Print division margins nudged up to 2.4%

Kodak transformation 'starting to come to fruition'

Kodak's booth at the last Drupa in 2016

Kodak is planning to introduce “a wide range” of new products at Drupa, as the group filed 2023 figures that show a big improvement in profitability despite a drop in sales.

Sales in calendar year 2023 were $1.117bn (£878m), down 7%.

However, gross profit margins improved from 14% to 19%, and operational EBITDA jumped to $45m, up 150%.

Chairman and CEO Jim Continenza said that the improved figures were evidence that Kodak’s transformation was working.

“After almost five years of executing our plan, we saw our efforts start to come to fruition in 2023, delivering year-over-year improvements in gross profit and operational EBITDA and building a strong foundation for growth,” he stated.

“Our recent progress has been the result of our ability to adapt to difficult business conditions and our commitment to executing our long-term plan: investing in innovation, improving efficiency and helping our customers stay productive and profitable.

“We continue to innovate across our traditional and digital print portfolio, and we will introduce a wide range of products at the upcoming Drupa tradeshow.”

Continenza said the business would carry on investing in growth initiatives at its Advanced Materials & Chemicals group, and would continue to streamline processes and improve its infrastructure “to increase capacity in our film business and gain efficiencies across our enterprise”.

He added: “And most importantly, we have continued to deliver for our customers — and they have shown their appreciation by staying with us through this challenging period. I’d like to thank our customers for their loyalty and our employees for their hard work and winning attitude as we continue the Kodak transformation.”

The timeline for the Drupa announcements was not disclosed.

Sales at its Print division were down 11.7% at $828m but operational EBITDA was up $5m at $20m, resulting in a margin of 2.4%.

Advanced Materials & Chemicals was back in the black, posting operational EBITA of $10m on sales of $255m after a $1m loss the prior year.

Kodak’s highly-profitable Brand business grew operational EBITDA by 7% to $15m, on flat sales of $17m.

The group could also benefit from an over-funding of approximately $1.2bn in its US pension scheme fund, which has plan assets of around $3.7bn.

All liabilities of the plan must be satisfied before any excess assets will revert to Kodak.

Kodak said that, in conjunction with KRIPCO its retirement plan committee, it was exploring how best to preserve and maximise the value of the over-funding for the benefit of key stakeholders, including current and former employees and Kodak shareholders.