Olympus slashes earnings forecast

JIJI

Olympus Corp. has lowered its group earnings forecasts for the year through March to reflect sluggish camera operations.

Sales are now estimated at ¥740 billion, the company said Tuesday, down from the previous projection of ¥757 billion, while operating profit is estimated at ¥35 billion, down from ¥38 billion.

The company’s mainstay endoscope business has fared somewhat better. But sales of compact digital cameras slumped due to the popularity of smartphones.

Olympus also reduced its net profit forecast to ¥6 billion from ¥8 billion as a result of a writeoff of ¥3.7 billion in the value of assets in its camera operations.

In April-December, the company posted an operating profit of ¥24.61 billion, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier, as sales fell 10.2 percent to ¥561.23 billion.

But the company swung to a net profit of ¥7.62 billion from a loss of ¥33.09 billion a year before when it was hit by the appreciation of the yen and massive flooding in Thailand.

Its group equity ratio stood at 9.7 percent as of the end of December, up from 4.6 percent nine months before thanks partly to a capital injection from Sony Corp. under a tieup agreement.¥