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Canon nudges up profit forecast on higher office equipment sales

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Canon Inc raised its full-year operating profit target by a slight 1.4 percent after strong sales of office copiers and printers in the first quarter.

Canon, the world's biggest camera maker, said in its quarterly earnings statement it expects an operating profit of 365 billion yen ($3.56 billion) for the year to Dec. 31, a slight increase from its previous forecast of 360 billion yen.

Its office equipment sales rose 9.7 percent in the January-March quarter.

Canon posted an 82.6 billion yen operating profit for the January-March quarter, a 51 percent increase on the year. That compared to expectations of 68.6 billion yen, the average of six analysts' estimates according to Thomson Reuters' StarMine. ($1 = 102.3850 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Miral Fahmy)