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Olympus returns to black in fiscal ’12 but digital camera sales weigh

Kyodo

Olympus Corp. said Wednesday it returned to the black in fiscal 2012 with a group net profit of ¥8.02 billion, compared with a loss of ¥48.99 billion in the previous year, due partly to an improvement in its medical instrument business.

But its imaging business, mainly consisting of digital cameras, logged an operating loss of ¥23.07 billion, posting a third straight year of red ink that weighed on the firm’s earnings.

Olympus reported an operating profit of ¥35.08 billion, down 1.2 percent, on sales of ¥743.85 billion, down 12.3 percent.

With the market for compact digital cameras rapidly shrinking, Olympus set its sales target for compact cameras at 2.7 million units for the current business year, compared with 5.1 million units in fiscal 2012. It will continue to focus on development and sales of mirrorless cameras, while drastically reducing its lineup of compact cameras.

In its medium-term business plan through fiscal 2016, Olympus revised upward its consolidated operating profit projection to a record ¥143 billion from an earlier forecast ¥130 billion, on an expected increase in medical business sales supported by the weakening yen.

For the current business year through next March, Olympus expects to post a group net profit of ¥30 billion and a consolidated operating profit of ¥71 billion, on sales of ¥700 billion.