Printers mark Olivetti's return

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Olivetti, one of the most historic names in Italian industry, was on Wednesday relaunched by the Telecom Italia group after several years out of the public eye.

Olivetti was founded as a manufacturer of typewriters near Turin in 1908 by Camillo Olivetti.

It was built by his son Adriano, and later became known for some of the most innovative teleprinters and printers as the electronic age broadened in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, its fortunes fluctuated and eventually Olivetti ended up as a holding company inside the Telecom Italia group, looking after home and office products and specialised gaming and banking machines.

In 2003 Telecom Italia was merged into Olivetti as part of the evolution of a complicated group of interconnected companies headed by Marco Tronchetti Provera. The group also includes Pirelli, the tyre company.

On Wednesday a new generation of products was unveiled including two new types of inkjet printers. The company said that Jasper Morrison, the designer, was working on another product to be launched next year.

Olivetti said it had set itself a target of increasing revenues by 38 per cent in 2007 compared with 2004. An advertising campaign aimed at consumers will start in the next few months.

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