On the back of an unspectacular October-December earnings report, Canon has forecast slower growth for 2012. While quarter-on-quarter operating profits were up 14 percent, beating analyst expectations, year-on-year profits were down. Canon expects to make 390 billion yen (around 5.08 billion dollars) this year, only a slight improvement on their figure of 378.1 billion yen in a 2011 where many Japanese companies were ravaged by the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Thailand flooding, and the skyrocketing value of the yen. Analysts surveyed by Reuters were expecting the company to make a profit of 470 billion yen (around 6.13 billion dollars) this year, with the company soon launching important products such as the PowerShot G1 X, the EOS C300 and the EOS 1DX.

The company also announced that chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai is to return as president, nearly six years after Tsuneji Uchida replaced him in the role. Uchida is currently COO as well as president, but has tendered his resignation and will step down to an advisory position effective March 29th. Mitarai plans to work together with two vice presidents, Minoru Tanaka and Toshiaki Ikoma, as part of a shift to a younger management team at Canon.