Leica has done well this year (2009/10) posting an income of €3.2 million on sales of €158.2 million. While the single biggest sales item was "system cameras" at €70.8 million, a 69% increase presumably driven by the M9 release last September, it's interesting that sales of compact cameras is still running at a healthy €39.5 million, albeit about 11% down on last year.
For the future, in the company's Annual Report 2009/2010
(PDF file), the chairman, Rudi Spiller, offers that they are "devising a new, future oriented strategy for the Company" and that "this focus is in the background of the numerous research and development projects currently underway". By the way, the figures show the R&D spend is down by €6 million to €7.8 million but bear in mind that a reduction is natural with the release of the M9. No hint, of course, on what projects are likely to make it to market. I'm already on record
about the dilemma Leica might face if they attempt a significant reworking of the M-system so it will be interesting to see where the clever folk at Solms go.
Finally Rudi Spiller hints that "Photokina 2010 is approaching - and you will see Leica Camera using the opportunity provided by the leading photography fair to continue its positive course". The only likely camera launch so far as I can see is a Leica variant of the recently announced
Panasonic DMC-LX5 but that's guesswork on my part. Certainly the most probable link to a D-Lux 5 page
is still dead as I write.