TOKYO (NS) – Japan’s Canon Inc raised its annual operating profit forecast on Tuesday, its third upward revision this year, on the back of expanding demand for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen production equipment.
Canon, which also makes copiers, cameras and printers, forecast operating profit to rise 52.9 percent to 350 billion yen ($3.08 billion) for the year through December, up from the 330 billion yen estimated three months prior.
That would surpass the 330.59 billion yen average of 21 analyst estimates in a poll by Thomson NS I/B/E/S.
The upbeat outlook came as Canon’s third-quarter operating profit more than doubled to 80.46 billion yen ($708.90 million) against a year earlier. That beat a 69.43 billion yen average estimate of five analysts polled by Thomson NS.
Canon said sales of medical devices, OLED equipment and network surveillance cameras drove the results, even as demand for consumer cameras shrank and sales of printers remained flat.
Canon bought Toshiba Medical Systems, which makes CT scanners and ultrasound equipment, late last year from Toshiba Corp. The deal led the European Union to accuse the Japanese firm of breaching the bloc’s merger rules. The EU has threatened to impose a fine of up to 10 percent of annual revenue.
Like other Japanese imaging companies such as Fujifilm Holdings Corp and Konica Minolta Inc, Canon has in recent years looked to buy higher-growth “business-to-business” firms to help it expand beyond a global camera market under attack from increasingly sophisticated smartphones.
($1 = 113.5000 yen)
Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Christopher Cushing