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Agfa lays off 4,000 to concentrate on digital

By dpreview staff on Sep 27, 2001 at 04:00 GMT

Agfa (Agfa-Gevaert NV) has today announced it plans to lay off 4,000 employees (20% of its global work force) to concentrate on digital imaging. This is kind of interesting after they were quoted back in July as saying "No more digital cameras". Agfa-Gevaert Chief Executive Ludo Verhoeven said the company, best known for its photographic films, needed to invest more in new technologies, such as digital imaging. "We can only grow if we are profitable,'' Verhoeven told the VRT television network.

News release:

Agfa-Gevaert Lays Off 4,000

Photography Products Maker Agfa-Gevaert Lays Off 4,000, Focuses on Digital Imaging

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) -- Photographic products maker Agfa-Gevaert NV said Thursday it plans to lay off 4,000 employees -- 20 percent of its global work force -- under a three-year restructuring program.

Agfa-Gevaert Chief Executive Ludo Verhoeven said the company, best known for its photographic films, needed to invest more in new technologies, such as digital imaging.

"We can only grow if we are profitable,'' Verhoeven told the VRT television network.

Agfa-Gevaert is active in graphic systems and technical and consumer imaging.

The restructuring will cost 550 million euros ($506 million) and will include laying off 750 employees at the Agva-Gevaert head office outside Antwerp. The company expects to see the first "beneficial effects'' of the restructuring in 2003 and the "full impact'' in 2004.

The company said it also intends to reduce overhead and production costs.

Last month, Agfa-Gevaert said it would not be able to meet its forecast of a 10 percent increase in net profit in 2001 and predicted a net decrease.

The company posted a net profit of 169 million euros ($156 million) in 2000 and sales of 5.26 billion euros ($4.86 billion).

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