(Reuters) - Following are some key facts about Japan’s Canon Inc (7751.T).
— Canon’s predecessor, Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, was founded in 1933. In 1934 the company produced a prototype of the Kwanon, Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane shutter camera and named after the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. In 1935 it filed to register the Canon trademark.
— In 1947 Japan’s government designated Canon cameras priority exports as the country resumed exports after World War Two. Its shares were listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1949.
— In 1952 Canon introduced the world’s first speed-light synchronized 35mm flash-and-shutter camera. The company opened an office in New York in 1955 and established a distributor in Europe in 1957.
— In the 1960s Canon introduced the world’s first 10-key electronic calculator and entered the copying machine market. The ratio of exports to net sales surpassed 50 percent in 1967.
— In 1970 Canon established its first manufacturing facility outside Japan. It entered the office computer market in 1971 and developed a laser beam printer in 1975. Overseas sales exceed 100 billion yen for the first time in 1979.
— Canon formed an alliance with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) in 1985. The relationship, under which Canon supplies HP with laser printer engines and other key parts, has blossomed into one of Canon’s main profit drivers.
— Canon introduced its first digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera in 1995. In the same year, Fujio Mitarai was appointed president. Mitarai oversaw the company’s withdrawal from the computer market and other reforms that help set the stage for eight straight years of profit growth through 2007.
— In 2006 Canon appointed Tsuneji Uchida, then executive vice president, to replace Mitarai as president.
Canon is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of copiers, printers, cameras, and equipment used to make semiconductors and liquid crystal displays (LCD). Its has three major divisions: business machines, cameras, and optical and other products.
— The business machines segment, which includes office and personal copiers, laser printers, ink-jet printers and scanners, accounted for 65 percent (2.9 trillion yen) of consolidated revenues in 2007.
— The cameras segment, which includes compact cameras, SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses, and handheld video cameras, generated 26 percent (1.15 trillion yen) of revenues.
— The optical and other products segment, which handles lithography equipment used to make semiconductors and LCD panels, radiography systems, large-format printers and broadcasting equipment, accounted for 9 percent (393 billion yen) of sales.
Revenue - 4.48 trillion yen
Operating Profit - 756.7 billion yen
Total Assets - 4.51 trillion yen
Cash & Equivalents - 944.5 billion yen
Employees - 131,352
CAMERAS — Canon was the world’s largest digital camera maker in 2007, holding a 17.3 percent share in the compact digital camera market in unit terms, compared with second-ranked Sony at 16.5 percent, according to research firm IDC. In SLR models, Canon controlled 42.7 percent of the global market, while Nikon held 40 percent.
COPIERS — Canon was the world’s second-largest maker of copiers in 2007 with 20.5 percent of the market in value terms, according to research firm Gartner. The top maker was Ricoh Co (7752.T) with a market share of 20.8 percent. Xerox (XRX.N) ranked third at 19.2 percent. Other competitors include Konica Minolta Holdings Inc (4902.T) and Sharp Corp (6753.T).
PAGE PRINTERS (mainly laser printers) - Hewlett-Packard was the top brand in 2007 with a market share of 42.6 percent in value terms, though that figure includes OEM supplies from Canon. Xerox ranked second with 16.5 percent of the market, followed by Lexmark International LXK.N at 5.6 percent and Canon with its own brand at 4.7 percent, according to Gartner.
INK-JET PRINTERS - Hewlett-Packard ranked No. 1 with a market share of 49.3 percent in 2007. Canon was second-biggest at 17.3 percent, followed by Seiko Epson Corp (6724.T) at 16.5 percent, Lexmark at 7 percent and Brother Industries Ltd (6448.T) at 5.0 percent, according to Gartner.
SEMICONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT - Dutch chip equipment maker ASML (ASML.AS) led the market for semiconductor steppers in 2007, accounting for 61.5 percent of worldwide sales in value terms, according to VLSI Research. Nikon was the second ranked manufacturer with 24.6 percent and Canon ranked third with a market share of 10 percent.
Sources: Reuters; www.canon.com; Gartner, IDC, VLSI
Reporting by Jijo Jacob and Nathan Layne; Editing by Alex Richardson