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Eastman Kodak cuts 425 jobs, says licensing of hardware played a role

Kodak Ektra
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The Eastman Kodak Company is laying off 425 people to help offset a $46 million loss. Kodak announced its third-quarter financial results on November 8, then followed up with news that its workforce will be cut by about 7 percent in order to remain on track to meet annual predictions. Kodak cited licensing, a segment of the company that allows other companies to manufacturer hardware such as the Ektra smartphone, as being among the reasons for the loss.

Other reasons include a lowered demand and higher costs for printing, the company’s largest segment. The company also said that brand licensing in the Consumer and Film division of the company also had an impact, along with struggles in the company’s 3D-printing division.

Around 100 of those layoffs will be in the company’s Rochester, New York, location; the company has around 6,000 employees globally. Eastman Kodak did not comment on what products may be affected by the staffing changes.

Kodak hasn’t had the easiest time after filing for bankruptcy in 2013. That bankruptcy resulted in the creation of Eastman Kodak and the separate company Kodak Alaris. Eastman Kodak makes print system and inkjet printers along, as well as works in the 3D printing technology software, fields. It also works with other companies to license the Kodak name. Kodak’s licensing resulted in the Kodak Ektra and a Kodak tablet, hardware manufactured by third-party companies. Eastman Kodak also still manufacturers motion picture film, but not film for still images.

Kodak Alaris is a separate company responsible for continuing the company’s film and paper products, which means film sales aren’t likely to be affected by the Eastman Kodak layoffs, though some types that are related to cinema film production could be potentially be affected.

Kodak has seen the most growth from two different types of process plates and increased revenue for the Prosper Inkjet line. Despite the $46 million loss in the third quarter, the company is still expecting to meet its prediction of $1.5 to $1.6 billion in annual revenue. During the same time last year, the company instead posted $12 million in net earnings.

“We expect to generate cash in the fourth quarter of 2017,” David Bullwinkle, the company’s chief financial officer, said in a press release. “We plan to improve our cash balance through reducing working capital and through cost actions including focusing investments in technologies most likely to deliver near-term returns.”

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