While Canon still anticipates camera volumes to be lower for the whole year, last quarters results showed higher than expected demand for the new R5 and R6 offerings, along with a greater recovery in consumer activity linked to photography. The Imaging business unit’s positive performance accounted for a good part of Canon beating quarterly earnings expectations ($0.15 versus $0.01).

“For cameras, although the market continued to shrink, demand headed toward a recovery phase due to a recovery in consumption,” Canon stated in its release this morning. Sales in the Americas were up 19.5 percent versus the same quarter last year. Japanese and Asian sales were also up for the business unit, but Europe’s sales didn’t see the same bump, which may be due to reports that supply of the new full frame camera options was more restricted in Europe than in other regions.

“For interchangeable-lens digital cameras, although unit sales were below those of the same period of the
previous year,” the company stated, “Canon attracted home image capturing demand of families staying longer hours indoors.”

Imaging business unit revenues moved down just 2 percent, and profits moved up versus last year due to “improvements in profitability,” which we take to mean cost cutting. Interestingly, of Canon’s three major business unit revenue figures, the imaging unit declined the least.

Canon anticipates promoting the R5 and R6 cameras significantly in the near future, which likely indicates they expect supply constraints to ease.

The value of cameras and lenses sold that are in interchangeable lens systems continued its increase: to 88 percent in the last quarter versus 84 percent the year prior. Counting just the number of cameras, Canon sold interchangeable lens cameras 64 percent of the time.

The Canon stock price moved up about 5 percent in early trading this morning in anticipation of the results. It is up almost 6 percent within an hour of the results’ release.