• The Associated Press

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Profit at Canon Inc. in the most recent quarter rose 15 percent to a record amount for any quarter on strong sales of digital cameras and printers, the Japanese camera maker said Thursday.

Canon posted group net profit of 115.6 billion yen for the July-September period, up from 100.6 billion yen the same period a year ago, the Tokyo-based company said.

The result was a record for any quarter, said Canon spokesman Hiroshi Yoshinaga.

The company maintained its net profit outlook for 2006 at 440 billion yen for the seventh consecutive year of record earnings, while raising its group sales projection to 4.14 trillion yen from 4.13 trillion yen.

Canon’s revenue rose 12.5 percent to 988 billion yen from 878.5 billion yen a year ago, setting a record high for the July-September period, according to Yoshinaga.

Canon said sales of digital cameras and laser printers lifted its earnings, which were also helped by a stronger dollar.

Its new models for the popular EOS and IXY series helped the company boost the number of digital cameras sold for the period by nearly 30 percent on year and lifted Canon’s total camera sales by 16 percent, it said.

A stronger dollar worked in the company’s favor, as 78 percent of Canon sales are from overseas. The dollar appreciated 5 percent against the yen from a year ago during the period, it said. The euro also rose 9 percent against the yen.

Canon’s pretax income was up 16 percent to 180.3 billion yen for the third quarter from 155.3 billion yen a year ago, the company said.

Unlike most other Japanese companies, whose fiscal years end on March 31, Canon’s fiscal year ends Dec. 31.

Canon shares were up 1.7 percent to 6,650 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at Thursday’s close. It reported earnings after the bourse closed.

Canon reports its earnings based on generally accepted U.S. accounting principles.

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