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Fewer industries face the competitive pressures that major camera manufacturers face in the age of the smartphone, many of which have amazingly capable devices baked-in to the device itself.
In the face of global declines in demand, Leica AG has turned in a healthy set of revenue figures for fiscal year 2016/2017, going against the grain in a worldwide trend that has seen margins increasingly shrink for camera manufacturers as smartphones displace much of the low-end market.
Revenue for Leica AG has grown 6% while overall global demand for cameras has shrunk by an estimated 10% according to DP Review.
Leica executives credit a top-down realignment of the company’s business and distribution strategy with the changes in revenue growth, having moved about 90% of the camera’s retail distribution in-house to total about 90 Leica-branded stores worldwide.
The international engine driving Leica’s growth is the Chinese market where the German company is planning on opening at least 20 new retail storefronts over the next year to meet domestic demand there.