The plant in Lombardy produces analogue offset plates and negative computer-to-conventional plates, demand for which is in decline, said the company. No firm date for closure has been set but all staff are likely to lose their jobs.

“The market for the products is in irreversible decline,” said corporate press relations manager Johan Jacobs. “Analogue plates are not asked for much now; that technology is almost completely replaced by digital printing plates.”

He did not reveal volumes of plates produced or the turnover of the factory, but among the products made at the site are Aluva plates. However, the company stressed that production was not being stopped, it was being relocated elsewhere in Italy or maybe Germany.

“Nobody should be concerned because no types of plate are being phased out, this is just a reshuffling of our production facilities. We are in constant optimisation of manufacturing sites,” said Jacobs.

Agfa Graphics, which moved into the building in 2004, is in talks with employees and trade unions and is drawing up a redundancy plan.

President Stefaan Vanhooren said: “This decision is part of our strategy to improve operational efficiency, margins and competitive position in the highly competitive pre-press market.”

The company said it was developing a footing in new segments of industrial inkjets for posters, banners, signage, displays, labels and packaging materials.