Canon has announced that its Japanese president Tsuneji Uchida will step down, with his role taken by the current CEO, Fujio Mitarai.

The news comes after Canon confirmed a weaker than expected operating profit for the year to December. It was 378.1 billion yen, which is down from 387.5 billion yen in the previous year.

Canon also announced a slightly better-than-forecast 14 per cent rise in fourth-quarter operating profit, at 94.6 billion yen. The company hopes to sell 9.2 million interchangeable lens cameras and 22 million compact cameras in the next 12 months, up from 7.2 million and 18.2 million respectively.

Canon shares drop

Shares in Canon have fallen by about 18% since this time last year, but problems with the economy and the floods in Thailand are likely to have had an impact, with several other companies on the Tokyo Stock Exchange also suffering in recent months.

Uchida will resign from his post on March 29 and will be replaced by Mitari, who was Canon's president from 1995-2006, but has since held the post of chairman.

Forecasts for the coming year are an operating profit of 390 billion yen, which is below the 470 billion predicted by 20 analysts.

A spokesperson for Canon UK said that the company does not divulge sales figures for individual countries, but should have a picture of European performance soon. Watch out for updates as they arrive.

via Reuters