Canon posts highest quarterly profit in nearly 3 years

TOKYO, July 23 Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:18am EDT

TOKYO, July 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Canon Inc said second-quarter operating profit jumped 12 percent to its highest for any quarter in nearly three years, as strong earnings in overseas office equipment offset continuing weakness in its camera business.

Canon said on Thursday that operating profit for April to June grew to 110.6 billion yen ($1.09 billion) from 98.3 billion yen in the same period a year earlier. That was in line with a 110 billion yen profit estimate reported in the Nikkei business daily two weeks ago, which had exceeded analyst expectations.

Canon held its full-year operating profit forecast steady at 365 billion yen, which would mark an 8.2 percent increase on the year. But the world's biggest camera maker by unit sales said it would not sell as many compact and high-end single-lens reflex models as it had previously expected, with consumers increasingly turning to smartphones to take photographs.

($1 = 101.4700 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)