UPDATE 1-Canon to delay new digital camera plant

Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:27pm EST

(Adds details, background, share price)

TOKYO Dec 17 (Reuters) - Canon Inc (7751.T) said it would delay the construction and start-up of a $196-million digital camera plant in Japan due to slow demand, becoming the latest company to modify investment plans amid the global downturn.

Canon, the world's largest digital camera maker, said in July it would start building a new digital camera plant in Nagasaki, western Japan, in January 2009, with production slated to start next December of that year.

The company, which sells IXY and EOS brand digital cameras, will decide on new dates for the plant as it monitors conditions in the global digital camera market.

Canon in October cut its digital camera sales target by 5 percent to 27.9 million units for calendar 2008 as sagging economies worldwide forced consumers to tighten their purse strings.

Canon shares were up 1.1 percent at 2,730 yen on Wednesday, in line with the benchmark Nikkei average .N225. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Hugh Lawson)