Kodak MEA given clean bill of health by global HQ

US-based photo giant Kodak has underlined its commitment to the Middle East amid thousands of global job cuts with the introduction of a new range of digital imaging goods in the region.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  March 5, 2007

US-based photo giant Kodak has underlined its commitment to the Middle East amid thousands of global job cuts with the introduction of a new range of digital imaging goods in the region. Speaking to members of the press, Arif Khan, Kodak’s business area manager for the Middle East, North Africa and French Territories, noted that the recent announcement of 3, 000 job cuts across the company’s worldwide operations would not affect its regional outfit. “We had to undergo a number of cost-saving measures given our early investment in digital technology. However, our team in the Middle East is a very streamlined and profitable one so we have been spared from any cutbacks.” Kodak predicted the restructuring programme would boost profitability for itself, as well as its channel partners, as it was able to offer a host of cutting edge products. “Our dramatic operational improvements in the past three years have created a solid foundation from which Kodak will become a growing digital company offering innovative new products, attractive margins and strong cash generation,” said Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive of Eastman Kodak. The company recently launched its ‘mid-range’ GS and G4 self-service printing kiosks, emphasising how the machine will benefit retailers in outlets with high footfall numbers. “We are targeting high traffic areas with the new kiosks in both hypermarket and power retail outlets,” said Khan. “Retailers will save on both money and manpower as the kiosks operate on a low break-even point of 65 prints per day and are extremely user-friendly. “Both models have been customised for the Middle East region with English and Arabic user-interfaces,” he said. “The kiosks have also been customised to take into consideration the privacy requirements of some the region’s consumers.” The company also announced plans for a number of combined marketing campaigns with mobile cameraphone vendors to take advantage of the Bluetooth compatibility of the new kiosks. Kodak claims to have over 80,000 print kiosks in operation across the globe. The company insists this figure gives it over 50% of the global kiosk market.

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