High value models such as the a7R II have boosted Sony's income, despite falling unit sales.

Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it said in a presentation to investors.

The company says the move to higher value products allowed Digital Imaging's operating income to maintain essentially flat, despite declining sales. It attributes these declines to a combination of a shrinking market and missed sales opportunities due to the Kumamoto earthquakes. Also counting against its 2016 numbers were adverse foreign exchange movements. The figures also looked bad compared with 2015, as the group had received a one-off insurance payment that year, following flooding in Thailand.

The company suggested its 2014 strategy of strengthening its ILC and lens ranges is bearing fruit. It also predicts a compound annual growth rate of 27% in sales of ILC bodies and a similar figure in lenses, for 2017. It says it expects the group as a whole (which includes broadcast and medical businesses) to see sales grow by around 10% and its operating income to rise by 12.7%. Part of this will be driven by the move to higher margin products and some by the ability to respond to pent-up demand, following the Kumamoto earthquakes.

The company says it currently has 14% of the ILC and lens markets, putting it in 3rd place, globally (the recent press release about being 2nd in the US market is as much to do with bouncing back after Kumamoto and second-placed Nikon not having released any high-end cameras recently, as anything else). It also says it has 23% of the compact market, putting it in 2nd place or 1st if you only consider the more valuable large sensor and long-zoom compacts.