48 trillion yen or $40 billion.

Non-consolidated net income fell 9 percent to 157.6 billion yen, and net sales declined 2.2 percent to 2.11 trillion yen.

In the year, demand for office color multifunction devices or MFDs showed growth in Japan and other regions, while demand for laser printers remained sluggish mainly in European markets.

Demand for interchangeable-lens digital cameras continued to improve, while that for compact digital cameras shrunk not only in developed countries, but also in China and some emerging nations. The overall demand for inkjet printers also waned due to the weak economy.

Canon added that demand for semiconductor lithography equipment remained restrained due to weak capital investment for memory devices.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2013, Canon projects consolidated attributable net income to increase 13.6 percent to 255 billion yen and net sales to grow 9.5 percent to 3.81 trillion yen. Operating profit is projected to rise 26.6 percent to 410 billion yen.

"As for the outlook in 2013, while the challenging conditions from the previous year will continue, the global economy is expected to realize a moderate recovery in the latter half of the year," the company said in its statement.

In order to mark the 75th anniversary of its establishment, Canon plans to distribute a full-year dividend of 130 yen per share, a regular dividend of 120 yen and a commemorative dividend of 10 yen.

In Japan, Canon shares closed Today's trading at 3,385 yen, up 95 yen or 2.89 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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