Olympus attributed a 15.8% fall in imaging division net sales on a ‘shrinking digital camera market, especially the market of low-end compact cameras’.

The 1.53 billion yen (£12.5m) loss compares to a 370 million yen (£3m) operating profit in the same period last year.

Overall, unit sales of Olympus cameras declined 27.9%.

However, Olympus sold 11% more compact system cameras (CSC) in the first quarter of the financial year, compared to the same period in 2011 – generating a 50% rise in sales revenue.

The sales leap was led by the OM-D E-M5 camera, according to a statement released by Olympus Tokyo earlier today.

Meanwhile, the Olympus group reported a widening in overall losses to 4.5 billion yen (£36.4m), from a 1.4 billion yen (£11.6m) loss in the same quarter last year.

Sony and Fujifilm are among the firms that have sought to strike an alliance with Olympus in recent months.