Nikon cuts profit forecast for year due to mirrorless camera struggle in Europe and US
Nikon's latest financial report revealed it has suffered from disappointing sales for mirrorless cameras in both Europe and the US, forcing the company to consider drastic decisions in terms of profit forecast and product offering.
Yasuyuki Okamoto, president and executive officer at Nikon, told Reuters on Thursday that - at least in Europe and the US - "the ratio of mirrorless to SLRs hasn't grown at all, unlike in Asia, where it's quite popular with women because it's light."
A mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, also called MILC, is generally a popular type of digital system cameras that have an interchangeable lens mount but don't feature a mirror-based optical viewfinder.
Mirrorless is one of the fastest growing segments of the camera industry. While DSLRs have begun to lose their lure, mid-size, mid-range alternative cameras like mirrorless have a booming user base in places like Japan and China. Sony, for instance, offers a relatively large APS-C sensor with its NEX family of market leaders.
Nikon - a Japan optics and imaging company - has often spearheaded the camera industry, especially in the DSLR segment, but it has yet to find the same success as Sony with its two-year-old mirrorless lineup.
The company reported that it only saw strong mirrorless sales at home during the first quarter of 2013, when shipments rose 16.8 per cent in the six months to June. Globally, shipments dropped 18.5 per cent. Nikon also reported 6.03 billion yen in operating profit for the first quarter - missing analyst expectations.
Due to disappointing results combined with the mirrorless-camera struggle, the company announced that it had to slash its profit target for the financial year. Okamoto also told Reuters that Nikon might have to rethink its product offering in certain regions.