Sales of Nikon SLRs shot up by more than 27% in the year to 31 March – helping to boost the company?s global financial performance which, it says, ?exceeded original expectations?.

Nikon notched-up SLR sales of 1.34m for the year 1 April 2005-31 March 2006 – an increase of 290,000 units on the previous year.

Nikon Corporation?s net profit rose by 4.8 billion yen, to 28.9 billion yen – up from 24.1 billion yen for the previous 12 month period.

Meanwhile, the company sold 7.11m digital compact cameras during the year, representing a 27.9% increase on the year before when it sold 5.56m units.

Nikon UK president Yojiro Yamaguchi described the results as ?very positive? for Nikon at a time when the photographic industry has ?experienced significant change, not just in the type of cameras sold but in the profiles of manufacturers and retailers?.

Yamaguchi added: ?Photography is increasingly about digital image processing with product development focused on technological enhancement of conventional lenses and flash systems.?