Nikon sold 15% more cameras and lenses but almost halved its overall profits in the three months to 30 June, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the company says it expects to face more intense competition from rivals over the next 12 months.

Volume sales of interchangeable-lens cameras rose 23%, while lenses were up 15% on the 2011 figures – a quarterly high for sales of these products.

Compact camera sales shot up 12% – marking a new company record for the first quarter of a financial year.

This was achieved ‘in spite of the shrinking market’, said the company at a presentation of its latest results in Tokyo earlier today.

The firm sold 4.43m compact cameras during the three months, compared to 3.95m last year.

But, the corporation’s overall net profit fell 48.7% to 15.7 billion yen, from 30.6 billion yen in the same period last year.

The firm said its imaging division was hit by unfavourable exchange rates, with operating income sliding 38%.

‘Operating income went down, affected by the strong yen [against the Euro] and sales expenses increase.’

Looking ahead, Nikon added: ‘In the Imaging Products Business, both revenue and profit of interchangeable-lens type digital cameras and compact digital cameras are expected to grow due to an increase in sales volume, although more intensifying competition is expected.’