KODAK SAYS FIRST QUARTER 'WILL BE DIFFICULT'
KODAK SAYS FIRST QUARTER 'WILL BE DIFFICULT' ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) is cautioning its shareowners not to expect a rebound in the company's business during the first quarter of this year . Writing to shareowners in the Kodak Annual Report, Kay R. Whitmore, the company's chairman, president, and chief executive officer, says the first quarter "will be a difficult one for the company." He notes that improvement in the United States economy and in Europe will not be perceptible until the second half of 1992. Kodak confirmed today that sales in its Imaging segment during January and February were slightly lower than those in the comparable period a year ago. Sales in the Information segment were down from those of last year, while sales in the Chemicals segment were level with those recorded in the early months of 1991. In the Health segment, good sales gains have been recorded. For the year as a whole, Kodak looks forward to moderately higher sales and good gains in earnings. While the Whitmore letter to shareowners suggests that recovery in the company's business results will be more gradual than abrupt, which is consistent with the outlook for the economy generally, it is optimistic about the farther future. "Beyond this year, recovery in our business results should be more pronounced, with rates of return superior to those of our peers," Whitmore wrote. "And beyond that, we are convinced that our position as a world leader in imaging, chemicals, and health will be a matter of very apparent fact." Kodak, which recently announced a new family of improved Kodak Gold Plus color negative films for consumers, will launch its innovative Photo CD system this summer. As he makes clear in the Annual Report, which will be mailed to shareowners beginning March 18, Whitmore is bullish about the potential for Photo CD, which should be a hot item for Kodak in the important holiday selling season of this year. Moreover, the company sees the new system as an historic milestone in the imaging business. "Photography was invented in 1839 by Louis Daguerre," Whitmore notes in the Annual Report. "Fifty years later, George Eastman brought its benefits to consumers, and for the next five decades Kodak pioneered in the creation of markets for black-and-white photography. "In the 1930s -- with the passage of another half century -- Kodachrome film burst on the scene, and this company carried color images into every conceivable application. Fifty years later, Kodak announced the development of film-based digital imaging with the Photo CD system as the embodiment." The company's strategy in imaging is clear, Whitmore says. "Kodak will continuously improve its photographic films, papers and allied products while adding to their appeal the flexibility offered by electronics. As this company did with black-and-white and color photography, we intend to set the standards and lead the way in film-based digital imaging." The company's new family of Kodak Gold Plus color negative films (ISO 100, 200 and 400), offers improved color and exposure latitude. Gold Plus 100 film is noted for its unsurpassed color reproduction. The new films will be phased gradually into world markets as distributors replenish their stocks. Kodak said it will introduce additional film products this fall in connection with Photokina, the international trade fair of the photographic industry which opens in Cologne, Germany, on September 16. -0- 3/16/92 /CONTACT: Ronald C. Roberts of Eastman Kodak Company, 716/724-4513/ (EK) CO: Eastman Kodak Company ST: New York IN: CHM SU:
LC -- CL008 -- 8215 03/16/92 10:37 EST
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|Date:||Mar 16, 1992|
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