Massive Agfa restructuring to cut costs

22nd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian imaging technology group Agfa-Gevaert said on Thursday it will divide itself into three independent businesses: graphics, healthcare and materials operations.

22 June 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgian imaging technology group Agfa-Gevaert said on Thursday it will divide itself into three independent businesses: graphics, healthcare and materials operations.

The company — which specialises in healthcare imaging and equipment and software for the printing industry — aims to save EUR 250 million annually by 2008, Reuters reported.

"Creating three independent businesses with a streamlined cost structure will give each group the best opportunity and the necessary means to strengthen its leading position in its respective markets," chief executive Marc Olivie said.

It is not yet certain how many jobs will be cut, but unions have estimated that 2,500 workers will be made redundant. In Belgium up to a 1,000 job cuts are feared.

Agfa's graphics and healthcare businesses have been operationally independent since the start of 2005. They are expected to have EUR 1.9 and 1.7 billion in revenues respectively by 2008.

Its materials business will regroup its troubled photographic film operations.  The materials division will have EUR 700 million in revenue.

The new structure is designed to improve flexibility and reduce costs. Agfa is concerned about higher costs for raw materials and wants to boost its competitiveness.

Most cost savings are expected to be made in general services and traditional products over all business groups in every region.

Agfa-Gevaert is based in Mortsel in Belgium and operatives in 40 countries. In 2005, it reported turnover of EUR 3.3 billion.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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