July 9 (Reuters) – Japan's Canon Inc is likely to post a near three-fold jump in its group operating profit for the January-June period, boosted by better-than-expected sales of digital single-lens reflex cameras and laser printers, the Nikkei business daily reported.
The digital camera and office equipment maker's group operating profit for the first half is expected to be up 180 percent at about 182 billion yen ($2.07 billion), the daily said.
Full-year sales are seen up 15 percent at around 1.7 trillion yen, helped by brisk demand for entry-level digital SLR cameras and strong sales in China, the daily said.
Renewed spending on information technology by clients helped the office equipment division, which struggled a year earlier, it said.
Canon's gross profit margin likely returned to levels from before the financial crisis, the daily said.
For the full year ending in December, sales are forecast to rise 17 percent to about 3.75 trillion yen, with operating profit predicted to surge 66 percent to about 360 billion yen, the daily said.
Canon, which uses U.S. accounting standards, aims to absorb the blow of a weak euro through cost cuts and increased sales of highly profitable products, such as digital cameras, Nikkei said.
There are signs of a recovery in photolithography devices amid strong demand from LCD panel makers in China, the daily said. ($1=87.75 Yen) (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)