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Agfa reports worldwide successes for its violet CtP-systems in newspaper printing

Friday, June 17, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel June 16, 2005 – Agfa announced today a series of important new contracts for its violet laser computer-to-plate systems (CtP) with large newspaper publishers throughout the world, with a total value of about 6 million Euros, recurring income from printing plates not included. Together with the more than 1,200 Agfa visible light newspaper CtP systems that have been sold so far, these contracts further demonstrate Agfa's leadership in the global prepress industry, especially with visible-light and violet lasers. Agfa was the first to introduce violet laser technology for CtP applications, and was able to turn it into the technology of choice for newspapers. Newspapers require extremely reliable CtP-systems because they generally drive their platesetters harder and faster than anyone else, but at the same time can not afford any downtime of their presses. With its violet CtP technology, Agfa offers low cost of ownership, quality and reliable, high-speed digital platemaking. Stefaan Vanhooren, Agfa's President of the Graphic Systems business group and member of the Executive Committee, commented on this series of worldwide successes: "As the first company that introduced violet technology on the market, Afga is dedicated to bringing cost-effectiveness and increased productivity to newspapers and magazines around the world by offering the most advanced violet-laser CtP systems optimized by reliable, high-performance plates. The new installations in China, India, Latin America and Indonesia confirm Agfa's growth strategy in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America. Agfa's violet technology has become the standard in platemaking." 1. China's largest newspaper publisher chooses Agfa's violet CtP solutions The People's Daily of China has purchased two :Advantage CLS systems, Agfa's latest generation of violet CtP solutions for newspapers. People's Daily is China's largest and the most influential and authoritative newspaper with a circulation of 3 million in China. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, it is ranked among the world's top ten newspapers. People's Daily installed its first generation of CtP systems, Agfa's :Polaris 100, in 2001. The new :Advantage CLS systems are expected to add even greater speed to the workflow with fully-automatic plate loading and powerful throughput of up to 200 plates per hour, stretching the newspaper's news deadlines. The system's three cassettes can hold a total of 1,200 plates of three different sizes on line, giving the newspaper flexibility to swap sizes during a single production run. People's Daily uses a mix of Silver (Lithostar Ultra) and Photopolymer plates (N91V) 2. The Hindu newspaper, India, selects Agfa's violet-laser CtP for multiple sites. The Hindu, the third largest English newspaper in India, has installed two :Polaris XDV, two :Advantage DL, and two :Polaris XTV violet laser CtP systems at its Chennai, Tiruchi, and Hyderabad facilities respectively. This brings the total number of Agfa CtP systems installed at The Hindu to seven. Headquartered in Chennai, The Hindu employs over 3000 people. Its circulation of more than 1 million copies is printed at twelve sites. At its main site, The Hindu uses many of Agfa's :Arkitex modular workflow components; at other sites the :Arkitex Producer solution is used; both extending the newspaper's editorial and advertising content deadlines. The newspaper is currently installing :Advantage DL violet systems at its Bangalore and Delhi sites. 3. Latin American newspapers turn to Agfa's violet technology for high quality prepress. Agfa has installed twelve new violet-laser CtP systems in Latin America in the past few months. Agfa's total installed base in Latin America for CtP systems is now more than forty with more than half of those being newly installed violet laser-based systems. Chile's El Mercurio, which had previous experience with thermal systems, chose Agfa's violet CtP technology in order to meet increasing production demands for Diarios Regionales, its regional newspapers. Diarios Regionales produces more than 200,000 copies each day and lays out about 20,000 pages in prepress. In addition to reliability and speed, Diarios Regionales also chose Agfa's system because of its :Sublima cross-modulated screening. Available on all Agfa CtP systems, :Sublima delivers magazine quality at newspaper speeds. Agfa's violet CtP systems have been installed at two of El Mercurio's regional print centres -Temuco and Antofagasta. The company plans to add new systems at its Valparaiso and Arica sites later this year. In Panama, the Panamá América newspaper added its second :Advantage CtP system, while the La Prensa newspaper acquired two :Advantage systems. All of the CtP systems installed in Panama's newspapers are Agfa's violet systems. Argentina's Clarín newspaper recently installed Agfa's fastest violet CtP system, the :Polaris XTV-S, which is capable of producing more than 240 plates per hour. The Río Negro, of Argentina, and Nueva Prensa, of Venezuela, bought Agfa's :Advantage systems to increase productivity and reliability, and four more violet CtP systems were installed in neighboring Brazil. 4. National Geographic of Indonesia chooses Agfa's CtP systems for highest print quality. Gramedia, Indonesia's largest printer and publisher, has chosen Agfa's violet-laser CtP systems to produce the newly-launched Indonesian version of National Geographic magazine. National Geographic, world-famous for its scientific studies and breath-taking photography, is published in 27 countries and in 25 languages worldwide. Gramedia, located in Jakarta, produces daily newspapers (circ: 500,000) and more than 70 magazines. Its prepress department previously operated a filmbased workflow. In September 2004, Agfa demonstrated the fully automatic :Galileo VXT CtP system with Agfa's cross-modulated (XM) screening solution, :Sublima, for Gramedia's executives. Gramedia decided to go with the :Galileo system because :Sublima gave the publisher the ability to raise line screen rulings, thereby reliably and cost-effectively enhancing the quality of the awardwinning photography in National Geographic's pages. :Sublima achieves lines screens of up to 340 lpi. Agfa's CtP systems are gaining popularity among Indonesian printers. Bisnis Indonesia and Erlangga have also recently purchased platesetting systems, bringing total installations in the region to six.




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