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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Eastman Kodak warns of Sars impact
Kodak DCS Pro 14n digital camera
Eastman Kodak, the world's biggest photographic film maker, has had to cut its profit predictions as the effects of the Sars virus kept Asia's normally snap-happy tourists at home.

The company's shares slid more than 10% on the US Dow Jones index as a result of the announcement, which more than halved its forecast to 25-30 cents a share from 60-80 cents.

The problem, Kodak told investors, was that the Sars virus had depressed Asian tourism to such an extent that its sales in the second quarter of the year had been almost cut in half.

That leaves worldwide sales down about 5%, excluding the bonus of a weaker dollar, which means sales outside the US are worth more.

Old news?

Eastman Kodak has had to face troubles from the tourism business before.

In January of this year, it said it would have to get rid of 3 in every 100 staff to make up for a slide in travel, at the same time lowering its financial forecasts for the full year - although it said the ongoing move by consumers to digital cameras, which work without film, was also an issue.

Indeed, the tourism tribulations are only the tip of the iceberg for Kodak, analysts said.

"For Kodak, Sars may be a problem," said Henry Asher, president of money management company Northstar Group.

"But the impact of digital photography is much more significant than a virus."


SEE ALSO:
Travel slump hits Eastman Kodak
22 Jan 03  |  Business
Kodak sheds more staff
12 Nov 02  |  Business
Digital snapshot of the future
25 Sep 02  |  Technology
Kodak earnings slump
24 Jan 02  |  Business


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