CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA

ots Ad hoc-Service: CeWe Color Holding AG Report on the first quarter of 2000: CeWe Color on a path of success

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    Oldenburg (ots Ad hoc-Service) -  After a brilliant business year in 1999, the largest independent European photo laboratory group, CeWe Color, got off to a good start in the year 2000. Growth in volume and growth in turnover are both within the framework of the ambitious plans made for the business year of 2000. In the first three months, CeWe Color increased the number of developed film rolls by 6.7 % to a total of 17.4 million. The number of colour prints produced and sold rose from 570 million to 612 million, representing an increase of 7.3 %.

    What is also pleasing is the fact that turnover climbed from Euro 71.9 million to Euro 78.5 million, an increase of 9.2 %. In the first quarter, retail trade turnover increased slightly more than laboratory turnover. This is due to increased trade activities in Central Eastern Europe and the integration of the retail chain JAPAN PHOTO in Norway and Denmark. In view of this good start, the Board of Management of the CeWe Color Group expects the sales projections for the business year of 2000, at between Euro 420 million and Euro 430 million, to be achieved,

    In the first quarter of the year , the photo laboratory group inevitably records deficits, since the development of sales depends to a great extent on the seasons. Due to the weather, January, February and March are not suitable months for taking photos. It is only in early summer that business picks up, which means that normally profits are recorded at mid-year for the first time in the current year. The quarterly loss of Euro 2.1 million must be evaluated taking this fact into consideration. The loss is, however, approximately 27.3 % lower than the loss incurred during the first quarter of 1999. CeWe Color has however already been able to record a positive cash flow of Euro 6.3 million, which means an increase of 35.4 %

    The CeWe Color Group has provided for an investment plan of approximately Euro 44.0 million for the business year of 2000, with the focus, when compared with 1999, clearly shirting to the areas of EDP and information technologies as well as to the Internet and the new markets.

    Digital services, and thus Internet networking, are increasingly becoming the centre of the company's activities. Demand for the ONLINE PRINT SERVICE has increased considerably. Retailers are increasingly including this service in their Internet offer. Consumers therefore enjoy a perfect picture service for digitised picture data by means of the home page of their retailer. The Board of Management is convinced that it has come up with the right concept and the right strategy to ensure an adequate share of the growing market of digital photography for CeWe Color.

    Should you have any enquiries, please contact:

    CeWe Color Holding AG     Hella Meyer     Tel.-Nr.: 0441/404-400     Fax-Nr.: 0441/404-421     Internet: http://www.cewecolor.de

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