Canon sees market rebound

Canon says its local financial results for 2009 are positive in light of economic conditions last year, adding it implemented growth strategies at the first stages of the downturn in 2008.

Country manager Mike Johnston says these strategies included working more specifically with individual channels, fully outsourcing its warehousing and focusing on high-end models in the camera market.

“[In 2009] we grew the top line and made a significant change to the bottom line as well,” he says.

For the year ended 31 December, 2009, the vendor and its subsidiary Lambert Business Systems achieved slight year on year gains in revenue (which reached $120 million) and gross profit (hitting $33.7 million). It had an after tax loss of $3.99 million in 2009, an improvement from the$5.62 million loss in the 2008 financial year.

Canon has seen a lift in business expenditure this year, with Johnston saying companies’ reluctance to invest has been reversed.

It also sees low price brands making a comeback in the camera market, a trend the company took note of in 2008. Canon has chosen to focus on high-end models, rather than compete at the low end, says Johnston.

“There’s a move away from value to more of a commodity. It is not an area we are fighting in. We are focusing on value to the customer, features and continuing to work with our channels to market individually to understand their business.”

He adds there was “huge demand” among smaller businesses for second-hand equipment last year, especially in photocopiers, with a sharp decline in demand for new machines. However, medium and large enterprises saw more effective management of printer and copier fleets and document workflow, as a way to save costs last year.