present financial position
most important player in the world of photography Nikon Corporation
is confronted with serious problems. Earlier this century Nikon went
into the red. With the introduction of an interesting series of digital
cameras and lenses Nikon was saved by the bell. Luckily Nikon became
a ‘paying concern’. But not for long as competitors were
not sitting still and consumers preferences were unpredictable. Mobile
phones and (later) tablets were fitted with cameras and lenses equalling
many compact digital cameras in performance. In 2004 a Consumer Relation
Management was unrolled to follow market trends. Unfortunately the latter
effort was not yielding as expected.
Nikon has 'misread the market' (stated in an earlier financial report), documented by the Nikon 1-Series, Keymission, DL-Series and Nikon NF-300i frame (just to mention a few recent 'poor shots'). The production of melagomaniac products like the Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm and the recent Nikkor-Z 58mm/0.95, absorbing millions of Yen, manpower and production facilities, may improve the company's image, but will not serve balance sheet figures.
In its new 2019 management plan Nikon promises to "ímprove profitability and enhance management DNA" by "trustworthiness and creativity" with a slogan: Unlock the future with the power of light! Unfortunately nowhere an open and transparent consumer relation or communication is mentioned. Nikon should open its HQ and talk with customers.
*November 2016 financial data.
Production of Nikon cameras and lenses (10,000 units)
* = Digital Cameras with Interchangeable Lenses - ** Interchangeable Lenses - *** Compact Digital Still Cameras - # forecast
(Source: Nikon 2019/May & August presentation material & November 2019 revised forcast)
BTW: To compare these financial data with the financial data of Nikon's most important rival Canon is difficult, since Canon's Imaging System Business Unit includes cameras and lenses but also cinema cameras, printers, scanners, projectors and calculators. In Canon's financial data as per March 31, 2019 sales (first half of 2019) in the ISB-Unit went down by 17.8 % (compared with 1st half 2018). Total net sales went down 10 % and net income per share went down 50 % !!. 25 % of its sales revenues comes from the camera business, while Nikon's imaging business is counting for 42 % of its total sales. 76 % of Canon's camera sales is made on markets outside Japan, while Nikon sells 87 % outside Japan. Canon also forcasts a decline in camera sales for the coming two years.
The second strongest competitor, Sony, is facing problems in the camera market, too. In the 3 months ended June 30, 2019 sales and operating revenue in the still and video cameras (inl. for broadcast) section went down some 10 % compared to the same period in 2018. Sales and revenues are made roughly for 1/3 in Japan and 2/3 outside Japan.