Kodak Q4 brings profit, overall 2015 losses reduced

Kodak to divest its Prosper inkjet

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Kodak
Jeff Clarke, CEO, Kodak

Kodak’s worldwide sales fell 15% in 2015 but slightly improved in profitability although the year still ended with losses of US$ 75 million on turnover that went down from US$ 2.1 billion to US$ 1.8 billion. While announcing its results, the company also Kodak said it plans to sell its Prosper inkjet business

Kodak says that it is already in talks with prospective buyers for its enterprise inkjet systems such as Prosper and the recently announced Ultrastream systems but it will retain the older Versamark business. Kodak will still show the Prosper and Ultrastream inkjet systems at drupa since it is likely that the sale will take several months to conclude.

In a call with investors, Kodak Ceo Jeff Clarke said that in order to be profitable both Prosper and Ultrastream still require considerable scaling and investment resources. Apparently potential buyers of the business will have these extensive global go-to-market resources in addition to the resources needed to sell the Prosper presses at below cost with expectations that the annuity income from consumables will ultimately make the ecosystem profitable.

Clarke said, “Prosper presses sell for US$2 million to US$ 3million each. Due to the competitive pressures in the inkjet market, Prosper presses are often placed in loss on the basis that the annuity will yield a system profit over time. Prospective acquirers of Prosper are better positioned to make this magnitude of investment.”

Kodak has been slow in bringing Prosper to market since it was announced at drupa 2004 with incremental revelations at drupa 2008 and finally showing the press in drupa 2012. It had forecast 25 Prosper sales in 2015 and did sell 22 systems but only 16 of these were installed in the year with the rest carried over to the current year.

The Kodak Prosper inkjet press

 

Unlike its competitors in the high speed inkjet systems’ business which use thermal or Piezo technology, Kodak uses continuous inkjet technology. So far the two potential suitors for the company’s Prosper business that have been cited in the financial and trade press are Flint and Canon.

Meanwhile the drum and toner based Kodak NexPress sales showed improvement in the past year with 78 installations, an improvement of 16%. Kodak’s prepress equipment and software division showed good results with increased software sales and Sonora plate volumes rising significantly. Kodak’s Flexel NX sales went up 12% achieving a current global footprint of 470 Flexcel NX installations globally.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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