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Fujifilm profit seen 6% brighter on instant camera sales

TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings' group operating profit likely grew 6% for the April-September half, driven by strong sales of instant cameras, medical devices and office equipment.

     Profit likely hit around 76 billion yen ($630 million), up from 71.5 billion yen in the year-ago period. No guidance for interim earnings has been announced.

     Cameras in Fujifilm's popular Instax line, which print photos immediately after they are taken, debuted in Europe and the U.S. last year. Sales of the cameras themselves grew, as did sales of specialized film for the devices -- a major earner. Efforts to trim sales of less-profitable compact digital cameras in favor of high-performance mirrorless and other devices look to be paying off.

     Endoscopes and other medical devices moved well during the half. Sales of document centers and other office equipment increased, as did those of associated document management and other cost-cutting services. Yet decelerating economies in emerging nations may have had an adverse impact.

     Shipments of films for liquid crystal display panels stagnated amid a flagging television market and competition from other low-cost components.

     Fujifilm sees operating profit for the year ending March rising 10% to 190 billion yen and sales increasing 4% to 2.58 trillion yen.

(Nikkei)

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