Ink sales were up

'Soft' trading in Q1 at Agfa

Agfa: solid performance from  "growth engines"
Agfa: transition of mid-range wide-format offering

Sales at Agfa's digital printing wing fell in Q1, but the group expects the fruits of its new EFI partnership to come through later in the year.

Overall group sales were down 6.5% including currency effects (-7.6% without) at €250m (£215m), while adjusted EBITDA fell from €13m to just €2m.

The net loss in the period to 31 March was €21m, compared with a €66m loss the prior year.

There were double-digit percentage falls at Healthcare IT and Radiology operations.

Sales at its Digital Print & Chemicals wing slipped by 4.7% to €91m.

However, top line ink sales were up 6%, fuelled by growth across all product lines and Agfa’s ongoing push to convert former Inca customers to switch from Fujifilm to Agfa inks.

The group expects the EFI partnership to result in additional sales of €15m-€20m from mid-2024 to mid-2025, and then €30m-€40m after that, with an EBITDA margin of 15%-20%.

Agfa said its SpeedSet operations were “on track” with the Delta Group confirmed as the first customer for the B1 inkjet press during Q1.

Sales at Contractor Operations – the division that provides products and services to the spun-off ECO3 business – jumped by 48.9% to €21m.

Agfa CEO Pascal Juéry commented: “As indicated before, the first quarter was very soft. In the field of Digital Printing Solutions, we went through a transition as we renewed our mid-range offering at the end of March. The impact of the product launches and the agreement we signed with EFI is expected to kick in later on in the year.”

He said HealthCare IT experienced a seasonal slow start to the year, although order intake showed positive momentum.

“The Radiology Solutions division’s quarter was abnormally weak, as we started to reorganise our go-to-market processes in China in line with the new reality in that market.”

One-off quality issues for medical film at Agfa’s Mortsel plant also impacted costs, with action underway to reorganise the production process.

At its developing Zirfon membranes business for Green Hydrogen Solutions, Agfa reported significant sales.

On top of the EU funding already announced, Agfa has also gained fresh lease financing to help fund the construction of a new plant for Zirfon membranes.

“Overall, we were able to keep our working capital well under control and restructuring costs were at a low level.” Juéry stated.

The group’s shares fell on the news and were down 13.66% at €1.18 at the time of writing (52-week high: €2.70, low: €0.98).

Agfa exhibited at Fespa earlier this year, but will not be at Drupa.