Leica UK turnover predictably down in 2012-13
Reports in Citiam show that turnover of Leica's UK subsidiary fell 12% to £13m in the year to March 2013 and before-tax profits were 16% down. Profits are fairly irrelevant in a wholly-owned subdidiary, but the turnover decline is interesting. Leica UK declined to comment but that doesn't stop me putting in my two penn'orth as a rank outsider. It is well known that Leica still depends heavily on the profitable M range, perhaps to a greater extent than the company would like. With this in mind, 2012-13 clearly suffered from M blight.
From the start of the financial year in April 2012 it was common knowledge that a new M was in the offing and this had a predictable effect on sales of the four-year-old M9. Then, in September, the new M was announced, thus throttling any remaining sales of the old M9 during the six-month gestation period before the M arrived. Here in the UK the first cameras were trickling through on March 28 (I know because I was top of the list at my local Leica dealer) right at the tail-end of the financial year.
I suspect Leica UK's results for 2013-14 will look a lot brighter as Ms have begun to appear in quantity (some dealers now have them in stock) and the M Monochrom and M-E, both based on the old M9, continue to be popular. When all this is taken into account, the figures for 2012-13 do not look bad at all.