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Olympus forecasts larger $412 million loss for fiscal 2011

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Olympus is updating its forecast to a ¥32 billion loss for fiscal 2011. The company is blaming the Thai floods and unfavorable exchange rates.

olympus logo 1020
olympus logo 1020

Beleaguered Japanese camera and medical instrument maker Olympus is forecasting a ¥32 billion (about $412 million) yearly loss for fiscal 2011, citing the Thai floods and unfavorable exchange rates. While the forecast for yearly operating profits from its medical equipment arm slipped from ¥8.5 billion to ¥6.5 billion, its imaging business actually improved — although remaining unprofitable — going from a ¥15 billion loss in 2010 to a forecasted ¥9 billion loss for the 2011 (year ending March 2012).

Despite the bad news, sales for Olympus's cameras have been strong — the company earned the top BCN ranking for 2011 in the mirrorless category, and the new guidance for digital camera sales in 2011 is up 7.2 percent year over year, to ¥125 billion. Olympus is hardly alone in posting losses for 2011, and the accounting scandal certainly hasn't helped matters — hopefully, the new OM-D and repairs to its overseas production facilities will turn the company's imaging arm around in 2012.