Konica Minolta to withdraw from the photo business

According a press release, Konica Minolta will close the camera business by March 31, 2006. A portion of assets regarding digital SLR camera systems will be transferred to Sony. In July 2005, Konica Minolta and Sony reached an agreement to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. According to Konica Minolta, the transfer to Sony will make sure that the current users of Maxxum/Dynax SLR cameras will be able to continue to use them since the future Sony SLR system will be compatible with the Maxxum/Dynax lens mount.

The production of minilab systems will also be terminated by March 31, 2006. Maintenance and customer services of existing machines will be taken care of by Noritsu Koki Co. Ltd.

The production of color film and color paper will be reduced step by step until its final closure by the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007. All photo sales activities by Konica Minolta’s regional sales organizations are expected to be finalized by September 30, 2007.

Due to the withdrawel from the camera and photo business, the worldwide Konica Minolta Group will reduce its workforce of currently 33,000 people by 3,700 jobs.