The Photographic Division designs, manufactures and distributes premium branded equipment for photographic and video cameras and provides dedicated solutions to professional and non-professional image takers. This consists primarily of camera supports, tripods, camera bags, lighting supports, LED lights, lighting controls and filters. We also supply an expanding range of premium accessories for action cameras, drones and smartphones.
The Photographic Division has continued to face challenging markets, with data from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) indicating a slowing in the rate of decrease in global shipments of interchangeable lens cameras after several years of double digit decline. There are some signs of stabilisation, including an increase in demand for high-end DSLRs and premium compact system cameras.
Revenue decreased by 1.6% to £128.8 million, and was 0.8% lower than prior year at constant exchange rates. In challenging markets, sales of our core camera supports performed well and we are pleased with the sales of new products. We increased revenue through our owned distribution channels outside of the US, offset by lower sales through our third party distributors into the Russian and Middle East markets.
We have continued to launch new, innovative products across all of our product ranges including the Manfrotto Digital Director, LED lights, Off road accessories for action cameras, Aviator accessories for drones, and additions to the successful Manfrotto 190, BeFree and PIXI tripod ranges.
Our Manfrotto branded range of bags continued to gain market share following the consolidation of the portfolio under the Manfrotto brand, which was completed in the first half of the year. Sales have benefitted from four new ranges of bags launched in 2015. We are pleased with the performance in this segment, which has been the most affected by lower interchangeable lens camera sales over the last few years.
Operating profit* decreased by £3.8 million to £15.1 million including a £2.1 million adverse impact from currency. The underlying decrease in operating profit* reflects marketing investment in new product launches, the implementation of a worldwide premier dealership programme, and further investment in our online sales platform.
As part of our sales and marketing initiatives, we have changed our distribution model in China and moved to selling direct rather than through third parties. We have invested further in our owned distribution channels including the acquisition in January 2016 of Provak, formerly our distribution partner in the Netherlands.
We continue to take actions to improve profitability by strengthening and streamlining the Division, and investing in growth segments and geographies. During 2016 we will continue to drive savings by streamlining the Division and through the continued implementation of lean processes.