Olympus dominates the endoscopic camera market. It is a global company with about 70% of its medical technology production in Japan and 30% elsewhere. The company has chosen to focus on China as the world’s largest market, which appears to be paying off.
Olympus seems to have recovered from a media storm in late 2015 and early 2016, when one of its reusable duodenoscopes was linked to superbug outbreaks in several markets and the company faced accusations of failing to quickly alert the U.S. public to the danger.
The results of this issue, however, seem minor since the company reported a 3% increase in its medical business revenue. Even the reported operating profit decline of 9% is due to changes in the product mix, as mainstay systems reach the later stage of their product cycles, and higher SG&A (selling, general and administrative) expenses.
Meanwhile, in May, Olympus acquired Image Stream Medical, which develops video equipment and system integration used in operating rooms, for $87 million. It also completed a new building at the Aomori medical manufacturing plant. It also launched several new products including a single-use aspiration needle, a single-use electrosurgical knife with fluid injection function, and an ultra-high definition surgical endoscope, among others.