The Photographic Division designs, manufactures and distributes premium branded equipment for photographic and video cameras and provides dedicated solutions to professional and nonprofessional image makers. This consists primarily of camera supports, tripods, camera bags, lighting supports, LED lights, lighting controls and filters. It also supplies an expanding range of premium accessories for smartphones, action cameras and drones.
The Photographic Division performed well in 2016 growing revenue by 17.5% to £151.4 million and adjusted operating profit* by 35.8% to £20.5 million. After eliminating the favourable effect of foreign exchange, revenue was 3.6% higher and adjusted operating profit* increased by 2.8%.
We continue to monitor the shipments of interchangeable lens cameras as published by the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA). We believe that we are continuing to outperform the market as our sales are outperforming recent CIPA trends. Revenue growth has been achieved through investing in and launching innovative new products and developing our distribution channels. As a result we have continued to grow our share in most of our markets. Adjusted operating profit* growth reflects this increase in sales and was helped by lean initiatives and the restructuring actions completed during the year.
New products launched this year include specialised supports and bags that are designed for action cameras and drones. This remains a higher growth area within the photographic market. We have successfully grown our video sales including the new Manfrotto monopod and BeFree Live, a compact and lightweight head that enables smooth camera movement.
We have also launched products aimed at smartphone users who accessorise their phones because they want to take better photographs. In 2016 we collaborated with Apple to launch the TwistGrip that connects all smartphones to any camera support. This is one of five of our products that are sold in Apple Stores worldwide.
During the year the Division acquired the intellectual property of Xume technology. This is a patented quick release magnetic adapter that enables photographers to connect filters to their lenses quickly and with great precision. This range complements Manfrotto’s existing premium filters designed for professional and non-professional image makers.
We continue to get closer to our customers with our international distribution infrastructure and e-commerce capabilities. We are pleased with the performance of Provak, our former distribution partner in the Netherlands that we acquired in January 2016. This business has been successfully integrated into the Division and further expands our strong photographic distribution model. We believe that our distribution infrastructure is a major asset in remaining close to our end customers.
This year we continued to develop our online platforms, and launched and upgraded websites in several countries. Our performance reflects the benefit from these investments and the continued growth of our e-commerce sales, both directly and through sales to our major online partners including Amazon.
The Photographic Division has a good market share in the APAC region and we are focused on delivering further growth in this area. We have continued to grow sales in APAC during 2016 supported by our direct distribution in China, Hong Kong and Japan.