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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 07:31 GMT
Kodak axes another 500 lab jobs
Digital camera
Kodak plans to ditch traditional cameras for new digital products
Kodak has announced it is to close five photographic laboratories across the UK with the loss of about 500 jobs.

The US group said it would close photo finishing labs at Northampton, Glasgow, Walsall, Wimbledon and Portishead in North Somerset in the next 12 months.

The cuts are part of a three-year restructuring programme that involves shedding up to 15,000 Kodak jobs worldwide - 20% of its staff.

Last month Kodak said it was cutting 600 jobs in the UK.

The market for film processing in the UK continues to decline
James McConnell, Kodak

The firm says it wants to focus on digital photography in the face of declining demand for film.

The latest cutbacks also include the closure of a call centre, and is part of a move to reduce Kodak's global facilities by about one-third over three years.

The first of the six Kodak sites will close in early 2005 and the last will close by the end of the year.

Counselling support

James McConnell, UK general manager of Kodak Digital & Film Imaging Systems, said demand for "wholesale photofinishing" had fallen with the rising popularity of digital photography.

"As a result, the market for film processing in the UK continues to decline and an increasing proportion of what remains is being processed on retailers' premises using kiosks and minilabs," he said.

He said affected employees would receive enhanced severance terms plus access to counselling support, as well as assistance in identifying alternative employment.

In October, Kodak said it would cut 600 jobs in the UK and close a factory in Nottinghamshire.

It said 350 jobs would be lost following the closure of the factory at Annesley, Nottinghamshire, while 250 posts would go at its site in Harrow, north London.

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