Canon sees sales of RM1bil in 5 years


  • Business
  • Saturday, 09 Aug 2003

BY SABRY TAHIR

Liew Sip Chon ... target possible with yearly sales growth of at least 15%.

CANON Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd, which is targeting record sales of over RM400mil this year, expects turnover to breach RM1bil in five years.  

Senior director Liew Sip Chon said this would call for yearly sales growth of at least 15%, and the company's ability to stay ahead in both market share and technology in the optical imaging market. 

“Ongoing worldwide research and development activities will put us in a very strong position in the next five years,'' he told StarBiz in an interview. 

He said over the next five years, Canon's first-in-the-industry innovations would centre around the Canon over IP (Internet protocol) technology promoted under the Canon – Connectable and Connected tagline worldwide. 

Liew said that in the first six months this year, Canon Marketing achieved record sales of more than RM200mil. The company expected much higher growth in the second half, with contribution mainly coming from digital cameras, inkjet printers and printer ink supply. 

Canon was the clear market leader in the digital camera market, garnering 55% market share, he said, adding that in the next two to three years, the digital camera can expect to enjoy a growth rate of 60%-80% a year. 

The company expected sales revenue from digital cameras to reach RM40mil in the second half this year. Its bubble jet printers are expected to grow 5% to RM80mil and laser printer sales to exceed RM20mil this year. 

The company also planned to increase its share of the laser printer market to 30% this year from 22% last year. 

Liew said Canon Marketing expected printer ink sales to hit RM100mil this year. Printer ink, which accounted for about 25% of Canon's business, had been faced with the proliferation of counterfeit ink, resulting in a business loss of 50% last year.  

He said the imitation ink issue was reflective of Canon’s control of the market. “We have got the most machines around and thus provide a great market for imitation products.''  

Canon early this year set up a legal division to liase with the authorities to combat the illegal competition. 

On Reader's Digest Superbrand 2003 award for market leadership in printer, scanner, office equipment, camera and digital camera, Liew attributed it to Canon Marketing's consistent efforts in building and maintaining the brands.  

Liew said the company believed in maintaining its budget even during a slowdown. “Even if it does not help improve revenue, active advertising during a slowdown creates strong branding,'' he said. 

He said Canon used the same strategy during the 1997 currency crisis. “The company increased its budget for the following year, and that was why by the second half of 1998 our sales were back to normal,'' he said. 

“In the case of inkjet printers, we spent 10% when building the brand. This went on for three to four years until we were able to secure more than 50% market share.''  

Last year Canon spent 3%-5% of its turnover on advertising – 2%-4% on matured products and 6% or more on fast growing products. 

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