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Lexmark to stop making inkjet printers

17 September 2012

Lexmark to stop making inkjet printersFollowing the news that Kodak is to make printers its primary focus, Lexmark has announced that it is moving away from the inkjet printing industry.

As part of a restructuring plan, Lexmark will stop producing inkjet printers and focus primarily on its more profitable imaging and software businesses.

The company plans to sell around 1,000 inkjet-related patents and cut around 1,700 jobs - approximately 13 per cent of its workforce.
Earlier this year, Lexmark cut 625 jobs in its consumer supplies manufacturing business.

According to the research firm IDC, the overall inkjet market declined by nearly 13 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Lexmark expects revenue from inkjet hardware and supplies, which accounted for 21 per cent of revenue last year, to drop to about ten per cent in 2013, as it continues to supply ink and support existing printers.

Currently, HP, Canon Inc and Epson Corp together account for about 90 per cent of inkjet sales worldwide according to data from Reuters.

By closing its inkjet supplies factory in Cebu, Philippines and no longer producing inkjet printers, the company is expecting to save £60 million a year.

"Today's announcement represents difficult decisions, which are necessary to drive improved profitability and significant savings," said Lexmark's chairman and chief executive Paul Rooke in a statement.

He continued: "Our investments are focused on higher value imaging and software solutions, and we believe the synergies between imaging and the emerging software elements of our business will continue to drive growth across the organisation.

"As we move forward, we remain confident in our strategy, competitiveness and ability to create value for shareholders."

Whilst this is an unfortunate loss to the print industry, Lexmark will use the profits made from this restructure in order to improve and expand its profitable imaging and software businesses.

Based on this recent announcement and Kodak's departure from the film-camera world, it is clear that larger print companies are struggling.

Let's hope that this is the last restructure we have to hear about for a while.

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