Olympus UK executive: “Don’t panic… business is pretty strong”

Olympus financial losses over the years (thanks Eamon)

I want to put a few quotes here from Olympus UK Marketing Brand Manager Mark Thackara because I am sure it will be fun to come back in a few months and compare notes:

Q: Will Olympus be discounting to keep people interested in its products following this news?

A: I don’t think there will be any major discounting as a result of this. The market has been difficult for the last few years anyway, then the current virus situation has made life even tougher for everybody but what I can tell you is that we have sold more products in the last three months in the UK than we did last year – sales in this first quarter are up.

Everyone expected sales to drop off a cliff in April as all the stores were closed, but the UK is pretty robust when it comes to buying cameras and lenses online – probably the leading country in Europe when it comes to Internet sales. Not everyone was badly hit during the lockdown, and people could devote more time to their photography hobby, so we targeted them with various webinars and online interaction with our great team. So business is pretty strong.

Q: So if you didn’t really put a foot wrong, why is the parent company selling off the Imaging Division to a private equity firm?

A: There is a distinction between we can’t make money with the products, and we can’t make enough money. The division was making money, but it was loss making, and that is the amount of money you are making versus the costs – it doesn’t take a genius to work out you have to cut the costs.

Q: So what is your final messages to current Olympus owners, or prospective customers, who might be worried about expanding their system or buying into it?

A: Don’t panic. As far as we are concerned it is business as usual. Businesses change hands and flourish, so there no reason this won’t be the case here. I have been through all sorts of ups and downs in my 35 years with Olympus. Our basic technology and core proposition are still very good. (via amateurphotographer)

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