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The company developed the first lithography equipment from Japan which is essential for semiconductor manufacturing. Devices from Nikon enjoyed high demand from global chipmakers, including Intel, and Nikon became the world's leading producer of semiconductor lithography systems until the 1990s. In recent years, ASML, a Dutch company, has grabbed over 80 percent of the global market in 2015 by adopting an open innovation method of product development. Nikon saw a sharp drop in its market share from less than 40 percent in early 2000s. The company has been losing an estimated ¥17 billion a year in its precision instruments unit. Furthermore, revenue from its camera business has dropped 30% in three years prior to fiscal 2015. In 2013, it forecast the first drop in sales from interchangeable lens cameras since Nikon's first digital SLR in 1999. The company's net profit has fallen from a peak of ¥75. 4 billion (fiscal 2007) to ¥18. 2 billion for fiscal 2015. Nikon plans to reassign over 1,500 employees resulting in job cuts of 1,000 by 2017 as the company shifts focus to medical and industrial devices business for growth.

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