CeWe Color annual General Meeting confirms strategy of the Group

The dividend of EUR 1.00 represents a payout of EUR 6,903,415.00. The consolidated profit of EUR 7,106,310.13 million for 2008 is hence almost being paid out in full to the shareholders. The dividend will be paid out as of 29 May 2009 by Clearstream Banking AG, Frankfurt am Main, onto shareholders’ accounts held there with the custodian banks, less 25% capital gains tax and a 5.5% solidarity surcharge on the capital gains tax (26.375% in total). The paying bank for the dividend is BHF-BANK Aktiengesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main.

Analogue/digital transition enhances market position

The Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Rolf Hollander, emphasised that restructuring would be completed in the current year. “We have now reached an important milestone in the development of your company. The end of costs for the transition from analogue to digital photography in the form of restructuring and increased investments was foreseeable. At the same time the range contained new growth products with the digital print products – in particular CeWe Photo Books. CeWe Color was opening up further potential for growth with digital prints for commercial users. “We have used the transition from analogue to digital photography to significantly reinforce our market position,” Dr. Hollander explained.

End of the restructuring phase: positive effect on earnings as of 2010

The transition from analogue to digital photography has seen the overall number of photos gradually declining over the past few years. As a result, CeWe Color has reduced the number of its labs from a peak 29 labs to 13 labs today and has invested EUR 10 million each year for resulting restructuring measures in the period from 2005 to 2009. “These extraordinary expenses incurred in line with the transition from analogue to digital photography will come to an end this year after these final closures. This has a positive effect on earnings to the amount of EUR 10 million,” Dr. Hollander said.

Drop in need for investments reinforces free cash flow

The company has also invested more than EUR 225 million in digital technology over the past seven years. These investments have served to create a highly-efficient basis for digital production, enabling investments to be reduced by approximately a third in 2009 against those in 2008. This will benefit free cash flow in 2009.

No. 1 position on the European market for photo books reinforced

CeWe Color has also extended its market leadership on the market for photo books. In 2008 the number of CeWe Photo Books produced rose by 74.8%. Turnover achieved with this increased production has grown even more. The market itself on the other hand has “only” grown by approx. 48 percent. This development continued in 2009. In the first quarter of 2009 CeWe Color produced 58 percent more CeWe Photo Books than in the same period of the previous year and turnover also once again rose considerably while turnover on the market is anticipated to grow by 35 percent. Rolf Hollander: “We reinforce our position as the clear Number 1 on a growing European photo book market.”

Commercial digital prints are a new growth segment

The success of the CeWe Photo Book on the market positions CeWe Color as the leading European digital printing company for consumers. With approx. 50 printing machines, CeWe Color is one of the leading suppliers of first-class 4-colour digital prints in Europe. These capacities are now also to be made available for commercial applications. A vital step into this market was taken with the acquisition of Diron six months ago. “The first phase of integration has now been completed. We have commenced with production for commercial users.” The step into commercial digital printing is an important element of CeWe Color growth.

High shareholder representation of 76 percent of the capital

The high shareholder representation of 76 percent of the share capital at the Annual General Meeting highlighted the strong interest of the shareholders in the development of the company.