Agfa bows out of digital imaging

Agfa bows out of digital imaging

Agfa is canning the production of its digital imaging range worldwide in a move the manufacture calls "re-aligning the future direction".

Marek Olech, who will leave his position as national manager of Agfa's consumer digital imaging at the end of the year, said the decision was not based on the performance of Agfa sales locally.

"Australia has done particularly well from a regional point of view. From being an unknown player in the retail space three or four years ago, we've turned that around to rate in the top four players."

Olech said the company's local digital imaging division was turning a profit and achieving between 30 to 40 per cent growth a year with the exception of 2001, which was flatter than usual.

Agfa resellers and customers can rest assured that all service and warranties on its digital imaging products will be catered through state-based Agfa centres, which will continue to drive the healthcare and AgfaScan business graphics divisions.

Olech confirmed that there would be redundancies in the winding down process although he refused to specify the number. "We ran a very lean operation anyway and the maximum amount of people have been absorbed within the company."

He admitted to being disappointed with the decision in light of the hard work to date to raise the brands profile and the great possibilities on the horizon.

According to IDC, Agfa's withdrawal from the digital imaging sector will see it relinquishing a 4 per cent market share in the local scanner market, a place it holds behind Canon, HP and AcerCM.

However, the decision by Agfa headquarters suggests the value in digital imaging is shifting. It is certainly no secret amongst the rest of the industry that the margins on equipment have been rapidly descending into the realm of commodity products.

Photograph: Agfa's outgoing national manager, Marek Olech

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