Despite challenges from COVID and manufacturing issues, Canon has revised its latest earnings forecast up by $270 million, powered by strong sales of its two newest mirrorless cameras particularly in China.
For its fiscal year ending December 2020, Canon announced that it is revising its consolidated net income to ¥80 billion – approximately $772 million / £565 million / AU$997 million. It said this is due to the performance of the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab) in the Chinese market, prompting a significant increase of ¥28 billion ($270 million / £198 million / AU$349 million) on its previous forecast.
• Read more: Canon EOS R5 vs R6 (opens in new tab)
While this still marks a 36% decrease from the ¥108.8 billion ($1.04 billion / £762.7 million / AU$1.3 billion) figure posted for the fiscal year ending December 2019, according to Nikkei (opens in new tab) (by way of Digital Camera Info (opens in new tab)), it's still a 185% improvement on Canon's initial forecast for the year, which was obviously tempered by expectations of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.
"The background is the economic recovery in China, and there is a difference between the non-manufacturing industry, whose business performance is declining due to the re-expansion of the new coronavirus infection, and the recovery," reported Nikkei.
"New full-frame mirrorless cameras are performing well in the Chinese market. Ink sales for home printers also increased due to the expansion of telecommuting."
Indeed, as the manufacturer was keen to stress at CES 2021 (opens in new tab), Canon's business is about more than just the cameras that it is best known for. And while the current climate of lockdowns and home working (opens in new tab) have had a negative effect on the sale and use of camera equipment, Canon also produces some of the best photo printers (opens in new tab) – which many people have found themselves suddenly needing in their home office setup.
Hopefully, with the advent of new vaccines, the rest of the imaging industry – and the rest of the world at large – will see similar recovery.