Canon looks to Vietnamese manufacturing

Canon has announced plans to start manufacturing laser printers for export in Vietnam from January 2006, according to online Japanese news service Nikkei.

The company, which is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of laser printers, is expanding production to meet growing demand in China for low-priced laser printers that retail for between Â¥20,000 ($195) and Â¥30,000.

Global sales for laser printers are forecast to increase 17 per cent this year to 18 million units, said Nikkei.

It added that monthly production capacity at the plant, to be based in the Bacninh province, will be roughly 700,000 units, and Canon will hire around 3,000 workers for the facility by 2007.

The company had previously disclosed that it planned to start making inkjet printers in Vietnam in June 2005.

Canon has announced that it expects to achieve a net profit of Â¥370 billion in 2005, hitting a record high for the sixth straight year, according to a report by Japanese news agency Jiji Press. The figure, which would be up 10 per cent from 2004, is said to be a result of solid demand in the company’s network-related equipment, colour laser printers and digital cameras. Group sales in 2005 are estimated to rise 7 per cent from 2004’s levels to Â¥3.7 trillion.

Despite this, Canon will have to bear the brunt of rising material prices, which are expected to impact earnings over the coming year.

Net profit for 2004 is projected at Â¥339 billion, up 22.9 per cent from 2003. (see ‘follow my leader’, page 26)

Tokyo (JPN)