Nikon's financial curate's egg


Excellent in parts! That’s probably the best summary of the Q&A that Nikon released today on its financial results for the second quarter of this financial year. Natural disasters and the release of some exciting pieces of new kit have combined to give investors good news and bad news, but overall, the situation’s not looking quite as rosy as it was at the end of September.

Not so many D5100s around at the moment

Until the awful flooding in Thailand submerged Nikon’s dSLR camera and lens production plant and forced it to suspend manufacture, sales for dSLR cameras had been up against like-sales for the same period last year. So instead of a projected 25 million sales of dSLRs and interchangeable lenses for the entire year, the figure’s been revised to 15 million units. The Thai plant is unlikely to resume production at all until January 2012, and it won’t be at capacity until the end of March 2012. Meanwhile, Nikon’s other factories are stepping into the breach, along with some partner organisations.

There’s been less demand for compact cameras across the market as a whole. I’m inclined to suggest that’s a result of improved mobile phone cameras and mirror-less cameras carving up demand betweeen them. Nikon, though, has bucked this trend and hasn’t seen its compact camera sales drop off. It reckons it’ll sell about 100 million of them this year.

Picking up the sales baton - the V1

As for the Nikon 1 – supply cannot keep up with demand. The J1 and V1 seem to be very popular pieces of kit. And Nikon wants to keep it that way. To help defray the losses from the dSLR disaster, they’ll be pushing sales and production of the 1 series. Let’s hope that the Chinese factories can up the supply.

The bottom line? Nikon has adjusted its annual sales and operating income figures downwards. It’s projecting ¥65 billion in annual sales and an operating income of ¥23 billion.

(If you’re so inclined, you can read the full Q&A here.)