Canon, Inc. (CAJ)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 8:00 am ET


Toshizo Tanaka – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Toshizo Tanaka

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Good morning or good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Cannon’s Conference Call. Please refer to today’s slides and note that our financial comparisons made during my presentations will be on a year-on-year basis unless otherwise stated.

Please refer to Slide 2. This is today’s agenda.

Please turn to Slide 3. In the first quarter, global economy saw only a gradual recovery. In addition to continuing weakness in Europe, we also saw sign of dissertations in managing the market. As for exchange rate, although the year end moved away from its excessive appreciation, it remained strong against U.S. dollars and euro.

In addition to the challenging business environment, we faced some effect of last year’s Thai flood. Under these situations, despite posting a slight decrease in the sales, we recorded our third consecutive quarters of operating profit and net income growth through cost reductions and comprehensive effort to streamline expenses.

Please refer to Slide 4. This slide summarize our first quarter’s performance. As for the sales, we posted slight decline of 1.2%, thanks to continued strong sales of SLR cameras and color copiers.

As for gross profit, although we made steady progress in cost reductions, gross profit as a percentage of net sales declined 1.3 point due to such factors, as a rise in oil prices and changes in product mix.

As for operating profit, we secured a slight increase of 0.2% reflecting progress we made in firmware and accessories. Net income increased 11.0% due to a gain on foreign currency denominated assets and other factors.

Taking into considerations, our strong performance prior to last year’s earthquake and this year’s challenging business environment, our abilities to maintain profit growth can be attributed to further improvement in our financial constitutions.

Please turn to Slide 5. I will now compare our first quarter’s results with that of last year’s in more detail. Changes in exchange rates had a negative impact on both the sales and operating profit. As for changes in sales volumes, the impact was negative on the office due to inventory adjustments of other printing devices. For our other two business units, the impact was positive.

In the other categories, the negative fees on the sales represent price declines. Positives fees on the operating profit represent the price declines offset by cost to reductions and comprehensive efforts to streamline expenses. In this way, despite a slight decline in sales, we secured an increase in profit absorbing the Yen’s appreciation.

Please turn to Slide 6. This slide shows our exchange rate assumptions and their estimated impact predicted in the sales and the operating profit for the remaining nine months of this year.

Please, turn to Slide 7. This slide highlights some key points regarding our revised projections. Although, we feel the global economy maybe sluggish, we still believe that the emerging markets will continue to drive overall expansions, and that it will take considerable time before Europe realizes an economic recovery.

As for the United States, although there are sign that the worst is over and the things seems to be improving. We feel it will take time before the U.S. economy can contribute to driving strong growth in the global economy. In addition to the challenging market environment, we expect Japan’s manufacturing industries to be exposed to prolonged yen’s appreciation. However, in such adversities we’ll work to further balance our manufacturing as a way to enhance our abilities to respond to rapidly changing market need through a swift start-up of production of attractive new products.

We’ll also strive to enhance our production and sales structures, which will allow us to rapidly deliver this product around the world. We were firmly achieving this target and build our foundation for future growth to achieve our target read out in Page 4 of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan.

Please refer to Slide 8. This slide summarize our revised projection for the full year. I’ll now compare our current predictions with our previous forecast. Changes in the exchange rate assumption had a positive impact on projected net sales and operating profit.

As for projected changes in sales volumes, in our office business unit, the impact was negative after debut of (inaudible) for other printing devices. As for consumers, the impact was positive reflecting in particular, strong sales of high-end cameras and inkjet printers.

The total impact on industries and others was positive due to favorable sales of group companies. In the other category the negative figures under net sales, represent the same 110 billion yen in price declines for mainly copiers and cameras. The negative figures on the operating profit depict cost reductions totaling 90 billion yen, which exceeds our results of last year, but is lower than our previous projections due to impact of Thai flood under the factors. In total, we plan to significantly exceed our previous sales and operating profit projections.

Please refer to Slide 10. I will now discuss each business units starting with our office business unit. In the first quarter, the overall copier market remained on a puzzled gradual recovery.

However, we faced a changing environment due to the economic slowdown in Europe. In emerging market, office-related product sold the best demand, thanks to the economic growth.

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