Today, Canon released their financials for the first quarter of 2024.

Overall the company's sales increased for the year, but operating profit was down. Personally I think the first 3 months of the calendar year are always tough to predict because a lot of it depends on what was left over from Christmas. If retailers haven't sold all their Christmas inventory, then they aren't ordering new inventory, and then we have the post Covid bounce in 2023, and how that may affect year on year results.

In other words, Canon isn't doomed.

Let's deal with imaging since it's always the subject near and dear to our hearts. Imaging overall which includes both networked cameras and regular cameras, showed a significant drop in sales for the first quarter. Cameras (which includes both compact and interchangeable lens cameras) had a 7% decrease in net sales and network cameras had a 11% decrease in net sales. Overall, Canon still feels the best is about to come as they are still projecting a 3.6% growth in sales for the entire year.

Canon comments on this by stating;

In the Imaging Business Unit, although sales of mirrorless cameras remained solid centered around new products including entry-level EOS R50, sales of interchangeable-lens digital cameras as a whole decreased compared with the same period of the previous year due to increase in sales promotion expenses and decrease in shipment volume aimed at adjusting the inventory that accumulated in the market at the end of the previous year.

I noted they didn't mention the R100. Yeah, not even Canon likes that camera.

Overall Canon's unit sales were also down for the 1st quarter down 500,000 units a reduction rate of 10%, but Canon is still projecting 2.8 million units for the entire year. This, however, is now a projected reduction of 3% in overall unit sales from 2023.

Canon doesn't mention much about cameras in their outlook for 2024, but they do state;

As for interchangeable-lens digital cameras, demand is expected to remain solid driven by a shift to mirrorless cameras and a return to appropriate inventory levels in the market.

The market is shifting and let's face it, the worlds on fire these days. I would imagine it's nearly impossible for a global company to put together concrete plans when various areas of the world look like they are going to explode at any moment.

The Imaging Division breakdown is shown below and if you want to see all of Canon's financials you can go here to get it.

38f5d204bb2bd1bf053c39b9a2984b13 728x538 - Canon has published their First Quarter of 2024 Financials

Canon Financials

Go to discussion...

88 comments

  1. There was not much released in Q4 2023 or Q1 2024 to drive sales. I expect Q2 and Q3 2024 to improve significantly with new cameras and lenses being announced.
    I really hope that the rumoured Q2 announcements actually ship in Q2 as well, but that will be very tight with the predicted end-of-May announcement date.

    That’s not even considering the ‘usual’ supply chain issues Canon has been showing where the first batch is relatively small and the big volume happens months later.
  2. Why shouldn't people love the R100?
    It's an inexpensive, lightweight, compact and certainly reliable camera. Not everyone needs/wants an R1.
    We forum members are not at all representative of the market.
    PS: I would never buy it...but my wife would. :)
  3. There was not much released in Q4 2023 or Q1 2024 to drive sales. I expect Q2 and Q3 2024 to improve significantly with new cameras and lenses being announced.
    Part of the problem with sales in Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 was that they did not deliver enough lenses of certain models: 10-20, 200-800, 100-300 etc. all remain difficult to find. I haven't look into availability of other lenses.
    I am still waiting for Adorama to ship a 200-800 to me, ordered in November 2023.
  4. Part of the problem with sales in Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 was that they did not deliver enough lenses of certain models: 10-20, 200-800, 100-300 etc. all remain difficult to find. I haven't look into availability of other lenses.
    I am still waiting for Adorama to ship a 200-800 to me, ordered in November 2023.
    Which, in some way, is good news for Canon: they are selling every copy of those lenses that gets produced.
  5. Why shouldn't people love the R100?

    No touchscreen when the original EOS M from 12 years ago had touchscreen, just like every single model since then. Makes it a pretty bad replacement for a smartphone.
  6. Which, in some way, is good news for Canon: they are selling every copy of those lenses that gets produced.
    and in other ways it means that they could have sold more if they had been able to deliver them :unsure:
  7. and in other ways it means that they could have sold more if they had been able to deliver them :unsure:
    Remember during COVID when new cars were in short supply and the usual dealer discounts were not happening? Even though auto sales declined in terms of unit volume, auto dealer and manufacturer profits saw huge gains.

    Companies care about the bottom line more than the top line. If a lens is in short supply, the most likely reason is not that Canon cannot make enough of them, it's that they're choosing not to. Have you noticed that none of the consumer-level (low margin) lenses seem to be in short supply?
  8. I really hope that the rumoured Q2 announcements actually ship in Q2 as well, but that will be very tight with the predicted end-of-May announcement date.

    That’s not even considering the ‘usual’ supply chain issues Canon has been showing where the first batch is relatively small and the big volume happens months later.
    Don’t think so, judging from previous releases it will be an early Q3 thing. The last announcement (24-105Z) was on Nov 2nd, but the lens only shipped almost 6 weeks later on Dec 13.
  9. Companies care about the bottom line more than the top line. If a lens is in short supply, the most likely reason is not that Canon cannot make enough of them, it's that they're choosing not to. Have you noticed that none of the consumer-level (low margin) lenses seem to be in short supply?
    So Canon is prioritizing high volume and low margin lenses (e.g. consumer grade lenses)? Isn't that detrimental to the bottom line and operating margins?

    Selling $1M worth of kit lenses might net Canon $100k in operating margin, but selling $1M worth of 200-800s might well double that. The consumer lenses are also often bundled together (see Content Creator Kit, Video Creator Kit) with discounts, further compressing margins.

    The current stock situation would make more sense if Canon is prioritizing the top line, in terms of both revenue and units shipped.
  10. There was not much released in Q4 2023 or Q1 2024 to drive sales. I expect Q2 and Q3 2024 to improve significantly with new cameras and lenses being announced.
    Announcements do not boost sales, delivery is the issue.
  11. No touchscreen when the original EOS M from 12 years ago had touchscreen, just like every single model since then. Makes it a pretty bad replacement for a smartphone.
    You are right: Smartphone without a touchscreen is even worse ;-)
  12. So Canon is prioritizing high volume and low margin lenses (e.g. consumer grade lenses)? Isn't that detrimental to the bottom line and operating margins?
    Not suggesting that, rather that they are restricting production (or distribution) of the new, high-margin lenses to keep demand high and thus obviate any pressure for discounting that cuts into the margins.
  13. Not suggesting that, rather that they are restricting production (or distribution) of the new, high-margin lenses to keep demand high and thus obviate any pressure for discounting that cuts into the margins.
    That seems like a rather convoluted explanation of the stock situation to me. I imagine Canon would rather take the revenue and profit now instead of behaving like Rolex in terms of restricting supply (and people tolerate Rolex only because the market price for some watches are higher than the MSRP). This is especially true with the 100-300, which, like other superteles, will never be discounted in its lifecycle.

    It seems more likely to me that the higher end lenses are more complicated and require higher precision manufacturing, and it is just more difficult to manufacture. To me, Canon would like to manufacture and sell more higher end stuff, but they just can't given current resources.

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