Olympus Stands to Post a Profit in 2014 as Mirrorless Sales Climb


Olympus’ decision to put all its chips on the mirrorless market seems to be paying off, with the once-troubled company finally poised to register a profit next year after several quarters of losses.

The company expects to sell a million mirrorless models in the next fiscal year, which begins April 1, compared with the 660,000 units that were sold this year. The increase will help push Olympus to estimated operating profit of $68 million.

CEO Hiroyuki Sasa told Bloomberg that Olympus has a built-in advantage in the mirrorless market. “Ours are lighter, smaller and made with less parts, so we can do better with prices.”


Cameras only account for 14 percent of the company’s total revenue, but they’re an important driver of innovation in other sectors, such as medical imaging. They can also be a drain on profits, as the company discovered over the past year as it lost more than $200 million from sagging sales for its now drastically reduced lineup of point-and-shoots.

Olympus has been beaten up on several fronts lately, most infamously a $1.7 billion accounting fraud case that threatened top executives with jail time. A new partnership with Sony, however, and well-received mirrorless launches such as the E-M1, seem to be helping turn the venerable Japanese camera maker around.

(via Bloomberg via Imaging Resource)

Image credit: Olympus Sign at Hayou Emporium by Anonymous

  • Sterling

    They are expecting a 50% sales increase in mirrorless cameras? Sounds like wishful thinking has become a part of Olympus’ business plan.

  • Leif Sikorski

    This is possible. Especially in Asia, one of the most important markets for camera sales at the moment, the sales of mirrorless cameras are growing fast. Same in some European countries.

  • 32423423

    yeh well we wil see.. until now ist nothing but talk to keep the shareholders happy…

  • 32423423

    yeah they live completely in a dreamworld.

  • 32423423

    “so we can do better with prices.”
    lol….. i guess that´s why mirrorless prices drop 30-40% in the first 3-4 month.
    look at the GX7… now it´s 800 dollar.. thought in europe you still pay crazy 1000 euro.
    or the E-M5 … now for 799 euro.. a few month ago way over 1200 euro.

    better burn your money…..

  • Dingo

    A lot of their customers are people who already own FF or APSC DSLR’s. If i had a 1DX and 24-70 L lens. I’d probably still rather take an olympus pen or Om-d to my kids birthday party. The reality is that professional photography will, for the most part, still be the realm of DSLR and Digital Medium Format for now. But most photography falls into the hobby or personal work category, which is why Mirrorless is so successful. I think you might just find that in the long term Full Frame is not the future, because prices take a long time to drop in market segments where turnover is low, Mirrorless turnover is high and growing so prices will drop far quicker.

  • Sterling

    I wish only the best for Olympus. But in June they were predicting sales of 730,000 for fiscal year 2013. Six months later they’ve dropped that estimate to 660,000. The actual number won’t be known until next April. Now they are trying to convince people that they can accurately predict their sales results in April 2015? People should buy their cameras if they like them. But people should take the company’s financial forecasts with a grain of salt.

  • markz

    living in a dreamworld? pot meet kettle….

    the same innovations and economies that will drive down sensor … sorry full frame sensor… prices will also drive down sensor prices in general. and even the new Sony shows you have trade offs.

    not everybody needs or wants full frame and crop seosor compacts are the proverbial ducks nuts for travel and snapshots
    And I’m writing that as someone who also shoots large format and medium format film as well as crop and full frame digital but I know what camera I’m grabbing when I jump on a plane for a week in Thailand or Indonesia and in the last 2 years that camera has had the MFT logo on it

  • BDK

    Just used my new M1 on Christmas day and it really impressive. Brilliant pictures (Technically at least). I was going to get the 5D originally but since I can barely be bothered using my old 450D then going mirrorless was a no brainer. And for the record all our Christmas Lunch pics are better than the ones we bought off the “professional” photographer with his big FF Canon’s. Ours were taken on my M1 and a Canon compact.

    If you are a pro then FF is fine but for the vast majority mirrorless is perfect..

  • Fanboy

    The EM-5 Price has been stabil for nearly 1 ¹/2 years..

  • Jari

    ““Ours are lighter, smaller and made with less parts, so we can do better with prices.”

    I don’t understand this sentence. Olympus’ mirrorless cameras are initially always more expensive than Panasonic’s, yet their cameras can’t even do decent video. The GX7 was also much cheaper than the E-P5, which doesn’t even include a viewfinder. Olympus does factually worse with their pricing…

  • Sterling

    He probably means versus traditional DSLRs. But even then the better pricing argument is weak. Just more corporate obfuscation.