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Agfa Management Sets Out Growth And Efficiency Plan, To Cut 4,000 Jobs

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel 27/09/2001 - The Board Members of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, after making its internal announcements, is to set out the announced Horizon growth and efficiency plan at a press conference today. The traditional imaging market is characterised by increased competition and price erosion, a trend towards consolidation of the current technologies and an accelerated transition from analogue to digital technology. Agfa will follow a strategy of profitable growth driven by the new digital solutions and of strengthening its positions in the traditional businesses. The purpose of the Horizon plan is to release in-house resources for the chosen growth strategies by significantly reducing overheads and production costs as well as converting fixed costs into variable costs. Over 100 improvement projects have been identified to date throughout the entire company. All of this is to result in Agfa being transformed into a simpler, more transparent and flexible organisation. Agfa is seeking a permanent decrease in operational costs of approximately 550 Mio and a reduction of working capital with 500 Mio by 2003. A one time estimated restructuring cost of 550 Mio, which could be equivalent to a reduction of 4000 jobs, will be spread over the years 2001-2002. The restructuring cost will be booked according to international accounting standards (IAS) as soon as possible. Substantial beneficial effects of Horizon will occur already in 2003 and they will reach full impact as from 2004. We are aware that the plan Horizon represents a big challenge for Agfa and its staff but we are convinced that these measures on which we started information and consultation with our social partners are necessary to secure Agfa's profitability and growth potential. For further information about the Horizon plan, we would refer you to the press conference taking place today, 27 September 2001 at 2.00 pm CET at the Bouwcentrum, Jan Van Rijswijcklaan in Antwerp / Belgium.