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Canon net profit nearly doubles

TOKYO, Jan 27, 2011 – Japanese high-tech giant Canon said Thursday its net profit nearly doubled to $3.0 billion last year on stronger office equipment and consumer product sales.

With the launch of new products and cost-reduction efforts offsetting the impact of a strong yen, Canon said its net profit rose to 246.6 billion yen in 2010 from 131.6 billion yen a year earlier.

The maker of PowerShot cameras said operating profit jumped 78.6 percent to 387.6 billion yen on sales of 3.7 trillion yen, up 15.5 percent.

"Sales in each sector for the business year were affected by the sizable appreciation of the yen," Canon said in a statement.

"But office equipment sales rose, with a considerable recovery in laser printers, while sales of consumer electronics goods such as digital single-lens reflex cameras rose steadily," it said.

Canon also said the launch of a series of new products and "thorough" measures to reduce costs contributed to the sales and profit gains.

The strength of the Japanese currency has put many of the nation\’s growth-driving exporters at a disadvantage by making their products more expensive overseas and eroding their repatriated earnings.

Canon forecast higher profit and revenue in 2011, predicting a net profit of 310 billion yen, operating profit of 470 billion yen and sales at 4.1 trillion yen.

Canon shares closed up 2.19 percent in Tokyo ahead of the earnings announcement.

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