April 22, 2009 / 7:59 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Canon may post Q1 operating profit of Y30 bln - Nikkei

April 23 (Reuters) - Japan’s Canon Inc (7751.T) is expected to report an operating profit for the January-March quarter on brisk sales of single-lens reflex cameras and a weak yen, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing sources.

Canon is now likely to book a consolidated operating profit of about 30 billion yen ($306.7 million), a drop of 82 percent on the year, the paper said.

The better-than-expected results for the January-March quarter will likely prompt Canon to upgrade its projection for the full fiscal year through Dec. 31, the paper said.

The company, which uses U.S. accounting standards, is now expected to forecast a 64 percent decline in operating profit to about 180 billion yen — roughly 20 billion yen higher than its earlier projection, the report said.

For the fourth quarter, Canon, the world’s largest digital camera maker, had reported an 81 percent fall in profit and predicted a further slide in annual profit to a 14-year low this year, hit by slumping demand for cameras and office equipment and a stronger yen.

Canon leads Sony Corp (6758.T) and Nikon Corp (7731.T) in digital cameras and competes with Xerox Corp (XRX.N) and Ricoh Co Ltd (7752.T) in copiers and printers. ($1=97.81 Yen) (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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