Eastman Kodak Co., based in Rochester, N.Y., U.S., says it will stop making cameras that use the Advanced Photo System (APS) format, known as Advantix, by the end of this year due to declining consumer demand.
Eastman Kodak Company, headquartered in Rochester, NY, U.S., says that the acceleration of its 35-mm consumer film efforts in growing emerging markets is one of a series of moves that represents the continued implementation of the digitally oriented growth strategy announced by the company in September.
As part of that strategy, Kodak plans to manage its worldwide traditional photographic business through selective investments for growth.
"Kodak is, and will remain, committed to manufacturing and marketing the world's highest quality film," said Bernard Masson, president, of Digital & Film Imaging Systems and a senior vice president for the Eastman Kodak Company. "Consistent with our strategy, we will focus our film investments on opportunities that provide faster and attractive returns, while reducing investments where we see unsatisfactory returns."
In keeping with that approach, the company also plans to implement the following:
Introduce worldwide new high-performance 35-mm and APS films in February;
Continue to manufacture APS films, consistent with consumer demand;
End distribution of reloadable APS cameras worldwide and reloadable 35-mm cameras in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe by the end of 2004.
"We are reinforcing and expanding our commitment to 35-mm film and cameras in emerging markets because of the significant demand from China, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America," Mr. Masson said. "The 35-mm film industry continues to grow at double-digit rates in those markets."
As a result, Kodak will introduce six new cameras this year that are designed specifically for emerging markets. Additionally, Kodak has been driving significant distribution expansion of Kodak 35-mm cameras in emerging markets, where the company expects to sell cameras at more than 85,000 locations in 2004, up 55 percent from 2003. Kodak will be supplying this increased demand out of their existing operations in China and India.
"We are exiting the APS camera business because of declining consumer demand, which has led to unsatisfactory returns," Mr. Masson said. "Selling APS film and photofinishing remains a very attractive business for retailers. In addition, consumers who use APS film are highly loyal to the format. We remain committed to delivering enhanced consumer benefits in our APS films, and we will continue to provide service and support for retailers and consumers."
Kodak says it plans to work with its retailers throughout 2004 to provide assistance in sales and merchandising as they sell existing inventories of APS cameras to consumers.
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