In news that will hearten Canon shooters, the firm indicated in its quarterly results that parts availability is improving. In news that probably won't hearten Canon shooters, the company said it expected double-digit profit growth in future quarters “as negative impact of cost increase is absorbed through various measures.” Of course, one such measure could be charging $17,000 for a lens.
Increased costs were the largest factor in shrinking Canon's Q1 profits. Despite increasing revenue by about 6 percent for the Imaging division, profits in that sector shrunk by 26 percent. Similar dynamics appeared in most other divisions.
Demand, mainly coming from professionals and advanced amateurs, continues to be strong as full-frame mirrorless cameras released by each company stimulate the market. As a result, we expect the 2022 market to grow by 5% compared to last year to 5.65 million units, which also includes some carryover from last year due to supply shortages.
In the first quarter, unit sales of interchangeable-lens cameras were below those of last year due to product supply shortages. However, sales increased due to a rise in average selling prices, as we prioritized the supply of high-end models such as the EOS R5 and EOS R6, and also due to a significant increase in sales of RF lenses.
For the full year, even as the shortage of parts continues, we will continue to increase our product supply by using parts secured through purchases from new suppliers or by switching to alternative parts. At the same time, we will work to achieve our aim of sales and profit growth, fulfilling backorders to sell 3 million units, 10% more than last year.
This year as well, we will promote the enhancement of our lineup of camera bodies and interchangeable lenses, which include two new Super-telephoto fixed focal length RF lenses announced in February. As long telephoto lenses with focal lengths of 1200 mm and 800 mm, these lenses are extremely compact and lightweight, features that are expected to contribute to more people purchasing them.
Going forward, we will continue to enhance the overall value of the R system, including bodies and lenses to solidify our position as a top manufacturer of mirrorless cameras.
Canon intends to make up lost ground on profits for the Imaging division, forecasting a roughly 20 percent increase from last year's figures on top of a revenue increase of 15 percent. These forecasts are improved from last quarter's forecasts, indicating Canon sees a generally better environment for its FY 2022.
Canon expects the camera market to grow 5 percent to 5.65 million units. It indicated that its sales growth is predicated on its expected increased ability to secure parts. Camera sales were up 6 percent year over year, and are expected to be up by about 15 percent by the end of the year.
Lenses were actually down in sales by 9 percent in the first quarter, but are expected to bounce back to be a 10 percent increase over FY 2021 by the end of the year. Lots appears to be dependent on the production rates, depending on parts supplies.