Agfa UK boss claims '91 slowdown was worse
By Simon Nias Friday, 31 October 2008
Agfa Graphics UK managing director Laurence Roberts has urged calm in the face of the current economic slowdown, amid fears the industry could talk itself into a worse situation.
Following publication of Agfa's third quarter results, Roberts told PrintWeek that the current economic slowdown was "nothing like the recession of 1991" and that the doom and gloom merchants were overdoing the situation.
He said: "I'm not saying it's not very serious - it is - but it's not the end of the world. For us, in the consumable business, which is the day-by-day business, it's holding up OK. It's not awful, it's not wonderful, it's just OK.
"I think that money will get tighter in January and February and that people will have to be very careful about collecting their debts, but this is nothing like the recession of 1991, nothing like it, yet.
"The danger is, we all talk ourselves into this. I think part of it is because it's a long time since 1991, so there're a lot of people who haven't been through this before and for them it's a novelty and probably quite frightening. But I think that compounds the reaction."
Roberts added that he thought Agfa Graphics' global revenue, which was down 1.2% for the quarter excluding currency effects, was "reasonable, in the current situation".
"Our biggest problem frankly, when we look at the world result, is the result in America," he said.
"It's just such a huge market and the American market is suffering worse than any of the European markets at the moment."
In the UK, Agfa's consumables business was up 4% year-on-year and although the equipment business suffered in comparison with last year, Roberts stressed that this was down to the sale of 20 Polaris platesetters to News International this time last year.
"In the B1 market we will ship 38 units this year. Last year, we shipped 28, so that's a growth of about a third, driven of course by Drupa," he said.
"You've got to see these things in context."
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- New Business Development Manager Key Recruitment Upto £60k dep on exp, London
- Senior Account Manager (POS/Retail) Pyramid Consultancy Ltd £35000 - £39000 + benefits, Central London
- Print / Direct Mail - West Midlands asg £60,000 + Bonus + Benefits, West Midlands
- Large Format Digital Printer | Digital Print & POS | Cambridgeshire Mercury Search and Selection £16k-£22k + OT + excellent benefits package & 20 days' holiday allowance, Cambridgeshire
- Client Services Director - UK asg Up to £110,000 + bonus, car & executive benefits, UK