Nikon Announces 'Extraordinary Loss'

Hmmmmm...., this can't be good.

Though discussions of photography hardware typically bore me no end, there certainly are exceptions to the rule. And though it may prove to be 'much ado about very little' down the road, this report sounds a bit ominous. Of note to my eye....

  • Nikon Group (of which the Nikon camera line is one piece) is announcing a $500m loss for the last 3 quarters of 2016. Apparently, they had originally forecast a loss somewhere in the $240m range, but are now tacking another $262m on to that forecast. Yikes. I realize Nikon Group is a large corporation, but no matter how we slice it, $500m ain't pocket change. Combine that with a grossly underestimated forecast, and I'll bet there are some 'tight cheeks' nervously occupying some chairs in the organization at the moment.
  • Quoting from the article......."Most of the additional losses were in the Semiconductor Lithography Business, which is the technical term for the division that produces electric circuitry." Again, I am so uninformed about the structure of the organization, I certainly don't know how, or if, this will have much impact on the camera line. But it wouldn't seem out of place to think they utilize their own electric circuitry in their cameras. And if that sector of the corporation is losing money at a significant clip, it seems at least plausible nothing good is happening there.
  • Part of the announcement includes this wonderful little tidbit. Nikon is restructuring the company "shifting from a strategy pursuing revenue growth to one pursuing profit enhancement." To these ears, that sounds a whole lot like...."batten down the hatches boys, there's a storm a-brewin' and the seas are gonna get rough."

Only time will tell if Nikon camera owners have any cause to be worried, but if they've already decided to axe a venture into one camera market, it would seem unlikely everything else will skate by totally unscathed. Otoh, perhaps this action is being taken precisely to ward off any changes to plans for the existing lineup.

NewsRussell Wilner2017, Nikon