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Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 12 News List

Japanese digital camera shipments surging this year

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Worldwide digital camera shipments by Japanese electronics makers surged 93 percent in the five months ended May 31 with growth strongest in Europe, bene-fiting companies such as Sony Corp and Canon Inc, an industry group said.

Shipments from camera makers such as Canon, Sony, Fuji Photo Film Co and Olympus Optical Co surged to 13.4 million units in the January-to-May period, the Tokyo-based Camera and Imaging Products Association said in report on its Web site.

Global demand for digital cameras is surging, buoyed by lower-priced cameras, better picture quality and a wider range of models. Shipments of digital cameras by Japanese manufacturers were almost double those of older film-based models in the first five months of the year, the industry association said.

Japan digital camera shipments rose 49 percent to 3.08 million units, the group said. As for overseas shipments, cameras bound for Europe more than doubled to 4.57 million units; ship-ments to North America jumped 67 percent to 3.82 million.

Shipments to Asia totaled 1.51 million units while shipments to other areas reached 0.39 million units.

In May, worldwide shipments climbed 79 percent to 3.1 million units. Sales for the month rose 63 percent to Japanese Yen 94.5 billion (US$790 million). Sales in the January to May period rose 72 percent to ?408.5 billion, the industry association said.

CIPA says its data cover about 80 percent of all digital camera sales and shipments globally. Japanese companies account for as much as 90 percent of the world's digital cameras, according to estimates by analysts such as Richard Kaye at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities.

Moreover, worldwide sales of digital cameras Japanese Yen 1.1 trillion this year before growth slows to 9 percent the following year, Kaye said.

Sony is the world's largest maker of digital cameras, followed by Canon and Fuji Photo Film.

Sony, the maker of Cyber-shot digital still cameras, last month raised its shipment forecast by a quarter to 10 million units for the year ending next March.

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