However, Nikon’s group net profit fell 36.5% to 32 billion yen (around £247m) for the half year.

Nikon sold 8.26m compacts over the six months, compared to 7.86m in the same period in 2011.

In a statement, Nikon Japan said: ‘In the compact digital camera market, sales volume of the 42x super-telephoto zoom model [Coolpix P510] and the slim, 18x optical zoom model [Coolpix S9300] showed favourable performance, resulting in a year-on-year increase in sales despite market contraction.’

Sales of Nikon’s imaging products grew 17.4%.

Interchangeable-lens camera sales, in unit terms, shot up 26% while lens sales rose 21% year-on-year.