CeWe Color strong in line with expectations

As already announced, the considerable volume of sales in the final quarter and the seasonal shift are due to the rising significance of the CeWe Photo Book and photo gift articles. Sales of CeWe Photo Books showed an outstanding development: an increase of 74.8 percent to 2.64 million books (2007 1.51 million books) enabled CeWe Color to reinforce its market leader position on the European market for photo books. The rate of growth last year (+1.132 million) once again increased significantly over that of the 2007 business year (+0.988 million). This makes the Cewe Photo Book a significant growth driver for digital photos, with the volume for the full year rising by 17.9 percent to 1.8 million photos, and in the fourth quarter by as much as 22.0 percent. As anticipated, the number of photos from analogue films decreased at the same time by 35.1 percent to 0.83 billion photos (2007 1.28 billion).


Great success was also achieved with photo calendars, greeting cards and photo canvases, with growth in volume and sales amounting to at least 70 percent and in some cases even more than this. Internet business succeeded more than any other product, increasing by 37.5 percent. In this line of business, consumers place their orders online and receive products from the 50,000 trade partner retail stores or by post.  With 175 photos produced per second on the peak day, huge demand in December ensured record volumes for CeWe Color. "Demand for our products broke all records in the final quarter of 2008 and last year’s investments are paying off," says Dr. Rolf Hollander, Chairman of the Board of Management of CeWe Color Holding AG.


It was mainly high-margin digital products that played a major role in the fourth quarter with its high turnover and earnings. The transformation from analogue to digital photography which has seen great progress over the past ten years, with investments in these new digital products amounting to more than 200 million euros, has in the meantime enabled CeWe Color to move forward to become Europe’s largest digital printer in the segment for high-quality, four-colour prints. In order to acquire new customer segments and to utilise new sales channels for their digital print products, CeWe Color also acquired a leading provider of software programs and consulting services in the area of professional digital printing for web-to-print solutions in diron GmbH & Co. KG . This means that in addition to the best-selling CeWe Photo Book product and strong growth in sales of photo gift articles, the web-to-print area in particular will develop to become a new growth driver. "As Europe’s leading photo services company, CeWe will in future be utilising considerable additional potential in the area of high-quality digital prints for the benefit of industrial customers," says Dr. Hollander.


After considerable investment in the area of digital printing, the investment volume is set to drop perceivably over the coming few years – in 2009 the amount invested will drop by more than 30 percent to around 22 million euros.