Japan's Nikon Corporation said today that it earned over 50% more than it expected in the six months to September on strong sales of digital cameras and precision equipment and a weak yen.

Nikon, which like its rivals is increasingly focusing on high-end digital cameras, lifted its full-year forecast but said uncertainties prevented it from predicting stronger profits in the second half.

Nikon estimated net profit of 23 billion yen ($193m) in the first half to September 30, more than 53% higher than its earlier forecast of 15 billion. The net profit was nearly two and a half times the 9.3 billion  yen the company reported in the comparable period last year, Nikon said in its latest forecast.

Precision equipment such as advanced scanners and high-end single-lens reflex cameras posted 'steady growth', the company said.

For the full year to March 31, Nikon expects net profit of 45 billion yen, up 21.6% from its initial forecast of 37 billion and far above the 28.9 billion yen it posted in the previous financial year. It forecast full-year operating profit of 74 billion yen on revenue of 797 billion yen.

The iconic Japanese camera marker said earlier this year it will abandon production of nearly all film cameras, concentrating like its rivals on more profitable digital models.