From the Olympus Website--A little better translation than DPReview

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Re: Cost accounting and reality.

Craig from Nevada wrote:

One has to take out the provisions for fraudulent and corrupt behaviour from the accounts, IMNSHO. If one predicates one's crystal ball gazing with them in the picture, one is assuming that the fraudulent and corrupt conduct will remain as part of on-going operations. This assumption is fatally flawed ab initio, IMNSHO.


The bad behavior hurt them for sure. In my opinion, if the scandal had not occurred they would be in a tough spot now regardless.

They are a small manufacturer in a very competitive industry, one that is struggling. Their balance sheet might be better, but they would still be facing many of the same challenges. They may or may not have the right technology, but as with the consumer electronics industry in Japan, they are not really well-positioned with the right products.

Point and shoot is a dead end with the possible exception of the high-end XZ-2.

The DSLR market is full and Olympus now has about 1 percent of the market (In US political lingo we Olympus owners are the 1 percent). I am having trouble seeing how they can grow this market. I can't see DSLR doing much except maybe keep the E-5. Olympus had their chance when the transition from film to digital occurred a decade ago and everyone was starting out. Chances like that don't come everyday.

This leaves the micro FT market. They are a leader here with OMD, but their line of lenses to this point doesn't really do much for me and the photography I like. I like going out armed with my E-5, 12-60mm and 50-200mm. They can't match this right now with a bunch of primes and the entry level zooms. I wonder if this line is profitable? I figure the mircro line gets reduced to E-PL and the EM-2 (?). The EP gets the boot. They try to do a professional OMD.

You point out that they have a joint venture with Sony and with it some capital of $500 million.To put this in perspective, 3 years at $170 million equals about that much. The loss this year is twice what was estimated. Sales are just not there.

The reorganization has to stop the bleeding. That will require fewer lines of cameras to support and few cameras. If they stay in the imaging business, they will need to do what General Motors did, cut the brands down and the number of models.


Craig, there is an awful lot of crystal ball gazing in your analysis ...

Firstly, Olympus has a considerable success on their hands with the OM-D. Quite a number of people I know here with FF cameras are buying the OM-D ... They are more than pleasantly surprised at the IQ that this camera produces ...
Like very surprised!
Like maybe even: "Why am I lugging 10+ kgs of camera gear around " surprised ...

Secondly, one does not steer the ship by looking over the stern ...

Thirdly, Olympus realises both of the above, and are taking the (right) steps to address both the current problems and the issues arising therefrom. They also make most of their money from medical imaging, so have this to fall back on if determined to continue. Compare this with (say) Nikon, where they are all but totally reliant on their camera business ...

Not one of us can predict the future of Olympus, or any other company.
IBM nearly went broke because of their attempt to introduce a proprietary bus structure into PCs (anyone remember the PS/2 bus ?) and followed it up with the disastrous "Windows killer" OS, OS2 ...

At the time, IBM was the largest company in the world, IIRC ...

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