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Kodak to Reduce Workforce, Plant Size

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 22 -- -- Eastman Kodak Co. announced today it will reduce its workforce worldwide by about 20 percent, or 12,000 to 15,000, and decrease the size of its facilities by about a third over the next three years.

The company said the moves reflect reductions in global manufacturing, selected traditional businesses and corporate staff and are in keeping with its focus on digital photography, announced in September.

Kodak said it expects to generate enough cash flow in 2004 to pay down debt while maintaining the required level of investment to pursue its strategic objectives, and that it will take charges of $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion through 2006, including up to $900 million in severance costs.

Kodak President Antonio Perez said the cuts are "absolutely required for Kodak to succeed in traditional markets as well as the digital markets to which our businesses are rapidly shifting. These plans are the consequence of market realities, and they will help us to fund a future for Kodak of sustainable, profitable growth."

Kodak announced last week it will stop selling traditional, reloadable 35-mm film cameras in North America and Western Europe this year.

The company also announced today it will create a $15 million economic development fund designed to promote business development and job creation in the Rochester area. Kodak will commit $5 million per year for three years in the new Rochester Economic Development Fund, which will be targeted at projects that have the potential to generate and retain jobs in the Rochester area. The company said it will work with other businesses, community groups, universities and local government to expand the fund. The fund will also be used to attract businesses into excess Kodak real estate.

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Jan 2004
digital photography
A form of photography in which an electronic camera converts an image to an electronic signal that is stored in digital format on magnetic media or film.
digital photographyindustrialKodaklayoffsNews & FeaturesRochester

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