Nikon Plans for Profitability by 2022, Will Aggressively Expand Lens Line

Nikon has financially struggled over the past year due to a host of factors, but according to the company’s CFO Muneaki Tokunari, it expects to be fully in the black by the next fiscal year. Additionally, it will push to release 12 lenses in the next 12 months.

In an interview on Nikkei (which is soft paywalled), Tokunari says that its imaging business, loss of factory equipment due to disposal, valuation loss of inventory in its semiconductor manufacturing, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic all combined to hit the company hard. The pandemic, in particular, cost the company 30 billion yen, according to Tokunari. However, the burden of depreciation will be reduced by the next fiscal year due to how it was recorded (as a lump sum this fiscal year).

“Of the four divisions, three divisions excluding the precision machinery business are expected to be in the operating deficit, but all of them are aiming for profitability in the next fiscal year,” Tokunari says.

“We are also promoting cost reforms in the video business,” He continues. The “video business” is a direct translation from Japanese, and refers to Nikon’s imaging division. “We have set a goal of reducing business operating costs by 63 billion yen. We will complete measures for 47 billion yen by this fiscal year. If the initiative is completed, it will be a system to earn stable profits even if the division’s sales are 150 billion yen or less (the same as the forecast for this term). ”

In short, Nikon’s financial situation may look bad right now, but going forward the company expects to easily turn those numbers around.

Added to this, Nikon is investing heavily in its mirrorless line. Citing consumers that are “highly motivated to buy,” Nikon says that its high-end mirrorless models are selling well. Given that stock of both the Z6 II and the Z7 II is incredibly difficult to find, there are few reasons to doubt what he is saying here. Nikon is very likely selling the units faster than it can currently produce them.

To build on that success, Tokunari says that Nikon will push to increase its current lens library from the 18 optics it currently offers to 30 by the beginning of the next fiscal year.

“Advertising and research and development costs will be concentrated on professionals and hobbyists to maintain a level comparable to rivals,” he adds.

Looking at Nikon’s lens roadmap that it published last November, there are currently 27 total lenses (not counting teleconverters) that are being produced or planned, with 11 of them not fully announced or revealed.

Based on the promise of 12 new lenses in 12 months, it is likely that at least every lens in the above graphics will be at least announced by this time next year or new lenses that have not yet been added to the roadmap will come to market. Regardless, this is an extremely aggressive schedule and if Nikon is able to live up to that promise it will be a boon for Nikon mirrorless fans.