Kodak reports on challenging Q1

Jo Francis
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Kodak boss Jim Continenza said the firm had taken “unprecedented steps” to ensure supplies to its customers during ongoing supply chain disruption.

Kodak is taking its coating know-how into new markets
Kodak is taking its coating know-how into new markets

Commenting on the firm’s Q1 results, Kodak executive chairman and CEO Continenza stated: “We continue to navigate through the ongoing global impact associated with Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other global events. 

“The company is experiencing supply chain disruption, shortages in distribution, material and labour, and increased cost of distribution materials. We have implemented numerous measures to mitigate these challenges, including increasing safety stock materials, increasing lead times, and implementing pricing actions.”

He noted: “Despite the above shortages and cost increases, we have taken unprecedented steps to ensure supply for our customers.”

In the three months to 31 March Kodak posted overall sales up $25m at $290m, but all of its businesses were in the red. 

Its Traditional Printing division, which includes plates, posted sales up $24m at $148m, but swung to a $7m operational EBITDA loss compared to the prior year’s $5m EBITDA profit. 

Volumes for Sonora process-free plates were up 24% in the period. 

Continenza has previously asserted that Kodak will be “the last company standing in plates”.

Sales at its Digital Printing wing were down $8m at $64m and the business went from breakeven to a $5m operational EBITDA loss. 

However, annuities at its Prosper inkjet business were up 2%. 

Kodak’s new Ascend digital press launched last autumn became available in Q2. 

At Advanced Materials, sales were up $8m at $54m and its operational EBITD loss reduced by $1m to $3m.

Kodak plans to capitalise on its chemistry and coating expertise through new products and has started coating substrates for energy storage battery materials for applications such as electric vehicle batteries. It has begun limited production of around 3m sqm but could ramp that up to 80m. 

Continenza said Kodak was also using its know-how to produce coated fabrics using light-blocking technology.

This includes a carbonless fabric coating called Kodalux. A new coating machine is being installed at its Eastman Business Park in the US. Applications include roller blinds, decorative drapery and awnings. The coating uses micro-particles to scatter, absorb and reflect light. 

In addition, Kodak is using its proprietary copper micro-wire technology and high-res printing techniques to manufacturer transparent antennas. 

“We are leveraging our proprietary technologies and high-resolution printing to manufacture custom transparent antennas for the automotive and other applications,” he said. 

Kodak has also begun the construction of a $20m laboratory and manufacturing facility to make reagents for healthcare applications. 

The firm’s share price fell from $4.99 to $4.01 on the announcement (52-week high: $10.01, low: $3.50). 

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