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Canon fires up Middle East markets

Canon has declared the Middle East as the fastest growing region for its worldwide sales following the announcement of the company’s financial results for 2003.

Canon has declared the Middle East as the fastest growing region for its worldwide sales following the announcement of the company’s financial results for 2003.

Canon Middle East has seen a 33% boost to sales in 2003 giving the company double-digit growth in the region for its fourth consecutive year.

The company attributes its success to the boom of multifunctional devices entering the consumer and office environment, such as the combined fax/printer/scanner.

“We have done exceptionally well in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran followed closely by steady growth across the other GCC and Levant countries,” says Gordon Jones, president, Canon Middle East.

On a worldwide scale the company has also seen significant gains. Faced with poor economic conditions, political instability, and the negative impact of SARS in Eastern Asia economies, Canon still managed to report 8.8% growth.

“Globally Canon has recently crossed the magic milestone of three trillion yen. It is fantastic growth considering the IT sector and market conditions in Japan, Europe and the States,” says Ammar Alul, director, Canon Middle East.

Since it became a full subsidiary in 2001, Canon Middle East has been vigorously expanding its operations in the region through improved infrastructure and services.

Last year the company started to increase its presence in the Middle East by improving relationships with the channel, identifying new growth opportunities with them and developing joint marketing programmes.

“We introduced several incentive schemes for our channel partners that proved to be very successful in the long-run both in terms of our expansion and bottom-line sales,” confirms Alul.

Currently the company is assessing the role of its channel partners and seeing how the company can redevelop its channel strategy through its partner scheme.

“The partner programme is there to assess the different partner levels and what they contribute to the partnership. This is because we are looking constantly at a value added partnership, not just box moving,” says Alul

A revamped partner programme is expected in the third quarter of 2004 with structured levels to identify high performance partners and those in need of more support. For now the company believes the current performance bodes well.

“Canon is very pleased with the progress we have made in the last year and we are equally optimistic about 2004. We have already kicked off the year with a positive start and are pursuing opportunities in opening markets, such as Iraq. We will continue to build on this strong momentum with new product launches and on-going activities with our channel partners in the region,” adds Jones.

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