Nikonu2019s global imaging sales rose 28% over the past year, despite shrinking demand for compacts, plunging prices and a u2018sharpu2019 downturn in the changeable-lens camera market from the end of 2012.

Nikon says performance was boosted by its Nikon 1 compact camera system and overall growth in sales of interchangeable-lens models over the 12 months.

Nikon sold 24.1m cameras in the year to 31 March – a 9% rise on a year earlier.

Demand for changeable-lens cameras shot up 47%, while lens sales rose 36% in volume terms.

Nikon’s net sales rose to 751.2 billion yen (around £4.9 billion) for the year to 31 March, compared to around 587.1 billion yen in the previous 12 months.

Operating income rose by 12.5%, according to figures released by Nikon’s head office in Tokyo today.

Overall group net profit, however, fell 28%.

Nikon says demand for products such as its D800 (pictured) achieved ‘steady’ growth, though the company was forced to cut the price of entry-level DSLRs due to ‘market conditions’ during the last three months of 2012.

Commenting on the digital camera market, Nikon admits ‘competition to survive is intensifying among manufacturers as the market matures’.

In its latest financial statements, the firm adds: ‘For compact digital cameras in particular, the dramatically shrinking market is further spurring price competition.’