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Agfa unveils manufacturing plant for printing plates in Wuxi, China

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel (Belgium) – October 30, 2003 – Agfa today launched the company’s new manufacturing facility in Wuxi New Development Zone, China. The state-of-the-art plant will produce Agfa’s portfolio of digital and analogue plates to meet Asia’s increasing demands for quality printing technology. The newly established Wuxi plant represents a significant investment of 50 million Euros. Its production line has a huge capacity of 25 million square metres. Quality control, environmental protection and safety standards are as high as those applied to other Agfa’s facilities. In face of the accelerated transition from Computer-to-Film to Computer-to-Plate, marked by more than 20% annual increase of demand for digital printing plates, the plant will enhance Agfa’s flexibility to adapt as the industry shifts to digital. “Our strategy is to confirm our leading position in printing plates, to make equipment a profitable business, to expand further in software and to focus on the faster growing segments of the printing industry,” said Dr Ludo Verhoeven, CEO Agfa Gevaert and President of the Board of Management. “Building a factory of printing plates in China, the fastest growth area in the world, is certainly consistent with this strategy.” “Our Wuxi factory will supply the Chinese market with analogue and digital plates, and will also export to the other Asian markets,” said Mr Follens, General Manager Graphic Systems and Member of the Board of Management. “We will offer our customers not only plates, but the full range of our solutions, comprising pre-press equipment and software.” Mr Stefaan Vanhooren, Managing Director Region Asia Pacific, expressed his optimism towards Agfa’s business development in the challenging markets of Asia Pacific. “Since China’s entry into WTO gives us access to new and large domestic markets. The ongoing trend for global printers to set up branch offices in China and China’s new rules to liberalise some of the newspaper and magazine market evidently boost demand for printing. Our current strong market presence combined with a modern factory at Wuxi will surely provide us with an ideal position.” The Wuxi, China, plant is the most recent addition to Agfa’s list of worldwide plate manufacturing sites. Agfa’s other plate manufacturing sites are located in: Wiesbaden (Germany), Branchburg (New Jersey, USA), Leeds (UK), Pont-a-Marcq (France), Suzano (Brazi), and Banwol (South Korea). The plant will produce plates for the Asia-Pacific markets including both positive (:Meridian P51) and negative (:Zenith N555) analogue offset plates. Furthermore, the plant will also produce digital thermal plates (:Thermostar).