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January 30, 2006 – Canon reported total sales of ¥879.2 billion (U.S. $7,451 million) for 2005, a 15.2% percent increase from last year. Digital camera sales made up 19.8 percent of Canon’s revenues. According to Canon’s financial report, the company sold ¥165.6 billion worth of cameras for the year, ¥51.2 billion of those sales in Q4. Fourth quarter profit for the digital camera segment of the company was ¥63 billion, a 59 percent increase from 2004. There was also a 6 percent growth rate in their film cameras and lenses segment.
Speaking on their record digital camera profits, Canon notes that "the continued strong demand for digital SLR cameras has fueled robust growth." They particularly credit the success of the EOS Digital Rebel XT released in 2005, the EOS 5D later in 2005 and the maintenance of a strong interest in the EOS 20D, as well as the expansion in interchangeable lens sales for SLRs. Canon also reports steady growth in their segment of the point-and-shoot market, noting the 2005 releases of the PowerShot SD400, A520, SD550 and SD450 as successes.
According to leading news wires, in 2005 Canon sold 16.9 million cameras; of those, 1.9 million were DSLRs. Canon expects to ship 19.2 million digital cameras, 2.2 million of which are DSLRs, in 2006. They also predict that compact digital camera sales will increase to 17 million sold, up from 15 million in 2005.
Fujio Mitarai, Canon’s current President and CEO, hinted to CNN in an interview that he may be leaving Canon to head Keidanren, a Japanese business lobbying group. Tsuneji Uchida, the Senior Managing Director, Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations would take his place. Mitarai, now 70 years old, has been with Canon since 1966 and is credited with much of the company’s success.