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7/24/2003

Kodak cutting up to 6,000 jobs to cope with slump

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak Co. said Wednesday it would cut 4,500 to 6,000 jobs, or up to 9 percent of its work force, as it struggles with a nearly three-year slump in film sales.

The world’s largest photography company has blamed its troubles on a sluggish economy and the rapid growth of filmless digital picture-taking.

The company eliminated 7,000 jobs last year, shrinking its work force to 70,000 people, and said in January it would cut another 1,800 to 2,200 jobs.

The cuts announced Wednesday are to begin later this year, and will be made in administration, manufacturing and research divisions, the company said.

Kodak posted sharply lower second-quarter earnings Wednesday of $112 million, or 39 cents a share, down from $284 million, or 97 a share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, however, earnings were $172 million, or 60 cents a share, much higher than Kodak’s lowered forecast of 25 cents to 35 cents a share. Sales totaled $3.352 billion, unchanged from the second quarter of 2002.

Kodak, based in Rochester, controls about two-third of the U.S. film market, but profits have been pinched by falling prices and a weak demand for film as consumers cut back on travel.