Sluggish demand for Nikon interchangeable-lens cameras across Europe and China contributed to a drop in unit sales over the nine months to December 2014.

Unit sales of Nikon interchangeable-lens models dropped 14.2% from October-December 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Net sales at Nikon’s imaging division fell 8.4% to 183.6 billion yen.

In its latest financial statements, Nikon explained that unit sales of interchangeable-lens cameras were strong in the Asia region, ‘except for China’ over the last nine months of 2014.

And interchangeable-lens camera sales ‘showed a recovery trend in the USA from the second half of the fiscal year’.

Nikon added: ‘Despite [the] favourable influence of exchange rate movements, the impact of the slump in the European and Chinese markets was substantial, and overall revenue and profit both fell year on year…’

Compact camera demand fell 28% in the last quarter of 2014 as the market continued to shrink.

However, operating income at Nikon’s Imaging Products Business remained at the same level as the previous year, surpassing the forecasted figure owing to the favourable exchange rate.