Olympus notches up £100m profit after phone business sell-off (update1)

Olympus notched up a near-£100m profit for the three months to 30 September, despite its imaging business recording a £22m operating loss as compact camera sales fell drastically.

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Olympus made a 12,471 million yen net profit (£98.7m) for the quarter to 30 September, and a 8,015m yen (£63.4m) profit over the half year.

Over the past quarter, the corporation's overall operating income shot up 29.5%, though the imaging business made a 2,904m yen (£23m) operating loss.

A 2.9% year-on-year rise in operating profits over the six months to 30 September was mainly due to growth in the medical systems division, says the firm in financial results released today.

Olympus acknowledges that the £100m net profit figure was largely due to profit made from the sale of the Information & Communication Business of ITX Corporation, which was recorded as 'extraordinary income' of around 15.6 billion yen (£123.6m) in the accounts.

Though compact system camera sales exceeded expectations, imaging division net sales fell 21% over the six months.

Olympus admits that its compact camera sales experienced a ‘drastic contraction' - impacted by an ‘acceleration of the shift to smartphones' and falling prices sparked by intensifying competition.

‘Shipment of compact cameras decreased amidst the rapid contraction of the compact camera market,' reports the company.

‘On the other hand, the mirrorless market grew steadily across the globe. OM-D recorded a bigger increase in sales capital than expected.'

In September, Olympus announced a £400m capital alliance with Sony, in a move the firms hope will boost their product and price competitiveness.

Olympus has pledged to focus on mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras and ‘high-end' compacts, shifting resources away from low-end fixed-lens compacts.

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