Agfa books net profit for second year running

Simon Nias
Friday, March 13, 2015

Agfa-Gevaert Group has cemented its return to profit with a positive net result for the second consecutive year in its full-year 2014 accounts.

Agfa launches its new Azura TU plate
Agfa launches its new Azura TU plate

The Belgium-headquartered group posted a net profit of €59m (£42m) for the year to 31 December 2014, up 20.4% on the previous year, on a turnover of €2.6bn (2013: €2.9bn).

Operating and pre-tax profit were both down around 16% year-on-year, although at €136m and €77m respectively they were still firmly in the black, while the group's net debt was also reduced significantly from €217m at the end of 2013 to €126m.

Agfa said that its top line had suffered from "the continuous decline of the traditional film businesses, the product portfolio rationalisation, the overall economic weakness and the unstable political situation in certain regions".

However, it added that the success of its targeted efficiency programmes and positive raw material effects had contributed to gross profit margin increasing from 29.1% to 30.8%.

The group's pre-press and wide-format inkjet print equipment business, Agfa Graphics, recorded a 9.1% fall in turnover to €1.4bn (2013: €1.5bn) as a result of the overall economic weakness and product portfolio rationalisation.

In its pre-press segment, analogue continued to decline strongly while digital CTP suffered from competitive pressure. Inkjet was said to have shown signs of recovery from the effects of the weak global economy towards the end of the year.

Recurring EBITDA for the division was €100.4m (2013: €97.9m), while recurring EBIT jumped 15.3% to €70m (2013: €60.7m).

Agfa Graphics highlighted a number of deals in the fourth quarter, including the sale of the first Jeti Titan HS flatbed printer in the UK to KEP Print Group and the installation of an Avalon platesetter together with a four-year Azura TU plate contract at DG3.

Other highlights included the launch of the Azura TE plate, the latest version of Agfa's Fortuna security printing design software and the Expert Services ISO-based quality control, training, consultancy and systems integration programmes for newspaper printers.

Agfa Graphics fourth-quarter revenue was €361m (Q4 2013: €375m) and its recurring EBITDA was €29m (Q4 2013: €38.6m).

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