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Ilse Jurriën : October 5th 2006 - 01:07 CET

CeWe color on the digital photographic market

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CeWe ColorCeWe color on the digital photographic market : The photographic market has undergone a fundamental change since the emergence of digital technology. This becomes clear on taking a look at sales figures for cameras and films. During the 90s, just over 4 mj. analogue cameras were sold in Germany every year. Sales of analogue cameras slumped to 1 mj. cameras sold in 2005, with another 7.4 million digital cameras having been sold in retail stores. These cameras are extremely attractive and are generating an incomparable boom. The intensive use of digital cameras naturally means that fewer conventional cameras are being used and fewer film rolls sold. Sales of film rolls in Germany declined by 51.9 % in the period 2000 (187 mj.) to 2005.
CeWe color on the digital photographic marketFilm & Photographic market
CeWe color - Europe’s leading photo-finishing company - anticipates that in 2006 and 2007 the film market will be reduced by another 50%. This means that the company has already dealt with two-thirds of the decline in films. In 2008 the floor will almost have been reached. The market for photographs in the photographic sector has generally been divided by the shift in technology from conventional to digital photography. The market for photos from films is in decline and the digital market is growing. There are still two production methods for photos from films: large-scale industrial photofinishing labs and appliances for developing photos in retail stores, so-called minilabs. High production volumes have provided industrial photofinishing with a clear cost advantage. Minilab business benefits from the time factor, since here it generally takes only 30 minutes for a photo to be produced; prices, however, are significantly higher.

Digital photo production
The situation is completely different on the digital photo market. It is no longer necessary to have prints made in order to be able to view the photos. Many consumers are satisfied with simply taking a look at their photos on a PC screen. Of an average 480 snapshots per year and camera, at present only 24 % are ending up as digital photos. There are also new, competitive methods of production available. Home-printing on a personal printer is particularly popular and so is instant printing with thermal sublimation and ink-jet printers in photo retail stores. Both of these systems deliver quickly, but the photos are expensive.

Price and quality advantages with industrial processing
cewe color was one of the first companies to adapt to the changed situation and to make industrial photo processing feasible for digital photos too. Nowadays the company can produce digital photos in a better quality and also at far more favourable prices than competing systems. The starting price for a cewe digital photo is 9 cents. Photos from colour printers and instant printers cost between 29 cents and 60 cents. Hardly surprising that these advantages are convincing more and more consumers. Digital photos produced in industrial processing operations currently account for 67% of the market. cewe color produced 422 million digital photos in the first six months of 2006 alone, a 32.1 % increase in sales in comparison to those of the same period of the previous year.

Digital photo products
In order to boost this development, cewe color is increasingly focussing on creative photo products in addition to an extensive range of low-price digital photos. The company has created a range of products with a great deal of potential for the future with the cewe photo book and a comprehensive range of original photo gifts.

Methods of ordering photos
Simplifying the methods of ordering photos has paved the way for increasing sales. At present the company is busy installing more DigiFoto-Makers in addition to the 15,000 that have already been installed in retail stores. Sales channels in the Internet are also being reinforced. In this context cewe color is making available to retailers a full range of e-commerce solutions comprising websites designed by the company, adequate computer capacities and the essential software. “An offer that is being taken up most by Internet photo suppliers, Internet portals and pharmaceutical markets, one which is likely to increasingly become a matter of course in future. It is particularly among young consumers that the company has noticed that ordering photos from home on a PC is becoming more and more popular,” Dr. Rolf Hollander, Chairman of the Board of Management with the cewe color Group points out.

About CeWe - ColorPhoto service provider
With 20 highly-technical photofinishing plants and a staff of 3,200 employees in 19 European countries, is both market and technological leader. Every year, more than 3.0 billion colour prints are supplied to 60,000 customers from the trade. In 2005 turnover amounted to EUR 431.1 million. CeWe Color is “first mover” in the launch of new digital technologies and products such as ordering digital photos through retailers' websites, or in products such as the DigiFoto concept for retail stores. In 1961, CeWe Color was founded by Senator h.c. Heinz Neumüller and, with Hubert Rothärmel at the helm, the company went public in 1993. CeWe Color Holding AG is listed on the SDAX.

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