Agfa publishes year-end results; releases Asanti 3.0

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Agfa-Gevaert has posted mixed results for 2016; the group saw a 4.1% drop in revenue but a 1.7% jump in gross profit and a recurring Ebitda margin above 10% of revenue.

For the full year to December 2016 the group recorded revenue of €2.54bn (£2.09bn), down from the €2.65bn recorded in 2015.

Recurring Ebitda – the sum of the Graphics, Healthcare, and Specialty Products divisions as well as the unallocated portion – improved from 9.1% of revenue in 2015 to 10.4% in 2016.

Gross profit jumped from €843m to €857m – and to 33.8% of revenue, up from 31.9% last year. The company attributed its improved gross profit margin – at its highest level since 2010 – to targeted efficiency measures and positive raw materials effects in Agfa Graphics.

Revenues in Agfa Graphics dropped by 6.7% to €1.27bn, although the group said the inkjet segment’s full-year top line remained stable and the order book for this segment started to show some improvement towards the end of the year.

In the pre-press segment, the digital CTP business was affected by “severe competitive pressure in the offset markets” and market softness in certain emerging countries.

Agfa Graphics did however improve its gross profit margin from 28.3% of revenue to 29.8%, due to competitive pressure effects being offset by structural efficiency measures and positive raw material effects.

Across Agfa-Gevaert’s other divisions, sales in Healthcare fell by 0.8% to €1.09bn, with recurring Ebitda up 9.3% to €146.5m.

The Specialty Products unit, which develops items such as printed circuit boards and synthetic paper, experienced a drop in revenue of 4.8% to €180m and a small drop in Ebitda of 1.2% to €16.5m.

At the end of 2015 the group had net financial debt amounting to €58m but this was turned into a net cash position of €18m in 2016.

"As expected, we have met our main objective for 2016: we brought our recurring Ebitda margin above 10% of revenue. Furthermore, our strong focus on cashflow generation enabled us to turn our net debt position into a net cash position," said Christian Reinaudo, president and chief executive of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.

“These two achievements will now allow us to shift our focus to the top-line evolution of our businesses. As we did when we started to focus on the improvement of our gross profit margin a few years ago, we have initiated several top-line projects.

“With these projects, we will aim at limiting the decline of our traditional businesses and at boosting the success of our growth engines.”

Agfa-Gevaert’s share price was €3.92 at the time of writing (52-week high: €4.39, low: €2.61).

Separately, Agfa Graphics announced the launch of its new Asanti 3.0 workflow software.

The new version is said to offer wide-format printers new functionalities, more integration possibilities and added automation.

New functions are combined with Agfa’s signature colour management platform, automatic pre-flighting and a new graphic user interface for tiling huge jobs.

Version 3.0 also allows for integration with third-party print equipment, MIS platforms, and in-house software including PrintSphere and StoreFront.

“It’s a complete production hub that streamlines the entire workflow from beginning to end,” said Agfa Graphics workflow solutions marketing manager Erik Peeters.

“As such, it allows print professionals to avoid errors and minimise manual interventions, shorten pre-press procedures and thus simplify the entire printing process.”

One of the new features in Asanti 3.0 is IntelliTune, which automatically analyses and improves image quality by optimising skin tones or eliminating noise or blurriness.

Also new is proofing support with QuickProof, which helps to avoid waste, an improved digital alternative for see-through graphics on clear material, optimised automation with the use of new parameter presets, and smart image repetition possibilities to further increase productivity.

Additionally, Asanti Color Management, the advanced mode that allows printers to use a wizard for managing colours and shortening throughput time, now features new white printing options.

Last month it was revealed that Agfa UK boss Joergen Vad is stepping down and will hand over to Eddie Williams in April.

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