TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Canon Inc inched up its 2014 operating profit target on Thursday due to strong sales of office copiers and printers in the first quarter, and said a reshuffle of its camera line-up had also helped boost margins.
Canon said office equipment sales rose by 9.7 percent in the first quarter, helping lift operating profits by 51 percent to a higher-than-expected 82.6 billion yen ($806.76 million).
Camera sales, however, fell by 22 percent year-on-year in the quarter, as the world’s biggest camera maker struggled with the prevalence of high-quality smartphone cameras and a saturation in the high-end, single-lens-reflex camera market.
Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka told an earnings briefing that sales of pricier compact cameras had actually increased after Canon adjusted its camera production and line-up in the first quarter to meet customers’ demand for more sophisticated products.
But he said a recovery would take time.
“Determining whether we can achieve the growth we are hoping for will take some time,” Tanaka said. “Things are getting better in China and Europe, but it will take a while to see whether that will continue.”