Kodak projects profitable future as it records $1.4bn loss for 2012

David Ward, San Diego
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kodak focused on the silver lining rather than the uncertain clouds surrounding its future this week as it cited the improved performance of its Commercial Imaging division - including commercial printing - while reporting a consolidated net loss of $1.4bn for FY 2012.

According to Kodak's projections (see chart) the company expects to achieve a $167m operating profit this year. Kodak added that operating profits should continue to rise in subsequent years, reaching nearly $500m in 2017.

"It's an operational profit, which is what EBITDA really is," Kodak director and VP of commercial marketing Chris Payne told PrintWeek. "This is what Kodak anticipates its financial performance will be like once it emerges from Chapter 11 - and it takes into account what we've already said in terms of pro forma history for the last couple of years."

Kodak last year did have a few other businesses, including a profitable niche providing film to the movie industry, but as Payne noted: "Of the $2.7bn (in revenues) in 2012, we don't split it out directly, but 80% or more is what you and I would consider equipment and supplies to the graphic arts industry."

Payne would not comment on how the Commercial Imaging division has done during the first 10 weeks of 2013, except to say: "We're seeing the same kind of business that we saw in the latter half of 2012."

But he did note the company's anticipation of more than $1.1bn in profits between 2015 and 2017 does depend on some macro factors. "We're counting on the economy remaining stable; we're counting on the industry transitioning - which it already is - and we're counting on opening up new markets for Kodak, including packaging and functional printing."

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012. In its 10K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week, the company reported nearly $1.4bn in losses, but stressed the bulk of that, $1.08bn, was tied to reorganization and restructuring costs.

Kodak added the full-year operating loss of the Commercial Imaging division, made up primarily of its commercial printing, improved by $278m in 2012.

"Our momentum continues as we work to file our Plan of Reorganization and then complete the final actions that will enable us to emerge from Chapter 11 in mid-2013," said Chairman/CEO Antonio Perez, in a release that accompanied the filing.

"Thanks to the talent and dedication of our employees, our 2012 performance was on track or ahead of our adjusted EBITDA and cash projections, and we have remained in compliance with the covenants of our debtor-in-possession facility, laying the foundation for emergence as a profitable, sustainable company."

In the SEC filing, the Rochester, NY-based company noted 2012 revenue fell by 20% from the year earlier to $4.1bn, which Kodak suggested was due to "strategic decisions to focus on profitable businesses and accounts, soft industry demand as a result of the broader economic downturn in some businesses and regions, lower sales of traditional products, and unfavorable foreign exchange impact".

For the fourth quarter alone, Kodak said it lost $402m on a 24% decline in net sales to $1.1bn.

Payne suggested the company still has plenty of tasks ahead for the projections to become reality, including the sale of its legacy Document Imaging and Personalized Imaging businesses, along with various related trademarks and intellectual property assets.

Kodak recently reduced the price it expected to get from those assets to a minimum $600m, down from $700m, the company said in recent documents related to it supplemental financing conditions.


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