Canon Q1 profit declines 5 percent, cuts annual outlook

By @ibtimes on

Canon Inc <7751.T> reported a 5 percent fall in quarterly operating profit and cut its annual outlook to below market expectations as it copes with the effects of Japan's earthquake, which has hit suppliers and hobbled production.

Profits at Canon, which competes against Sony Corp <6758.T> and Nikon Corp <7731.T> in cameras and Xerox Corp and Ricoh Co Ltd <7752.T> in copiers, have been under pressure as it has been unable to resume full production at some plants.

Canon, the world's largest maker of digital cameras, said on Tuesday its operating profit came to 82.5 billion yen ($1.0 billion) in January-March, against 86.84 billion yen in the same quarter a year earlier.

That is above an average estimate of 77.1 billion yen in a poll of three analysts taken after the quake by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Canon lowered its operating profit forecast for the business year to end-December to 335 billion yen from its earlier estimate of 470 billion. This is below an average estimate of 396.5 billion yen in a poll of six analysts taken after the quake by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

By Monday's close, the company's shares had fallen about 7 percent since the quake versus a nearly 6 percent decline in the benchmark Nikkei average <.N225>.

Shares of Canon closed 0.9 percent lower at 3,495 yen before the results announcement, tracking a 1.2 fall in the Nikkei.

(Reporting by James Topham in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Ploy Ten Kate in Bangkok; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

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