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Creo Celebrates First Year In Printing Plate Business With Expansion Plans

Press release from the issuing company

GRAPH EXPO 2004 CHICAGO -- October 14, 2004 -- Creo Inc. announced today that it will expand the capacity of its West Virginia printing plate manufacturing facility in order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for Creo plates. Creo plans to construct an additional state-of-the-art lithographic plate production line at the West Virginia facility, more than doubling the plant's capacity. Construction of the new production line is expected to be completed by the end of 2005. Creo Quote... "Our customers have responded enthusiastically to our complete solution - workflow software, imaging devices, plates, professional services - and we will continue to meet their needs for quality products that help them to run their business more efficiently," said Amos Michelson, Creo chief executive officer. Business Data... Revenue from Creo consumables (printing plates and proofing materials) totaled US$52.5 million in the first three quarters of fiscal 2004. Revenue from consumables is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in 2005. Creo will report on capital expenditures on November 17, 2004 when it announces the fourth-quarter and year-end earnings. Background... Creo launched its Digital Media (consumables) business in September 2003 with the introduction of the Creo Positive Thermal Plate and the acquisition of a South African manufacturing facility. In February 2004, Creo acquired the West Virginia plate manufacturing facility from Spectratech International, Inc., and with it, the ability to produce the Mirus(tm) PN and Fortis(tm) PN thermal plates. In March 2004, Creo announced a partnership with Sichuan Juguang Printing Apparatus Co. Ltd., one of the largest plate manufacturers in China. Juguang is manufacturing the jointly developed Juguang JPT-1 Positive Thermal Plate. Creo's plates are also being manufactured under contract at other facilities around the world. New Developments at Graph Expo: Inventory Assist... Creo is demonstrating Inventory Assist, a new automated tracking system that will allow Creo customers to track their plate inventory automatically. The number of Creo plates imaged on the customer's computer-to-plate device is automatically monitored and available online through eCentral(tm) Internet services giving the printer an accurate inventory of plate supplies as well as the status of pending orders and shipments. "Within seconds, you have up-to-date details on your overall plate consumption, from the start of your contract to the present date. The report shows you all the information you need, including pricing," explained Eyal Shpilberg, Creo corporate vice president, thermal consumables. Inventory Assist allows a customer to view a monthly graph showing forecasted versus actual usage. When inventory levels drop, reordering can be completed with a couple of mouse clicks and the Order Status Report confirms when the plates will arrive. Inventory Assist will be broadly available later this year. Live Printing with the Creo Positive Thermal Plate... The Creo Positive Thermal Plate was used in live printing demonstrations at Graph Expo at the booths of two press manufacturers. MAN Roland Inc. and Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A., Inc.) were using the Creo Positive Thermal Plate and Creo Staccato screening to showcase the finest printing available today. Creo Digital Media Family... At the Creo Graph Expo booth all the Creo plates were on display, including the Creo Positive Thermal Plate for commercial printers, the Mirus PN negative thermal plate for commercial and packaging printers, the Fortis PN negative thermal plate for newspaper printers, and the new Clarus(tm) PL processless thermal plate. Clarus PL is a true processless plate that requires no post-imaging treatment - the plate can go directly to the press after imaging. Availability is expected in 2005. Also on display were the Clarus(tm) WL polyester plate for waterless direct imaging presses. Clarus WL is currently undergoing field trials and will be commercially released later this year. For information about the other products Creo demonstrated at Graph Expo, visit www.creo.com/news.