Domino maintains full-year outlook as N600i roll-out begins

Simon Nias
Monday, September 17, 2012

Domino Printing Sciences has used its third-quarter management statement to highlight the roll-out of its N600i full-colour label press as well as concerns over market conditions in Europe and China.

Domino held the official US launch for the N600i at Labelexpo Americas last week and while there will not be a similar "launch event" in Europe, group managing director Nigel Bond told PrintWeek that the press would be available in the UK within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the monochrome version of the press - the K600i - has continued to perform well with order intake in the 10 months to 31 August exceeding the group's sales target for the year. Bond said that this was thanks to strong performance in both North America and European markets.

However, while North America - together with India - was picked out as reporting "good growth" overall, Domino raised concerns over market conditions in both Europe and China.

Bond said that some of the group's products were better suited to the North American market than Europe. "Within packaging the A320i has done very well for us in North America, as well as the K600i," he added.

European sales were said to be primarily affected by customers' deferral of equipment replacement, although Bond said he did not believe that this drawn out investment cycle would become the "new norm" in Europe.

"Europe will continue to have good and bad periods like any economy," he added. "At the moment it's struggling because of the debt issues, but at some point in the future it will come good again."

Customers in China on the other hand were said to be putting expansion plans on hold as manufacturing confidence levels in the Asian powerhouse continued to fall, although Bond said that he expected this to be a short-term phenomenon.

"Slow downs are concerning wherever they occur, but in China I think what we're seeing is more temporary so it's less of a concern that Europe at the moment," he added. "Clearly the long-term growth potential in China is still huge."

Domino spent £17.6m on acquisitions in the period, including Graph-Tech - the core company involved in the manufacture of the K600i and N600i - and inkjet mailing equipment manufacturer PostJet.

Bond said he was pleased with both acquisitions, although he added that he warned that PostJet's revenues would be "lumpy" in light of the fact that postal contracts "don't come along everyday and when they do they tend to be sizeable".

The company, which reports its full year results on 11 December, said it expected sales for the year to be in-line with expectations at similar levels to last year.


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