Olympus hangs $57 million loss on austerity, strong yen and declining compact camera market

Olympus is reporting a $56.7 million loss for its first quarter of 2012. While its coveted medical imaging arm remains profitable, its life-science and industrial unit suffered thanks to corporate belt-tightening. Unsurprisingly, its low-end compact camera market is shrinking, but sales of its OM-D E-M5 ILC increased by 50 percent, offsetting some of the losses and reducing operating losses from $89 million last quarter to $19 million in this one. Like many of its Japanese rivals, it's also found a strong yen has stifled its return to productivity, a trend that isn't likely to change soon.

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Olympus hangs $57 million loss on austerity, strong yen and declining compact camera market