Almost all sectors are impacted by the Covid-19 crisis: that of the photo is no exception and the fall is perhaps even more severe. While Canon had announced in late April an 80% collapse of the profits of its photo division for the first quarter, it is the turn of Nikon to warn its shareholders that we should not expect miracles. In a letter dated May 12, the Japanese company warns that the coronavirus crisis will induce “extraordinary losses” and therefore revises its forecast balance sheet for last February to incorporate the new perspectives.
Income at half mast
Revised revenues are therefore almost 5% lower than those expected in February for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. Similarly, profits would then be 70% lower than initial figures. When Nikon expected 620 billion yen (about 5.33 billion euros) in revenue for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, it was ultimately the figure of 591 billion yen (5.08 billion euros) that should be achieved. Regarding profits, it is the cold shower: they would go from 20 billion yen (170 million euros), to “only” 6 billion yen (52 million euros).
Note that if this assessment may seem bad (and it is, of course), as recalled by the site Petapixel , the term “extraordinary” used in the letter from Nikon does not mean the same thing as in common parlance. Here, we must see more the fact that the losses are due to an extraordinary phenomenon, which ultimately leads to relativize the poor record because, in any case, the leaders of the photographic industry have been struggling for several years. The first half of 2019, for example, was marked by a 13.3% drop in turnover compared to the same period in 2018, just as the drop in profits was more than 40%.
However, the exceptional aspects of the crisis in the first part of 2020 are hurting many companies, and Nikon specifies that the company will even postpone these charges and taxes to temporarily boost its results and thus reduce losses. The recovery is expected by everyone.