The number of films processed grew 1.1 percent to 18.4 million rolls. During the first quarter, the company produced 676 million color prints, 5.0 percent more than in the same period last year. According to a CeWe Color press release, half of this growth is based on an increase of traditional prints from film, the other 50 percent on the rapid growth of digital prints, whose number increased by 408 percent compared with the first quarter of 2002. The strongest growth of 425 percent was recorded with prints ordered via photo retailing outlets, while Internet orders increased by 388 percent. Image CDs from film continued to grow at a rate of 71 percent to 687,000 units. Digital products and services accounted for more than 8 percent of the company’s turnover during the first quarter 2003.
Sales in Central Europe grew by 4.3 percent, in France by 2.0 percent and in Benelux by 2.5 percent. In Middle and Eastern Europe, turnover declined by 4.4 percent due to unfavorable currency fluctuation.
While the first quarter in the photofinishing
business is always negative, the result before taxes improved by 11.2 percent to minus Euro 6.9 million, the result after taxes by 23.2 percent to minus Euro 5.9 million.