A 26% increase on a sales growth of 11% can only mean they have made significant savings in manufacture, distribution and advertising. Either that, or its simply that sales need to exceed a certain critical point?
I suspect much of Canons forecast is based on the hope of a global recovery. I have been following the thread about the promised 200-500L and note the "significant" prices being touted, I suspect that the fragile state of the western economies is part of that as well. Once Japan starts to see exports are selling, then maybe we will see prices return to more traditional levels. Note I did not say affordable!
It would be interesting to know what export market is Canons biggest. I imagine it's the US, with Europe as a whole being less important. So currency exchange rates have a major impact, I can see why smaller manufacturers avoid exporting like the plague, it must be a nightmare.
Late breaking news:
According to AP, Canon have pulled out of "Focus on imaging", due to start in a couple of weeks time here in the UK. I guess that means Canon are still feeling fragile.