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Canon profit drops 13.6% on weak camera demand

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Tokyo — Japan’s Canon said Wednesday that annual net profit fell 13.6 percent last year owing to weak demand for cameras in emerging economies and a slowdown in China.

The firm also said company veteran Fujio Mitarai will step down as president but remain as CEO and chairman, following the company’s general shareholders meeting on March 30.

Masaya Maeda, currently chief executive of Canon’s image communication products division, which includes cameras, will become the new president and chief operating officer, the company said.

The camera and office equipment giant reported a 220.21 billion yen ($1.86 billion) net profit for the year to December, while operating profit slipped 2.3 percent to 355.21 billion yen.

Sales ticked up 2.0 percent to 3.80 trillion yen, the company said.

“Demand for digital cameras with exchangeable lenses faced severity due to weak emerging market currencies and China’s slowing economy,” it said in a statement.

“Demand for compact cameras also declined as the market shrank.”

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