An 11% rise in mirrorless camera sales helped the Olympus imaging division turn a £30m operating loss into a profit in the nine months to 31 December 2015. This was despite a fall in year-on-year sales during the last quarter of 2015.

Olympus’s imaging business sales rose on the back of a ‘strong performance of mirrorless cameras centred on the OM-D series in Japan and Europe’, the firm said in its latest financial statements.

The firm turned an operating loss of 4.9 billion yen from April-December 2014, to a profit of 99 million yen (around £595,000) a year later, with a 2.3% growth in net sales.

Last year, the Olympus camera business reported an operating loss of 13.9 billion yen for the year to 31 March 2015.

The camera division returned to operating profit in the three months to 30 June 2015, amid rising sales and cost cuts.

However, mirrorless sales dropped 6% from October-December 2015 year-on-year, and sales of compact cameras fell 22%.

Commenting on the performance of its Imaging Systems Business – from April-December 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 – the firm added: ‘In the mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera field, mainly the OM-D series increased sales in Japan and Europe, with sales also boosted by a contribution from the high-performance interchangeable lenses “M.Zuiko Digital Pro” series, with additions of new models bringing the line-up to four models.

‘In the compact camera field, the company continued to limit the number of units sold in response to market shrinkage, however sales in the Imaging Systems Business increased year on year.’

Olympus added: ‘The Imaging Systems Business’s operating income/loss improved compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year, mainly due to the increase in sales and progress in reducing expenses.’