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Kodak, the 131-year-old photography pioneer, filed for bankruptcy on January 19th 2012.Eastman Kodak announced early this morning that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was “the right thing to do for the future” of the company.In a statement, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said company leadership decided the move was “a necessary step.”Innovation Trail has followed the story over the course of 2012.

Plenty of red in the ledger for Kodak, some promising signs

Viktor Nagornyy

Last year was a tough one for Kodak, with the company reporting a net loss of almost $1.4 billion in 2012.

More than $1 billion of that total is chalked up to reorganization and re-structuring costs linked to Kodak’s bankruptcy.

In addition, the company’s revenue of $4.11 billion in 2012 was a decline of 20% from the previous year, and fell far below the $6 billion reported in 2010.

However, Kodak spokesperson Krista Gleason says there is a silver lining.

The business that Kodak is hoping to move forward with after emerging from bankruptcy has shown some improvements from 2011.

"We improved the operating performance of our commercial imaging businesses by $278 million in 2012; which is important of course because those are the businesses on which our future is focused," Gleason said.

Kodak’s commercial imaging businesses, which include commercial printing and its motion picture film lines, still posted a loss in 2012 of $244 million. But, that’s less than half of the $542 million loss reported in 2011.

Along with the significant losses last year, Kodak has reported the lowest level of local employment seen in decades.

As of the end of 2012, Kodak’s workforce in Rochester totaled about 3,500 employees, down from 60,000 employees when the company was at its peak in the early ‘80s.

In a statement, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said the company’s performance in 2012 was on target.

"Thanks to the talent and dedication of our employees, our 2012 performance was on track or ahead of our adjusted EBITDA and cash projections, and we have remained in compliance with the covenants of our debtor-in-possession facility, laying the foundation for emergence as a profitable, sustainable company.”

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail
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