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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Brighter future for Eastman Kodak
Digital camera
Kodak plans to ditch traditional cameras for new digital products
Eastman Kodak said its quarterly profit has more than doubled following its shift to digital products, also helped by the weakness of the dollar.

Kodak shares rose more than 6% after it reported solid demand for consumer digital cameras and accessories, and gains in China, India and Russia.

For the first quarter, Kodak posted a net profit of $28m(15.8m) up from $12 a year before.

In January it said it would cut up to 15,000 jobs worldwide over three years.

Kodak's total sales rose 11% to $2.92bn from $2.64bn, which, even excluding the benefit of the weak dollar, meant sales were up 5%, the firm said.

Medical imaging

The news is welcome after the Rochester, New York-based firm announced a sharp fall in profits for the last three months of 2003.

The figures also come seven months after Kodak announced it was to cut investment in film, its biggest revenue earner, and move into growth markets such as medical imaging and commercial printing.

Traditional film sales fell 6% from the year before but the company said revenue topped its expectations. Kodak said total industry consumer film sales fell 15% in the period.

Meanwhile, digital and film imaging sales rose 7% to $1.93bn, and health imaging sales rose 15% to $631m.

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