Japanese consumer electronics giant Canon saw its annual revenue in China grow by 38 per cent year-on-year last year, a company executive said.
The set target for the world's largest digital camera manufacturer was a 24 per cent year-on-year increase. The firm's annual revenues in China stood at US$450 million in 2004.
The higher-than-expected sales growth was mainly attributed to aggressive expansion efforts in recent years by the firm, which entered China nine years ago.
Hideki Ozawa, president and chief executive officer of Canon China Co Ltd, said the top priority for Canon now is to boost sales as it has finished "infrastructure construction," known as the firm's "first-phase plan."
"The second phase is from 2005 to 2010, in which we will focus on expanding our market share and increasing sales," he said.
"In 2006, Canon China hopes to grow (annual revenue) by 30 per cent."
Ozawa, also president of Canon Asia Marketing Group, has set an ambitious goal to double the firm's annual revenues in China to US$1 billion by 2008.
Canon won approval from the Chinese Government in 2004 to directly import and sell its products in China, which has given a major boost to sales.
Previously, the company's products had to be imported via Hong Kong, and its manufacturing facilities in China were solely focused on exports.
China's consumer electronics market, despite heated price wars, still offers a big opportunity for Canon. It boasts a wide portfolio of imaging products including cameras, camcorders, printers, copiers and scanners, noted Ozawa, adding: "The world of digital photography is growing with remarkable speed. The compact digital camera market in China is increasing by 50 per cent every year."
"Demand for professional digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) has never been so large, both in technology and in variety of needs."
According to US-based research firm IDC, China's consumer electronics market was worth 61.60 billion yuan (US$7.71 billion) in 2004 and is expected to hit 159.64 billion yuan (US$19.96 billion) by 2009.
A total of 5.3 million digital cameras were sold in China last year, showed statistics by data tracking firm GFK China.
The figure is forecast to grow by 32 per cent to 7 million units this year. Around 109,000 camcorders are projected to be sold this year.
Sony and Canon dominate China's digital imaging market.
Ozawa said Canon will strengthen research and development (R&D) as well as its localization efforts in China to help it achieve the US$1 billion goal by 2008.
He also said Canon will launch the Canon Asia Expo in Beijing from August 31 to September 3 to display the firm's vision and future technology.
Source: China Daily