Incisive Media Investments Ltd 2004 heeft een interview gepubliceerd met Ilford, wat mijn hart sneller deed kloppen, met uitspraken als :

We plan to be the last man standing in black-and-white imaging.

the company will retain all existing film lines except SFX200, as well as all existing papers and liquid chemistry. Dry chemistry products, warmtone developers and a number of abandoned papers will be reintroduced over the next few months.

(...) we are the only company in the world that can coat glass plates, so while it would not be a big part of our business, we want to consider it.

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NEWS RELEASE
Title: Ilford move secures black-and-white future
Date: 9 March 2005
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It's good news at last for black-and-white photographers - following last month's management buyout, Ilford Photo says that not only will it continue its current range of monochrome products, it also plans to reintroduce abandoned lines.

According to managing director Phil Harris, the company will retain all existing film lines except SFX200, as well as all existing papers and liquid chemistry. Dry chemistry products, warmtone developers and a number of abandoned papers will be reintroduced over the next few months, and the company hopes to enter new markets such as glass plate coating.

Harris explained: 'The current item list was generated by the receivers for maximum efficiency, so we will reintroduce old lists. For example, we are the only company in the world that can coat glass plates, so while it would not be a big part of our business, we want to consider it. We are committed to black-and-white.'

Ilford Photos was created last month after Ilford Imaging Group's UK arm completed a management buy-out. The team acquired the manufacturing and sales and distribution of the Mobberley plant and, according to Harris, will retain the 380 staff now employed there.

Ilford went into receivership in September 2004, at which point the Mobberley workforce was slashed in half. Ilford Imaging Group's Swiss, French, Australian and US businesses are all up for sale, while its German and Italian arms have gone into receivership.

The new company can only use the Ilford brand for its silver-based black-and-white products, and is not allowed to compete with the Swiss branch's inkjet business using the Ilford name. It is also contracted to provide coating for the Swiss branch's inkjet business for the next two years, unless this arm ceases to produce inkjets after it is sold. However, Ilford Photos has established a secondary brand named after the company's original founder - Harman Technology - to allow it to expand into other areas.

Harris explained: 'The core technology at Mobberley can coat very thin high quality layers that has many non-imaging applications - for example, medical uses. We anticipate that could become up to 20% of our business, under the Harman brand.'

Harris was optimistic about the future, despite Ilford's difficulties over the past year. He said: 'Ilford Photo is profitable and solvent.

The receiver had to decide whether to keep the company trading or not, but we had such great support from our customers that the business came back up off the floor. Black-and-white has been declining by 5-7% per year, and last year it declined by 20-30%. I think next year it will be the same, then the decline will flatten out as we reach the core market of fine art, student and specialist black-and-white photographers. We plan to be the last man standing in black-and-white imaging.'

Source: Incisive Media Investments Ltd 2004