canon powershot G5x
  • Overall sales increase by 2% on 2014
  • Operating profit down by -2.3%
  • Digital Camera sales fall by -9.1% by value

Canon Inc post their full year results up to 31st Dec each year. Overall sales are fairly flat with Office and Imaging Systems falling whilst Industrial activity is filling the gap. Investment in new businesses will be the key to growth in the near future.

The company is organised into 3 segments, Office, Imaging System and Industry and others. Digital Cameras are part of the imaging segment along with Ink Jet Printers. Sales of Imaging Systems account for 33% of all sales. Of these sales Digital Cameras account for 60% and Ink Jet Printers 31%. So Digital Cameras account for less than 20% of all Canon sales.

Camera sales fell by 9.1% by value in 2015 and are projected to fall by another 8% by value in 2016. Unit sales of digital cameras fell by 21% in 2015 and are predicted to fall by another 16% in 2016. Most of the reduction in unit sales has been with compact fixed lens cameras whos' numbers fell by 27% in 2015 and are set to fall by another 24% in 2016. Whilst Interchangeable lens cameras fell by 12% in 2015 and are forcast to slow down to a fall of just 7% in 2016

It has been a challenging year for Canon Inc in terms of Digital Cameras. Inj Jet Printers have also seen a small decline so no help there. Notable, 'sales have been strong for such models as the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R digital SLR cameras'. Compact cameras with fixed lenses are going up-market to attract higher prices at lower volumes. and the Powershot G range has been extended to achieve this.

4th Qtrs figures

Sector Sales Q4 2014 Sales Q4 2015 Change
Imaging 402 366 -8.9%
All Segments 1060 1043 -1.6%
% of Business 37.9% 35.1% -2.8%

Sector Income Q4 2014 Income Q4 2015 Change
Imaging 58.3 62.1 6.6%
All Segments 98.5 107.0 8.7%
% of Earnings 59.0% 58.0% -1.0%

Sector Margin Q4 2014 Margin Q4 2015 Change
Imaging 14.5% 17.0% 2.5%
All Segments 9.3% 10.3% 1.0%

Imaging as a segment was worth 35.1% in value of overall sales, slightly down on 2014 but accounted for 58% of earnings for the quarter. So it's easy to see why the 4th quarter holiday season is such an important part of the overall business. Profit margin on Imaging is also high at 17% against overall business activity at just 10.3%. Despite a fall in sales it has been a pretty good quarter for Canon in the Imaging segment of their business.

Full year figures 2015

Sector Sales 2014 Sales 2015 Change
Imaging 1343 1264 -5.9%
All Segments 3727 3800 2.0%
% of Business 36.0% 33.3% -2.7%

Sector Income 2014 Income 2015 Change
Imaging 194.6 183.4 -5.7%
All Segments 363.5 355.2 -2.3%
% of Earnings 53.5% 51.6% -1.9%

Sector Margin 2014 Margin 2015 Change
Imaging 14.5% 14.5% 0%
All Segments 9.8% 9.4% -0.4%

Over the full year Imaging has seen a decline of sales of 5.9% reducing its contribution to overall sales by 2.7% to just a third of the company sales. Imaging still acounts for over half of all operating profits. Profit margin for the Imaging segment continued to run at 14.5% considerably higher than the overall 9.4%

Geographic Zones

In the Americas sales in Imaging were up 2% for the year but down 2.1% for the quarter. Europe were down 8.6% for the year and down 12.7% for the quarter in value terms. Meanwhile in Asia and Oceania sales were down 11.1% for the year and down 14.8% on the quarter. The story in Japan was little better with a drop of 4.1% for the year and 5.4% for the quarter. This has to taken into context with a rising US Dollar and a falling Euro.

R & D Expenditure

Expenditure in R&D for Imaging increased by 3.1% to 90.2 BYen. That is 7.1% of sales up from 6.5% in 2014.


Despite a year in which the market for Digital Cameras continued to weaken Canon have improved margins on lower sales. This gave them an impressive margin of close to 15% that is the target for all their business segments. This performance was stronger through the 4th quarter, so a good holiday period in general.

New releases since with the flagship DSLR 1Dx mkii should improve sales. All eyes on the second half of the year for a possible replacement for the 5D mkiii.