CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA

ots Ad hoc-Service: CeWe Color Holding AG Shareholders receive a record dividend
digital fantasy

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    Oldenburg (ots Ad hoc-Service) -      

    At the 8th Annual General Meeting of CeWe Color Holding AG, the Board of Management was able to report on an excellent business year for 1999 and also to incite the digital fantasy of the 700 shareholders present. The General Meeting of the largest independent European photofinisher voted unanimously in favour of the proposal of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board to pay out a cash dividend of EURO 1.15 per denominated share on the reported net profit for the business year of 1999, after allocation to reserves of EURO 6.8 million. The imputed tax credit per share amounts to EURO 0.50, as a result of which the gross dividend amounts to EURO 1.65.

    In 1999 the CeWe Color Group achieved a consolidated turnover of EURO 394.2 million, with the European focus in photofinishing contributing to a great extent towards this success. The strongest growth rates were recorded in Central Eastern Europe. It was possible, on the whole, to increase the market share of the 14 European countries in which CeWe Color operates by more than 20 %. The increases in sales for 1999 were considerable. The number of developed film rolls increased to 87.0 million, which represents an increase of 8.5 % compared to the same period of the previous year. For the first time ever, CeWe Color produced a total of more than three billion colour photos, representing an increase of 9.3 %. While turnover increased by 9.8 %, the consolidated profit generated by ordinary business increased to EURO 37.2 million, which is an increase of 23.4 %. The annual net profit rose to EURO 19.4 million (+ 19.5 %) and profits before corporate tax increased to EURO 29.1 million (+ 20.5 %).

    Hubert Rothärmel, Chairman of the Board of Management reported on a growing photographic market. In 1999 the photographic markets recorded a sound growth rate, both worldwide and in Europe, with the new digital picture technologies providing the impulse for the entire photo industry. The German amateur photo market, with more than five billion photos, an increase of 6 % in cameras sold and a turnover of more than EURO 3.3 billion, continued to grow at a strong rate in 1999. The mass market for digital photography and digital processing in photofinishing is approaching. The digital technology has already extended to all areas in the "imaging chain", from exposure to processing and production, right up to the transfer of photos. In 1999 approximately 1.1 million digital cameras were sold - in addition to approximately 20 million customary photo cameras.

    CeWe Color is going to focus on the exposure of digital data onto original photo paper and enhance the pictures from digital cameras by means of software developed by the company itself. CeWe Color considers digital photography to be the growth area of the future. The photo laboratory group, with digital services and products which have been introduced onto the market successfully, is already offering photo amateurs and professionals alike a precise tailor-made solution for "e-photography", irrelevant of whether the picture data have been sent to a CeWe Color laboratory via the Internet or by means of a photo terminal or a photo envelope. The CeWe Color Group is the retailers partner.

    Further information can be obtained from the Internet under: http://www.cewecolor.de

    Should you have any enquiries, please contact:     CeWe Color Holding AG,     Hella Meyer     Tel.: 0441 / 404 - 400 or 0171 / 34 50 530     Fax:  0441 / 404 - 421

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