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Heidelberg Realigns Prepress Sector: Increases Effort in Ctp & Digital Presses

Press release from the issuing company

Digital production and development will be extended in Kiel April 22, 2002 -- Heidelberg is streamlining its prepress product portfolio and expanding production of digital presses in Kiel. All scanner development and production operations will be discontinued and its range of filmsetters will be limited to high-end units. "This move is a timely response to the changing needs and trends on these markets", explained Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberg. "We will be focusing our prepress business on workflow software and plate imaging (CtP)." It will send a clear signal for the future of the Kiel site. "We will also be expanding our digital printing business in Kiel", added Mr. Schreier. In the medium term, the site is to become a key center of operations for the development and production of the NexPress digital color press. To date Heidelberg has already sold more than 170 of these units worldwide. "Service and support will be continued for all products", he added. Scanner and Computer-to-Film markets on the decline The market for scanners in all quality classes has experienced a downturn over recent years – up to 20% in 2001 alone, depending on market and product. This downturn is even more pronounced for computer-to-film – with falls of up to 30% in some cases – since this technology is being replaced increasingly by computer-to-plate. The scanner products set to disappear from the Heidelberg portfolio include all DTP scanners (the entire Linoscan range), the Nexscan and the Primescan. In the computer-to-film sector, the Duosetter, Quicksetter 460 and Quicksetter 46 will all be discontinued. As a result of the reduction in the product portfolio necessitated by these market trends, the company plans to cut the workforce in Kiel by around 200 over the next few months. At the same time, around 60 extra employees will be needed in the site's digital printing sector (a highly attractive growth market) for producing the Nexpress digital color press. Kiel currently has a payroll of just under 1,500. "The structural changes will have a lasting positive effect on Heidelberg's results and contribute to securing the site's future," Bernhard Schreier explained.

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