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Surprise camera comeback drives Canon earnings rally

Businesses thought on last legs shine as new growth engines are still warming up

Canon "built a foundation for growth" in new fields in 2017, Executive Vice President Toshizo Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo on Jan. 30.

TOKYO -- An unexpected revival in cameras and multifunction printers provided Canon with its first upturn in full-year net profit in three years, the company said Tuesday, while new segments meant to drive growth have yet to truly contribute to earnings.

The Tokyo-based manufacturer of office equipment and digital cameras reported a 61% upswing in group net profit to 241.9 billion yen ($2.22 billion) for the year ended Dec. 31. The figure is expected to grow another 16% in the fiscal year just begun, though businesses such as medical care and industrial printing appear to still be finding their footing. Canon calculates earnings using U.S. accounting rules.

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