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Olympus Cuts FY '07 Estimates on Slow Digital Camera Sales

Tokyo, Feb 5, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Olympus Corp. <7733> on Monday revised down its earnings estimates for the current business year to March 31, due to an expected slowdown in sales of digital cameras, especially in the United States.

The yen's appreciation against the dollar and the euro was also behind the downward revision, the company said.

Olympus now expects to report a group operating profit of 120 billion yen, down from an earlier projected 125 billion yen. Its sales estimate was lowered to 1,140 billion yen from 1,163 billion yen, but the net profit estimate was kept unchanged at 60 billion yen.

The company revised down its annual digital camera shipment estimate to 11.3 million units from 11.8 million, as sales of compact digital cameras in overseas markets, notably the United States, are expected to slow, hit by the subprime mortgage crisis.

Senior Managing Director Hideo Yamada told a press conference that Olympus thinks the fallout from the subprime crisis will continue to affect sales over a long period. He also noted that the market prices of digital cameras are declining.

The revised earnings estimates are based on the assumptions that the dollar will trade at an average of 105 yen and the euro at 155 yen, during the January-March fourth quarter of the current year. The company earlier estimated average exchange rates of 115 yen to the dollar and 160 yen to the euro.

For April-December, Olympus reported that its net profit grew 27.5 pct from a year earlier to 51,653 million yen. Operating profit increased 17.5 pct to 91,507 million yen, on sales of 843,135 million yen, up 10.3 pct.

By sector, sales at the imaging equipment division, which deals in digital cameras, increased 14.6 pct to 253.3 billion yen, with global shipments of digital single-lens reflex cameras soaring 85 pct to 370,000 units.

Sales at the medical equipment division grew 16.1 pct to 255.2 billion yen, boosted mainly by robust sales of endoscopes.

By Jiji Press, (c) Jiji Press

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