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 user 2007-03-12 at 10:14:00 am Views: 43
  • #17366

    Lexmark reports rise in number of workers worldwide
    International’s 2006 annual report is out and contains several
    interesting tidbits of information about Lexington’s largest private
    employer.First, the company’s employment base grew from 13,600
    worldwide at the end of 2005 to about 14,900 at the end of 2006,
    according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.The
    increases, primarily in manufacturing and production operations, offset
    actions in last year’s restructuring plan to eliminate or transfer to
    lower-wage countries more than 1,400 jobs. The plan affected about 200
    employees at its headquarters in Lexington.The proportion of the
    company’s domestic employment fell from about 30.9 percent in 2005 to
    26.2 percent in 2006.Also in the report, the company wrote it plans to
    sell its facility in Rosyth, Scotland, sometime in the first quarter of
    this year.That facility was closed as part of the restructuring.

    In other Lexmark news:

    Executive Vice President Paul Rooke, who heads the company’s laser
    printer business, fielded quite a few questions at a recent investor
    conference about the company’s inkjet business, which has struggled in
    recent quarters. (Najib Bahous, who heads Lexmark’s inkjet business,
    was not at the conference.)Speaking at the Goldman Sachs 2007
    Technology Investment Symposium, Rooke was asked about the potential
    effect on the company from Kodak’s entrance into the inkjet market and
    how the company responds to questions from some observers about whether
    it should exit the inkjet business.Specifically, a person in attendance
    asked whether Kodak’s planned model of offering higher-priced printers
    compared with its competition but lower-cost supplies would catch on
    with consumers.”Time will tell whether that’s what the customer wants,”
    Rooke said. “We’ve been in this market a long time … and what we
    continue to hear from our customers is they want better value hardware
    over lower-cost supplies.”Now if that changes, obviously Lexmark and
    others can easily change that model.”But Rooke did not show flexibility
    on the question about whether Lexmark should exit inkjet.”Everything
    we’re about is about improving our inkjet business,” he said. “That’s
    why (our) investments in expanding products, expanding customers,
    building the brand are focused on doing just that.”
    • The company’s
    latest color laser printer lines, which were researched and developed
    in Lexington, have received industry acclaim recently.
    The C530,
    C770, C772 and C920 series all received Editor’s Choice awards from
    Better Buys for Business, according to a statement by Lexmark.
    The C770 series also received a four-star rating from PC Magazine.
    recognition “really is a particularly strong story for us to be able to
    talk with customers about,” said company spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick.The
    color laser product segment has been one of several focused on by the
    company recently, as it seeks to align its product portfolio with
    high-growth product and market segments.