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EskoArtwork connects with success at drupa 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), June 12, 2008 – EskoArtwork reports that the company registered successes throughout its entire product portfolio and that drupa 2008 far exceeded all business forecasts.

Carsten Knudsen, EskoArtwork's President and CEO, acknowledges EskoArtwork's satisfaction with its drupa 2008 results: "With packaging and printing being a global business and EskoArtwork being a global company, drupa was the perfect and unique industry platform to connect with our customers and partners. At this year's edition the interest in our range of solutions was significant, especially for our packaging tools, flexo platesetting systems, and commercial print workflows and solutions for digital printing and converting. EskoArtwork's drupa 2008 orders exceeded our target by more than 50% and surpassed the combined results of Esko and Artwork Systems in 2004 by more than 75%. We are extremely pleased to see our customers and industry partners embracing the integration of our solutions."

Successful integration and valuable partnerships

The new line-up integrating the solutions originating from the former Esko, Artwork Systems, Enfocus and Gradual entities was very positively received by visitors from around the globe, reflecting their continued interest and confidence in EskoArtwork. Two new partnerships further strengthening EskoArtwork's position in the market were announced at the opening of the exhibition: Presstek will offer EskoArtwork's Odystar workflow solution under its own Latitude brand, and the SmartColour group at Sun Chemical will cooperate with EskoArtwork to bring innovative solutions for brand color management to the entire packaging supply chain. On the closing day, EskoArtwork also announced signing a Letter of Intent regarding the acquisition of Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering, Inc. (MGE), the industry reference in vision controlled finishing solutions for cutting tables in the sign-making, screen-printing and digital printing marketplaces.

"EskoArtwork's innovative solutions for professionals designing, producing and managing packaging and print products greatly appealed to visitors of drupa 2008," reflects Mr. Knudsen. "The interest for increased efficiencies, higher quality and color consistency, faster growth, better margins and a more competitive position were strong motivators among those who visited the EskoArtwork stand - and invested in our solutions."

Color for Everyone

Visitors to EskoArtwork's "Color for Everyone" demonstration were impressed by the company's end-to-end color management solutions for proofing and output. Through a variety of samples, EskoArtwork demonstrated its unique capabilities in professional color for packaging and printing professionals, focusing on Equinox, a solution for extended gamut printing, and the Esko KaleidoScope color management platform.

The new partnership with Sun Chemical adds further to EskoArtwork's expertise. By offering access to the Sun Chemical SmartColour ink database into EskoArtwork KaleidoScope color management software, printers will produce color-accurate proofs without needing to fingerprint the press.

Considerable interest from commercial printers

EskoArtwork Pro and Enterprise Workflow solutions-based on Odystar and BackStage PDF respectively- received great attention from medium and large commercial printers.

There was also high interest for the Enfocus PDF pre-flighting, editing and certification tools, even more after the announcement that Enfocus has decided to open its Certified PDF specification to other software developers. Finally, there was the Switch product (from recently acquired Gradual Software) now integrated within the Enfocus portfolio, increasing efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and connecting with other key graphic arts applications.

EskoArtwork: the Language of Packaging

EskoArtwork and its flexo partner DuPont demonstrated the new Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) solutions for flexo sleeve imaging (CDI Advance Cantilever) and automated flexo platemaking (CDI Spark 4260 Auto). Sales of CDI imagers already exceeded expectations after the first week of drupa; by the end of the exhibition more than 70 new CDI orders were confirmed.

Drupa 2008 marked the worldwide launch of a number of other new EskoArtwork products, including the new high-performance Kongsberg XP dieless cutting tables, optimized for short-run digital converting for packaging and POP displays. By the end of the show well over 55 new table orders have been booked.

New packaging software products include SignUp, a prepress layout tool that reduces preparation times, optimizes press time and substrate usage for sign & displays; Visualizer, which creates and shares ultra-realistic on-screen mock-ups and soft proofs of complex packaging and label designs; Studio, a new product line that integrates Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and graphics design for boxes and flexible packaging building onto Adobe Illustrator; and Studio Toolkits, a new line of structural design tools that supplies the basic packaging shapes for Studio.





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