http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050808/bs_nm/tech_japan_nikon_dcMon Aug 8, 2:27 AM ET
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikon Corp. said on Monday its quarterly operating profit more than quadrupled, helped by strong sales of high-end digital cameras, and it raised its forecast for the full year.
Nikon, the world's second-largest maker of digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, said group operating profit totaled 13.94 billion yen ($124 million) in the April-June first quarter, up from a profit of 3.13 billion yen in the year-ago period.
Earnings at Nikon have been boosted by robust demand for digital SLR cameras and the interchangeable lenses used with them, as well as improved profitability in its stepper and instruments divisions.
Boosting digital SLR sales has been key to Nikon's strategy of shifting away from intense price competition at the low end of the camera market. Digital SLRs yield fatter margins and allow Nikon to leverage its lens technology and long history in film SLRs.
Healthy sales of digital SLRs also helped industry leader Canon Inc. to a higher profit in the latest quarter.
Nikon, which is also the world's second-largest maker of steppers after Dutch-based ASML, raised its full year forecast for group operating profit to 36 billion yen, 18 percent higher than last year's 30.5 billion yen. It had previously forecast 33 billion yen for the full year to March.
Canon is the world's third-biggest producer of steppers, which are used to etch circuitry onto chips.
Prior to the announcement, shares of Nikon closed up 1.7 percent at 1,248 yen. Japan's precision machines subindex IPRCS. fell 0.01 percent.
Nikon shares gained 2 percent in April-June, while the subindex was virtually flat.
Nikon said in May it expected unit sales of chip steppers to fall 4 percent to 185 in 2005/06, although it expected demand to pick up in the October-March second half due to an anticipated upturn in the semiconductor cycle. ($1=112.38 Yen)
Nice going Nikon!
I hope this increased focus on DSLR technology results in a lot of new lenses and stuff for all of us Nikonians