Olympus Still Not Out Of Trouble: Losses Continue, Woodford Demands Millions

The Olympus Story continues with the company’s report for the fiscal year ending March, 2012. According to an official PDF, while the net sales have been rising in comparison to the previous fiscal year (from JPY 847.1 bn to JPY 848.5 bn), operating income has decreased from JPY 38.4 bn to JPY 35.5 bn, with a total net loss of JPY 48.9 bn. The Medical Systems sector seems to be the one gaining the most profit for Olympus, while the Imaging sector — despite increased sales on the home market — is still making losses. Nonetheless, Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds models are still selling well, according to this article by Thom Hogan.

Meanwhile, according to The Amateur Photographer, the dispute between Olympus and their former CEO and scandal whistleblower Michael Woodford has been settled out of court, with Woodford receiving a not-yet disclosed sum (but probably a high seven or eight digit figure) in compensation. Woodford, who uncovered the financial scandal that has been keeping Olympus in the news for the past months, was originally seeking up to US-$ 60 m from Olympus according to this AP artcile.

At the same time, the reports about companies interested in investing in Olympus continue. Latest candidate is Panasonic, who is reported to be debating a capital alliance with Olympus. In order to consolidate their own medical sector, Panasonic could possibly become the major Olympus shareholder. The same report also states that Olympus may sell off sectors that do not form part of their “core business”. Some 2500 jobs could be lost, some of them possibly in the Imaging sector.

As we here at The Phoblographer are all huge fans of Olympus’ photographic products, this is all not very good news to us. We can only hope that the company will get back on its feet eventually, and especially that they will be able to restructure their Imaging sector to become profitable at last — after all, their Micro Four Thirds lineup is pretty damn amazing.

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