EFI confident on $1bn revenue target as Fiery, Vutek and Jetrion drive Q4 growth

Simon Nias
Friday, January 30, 2015

EFI has reported record fourth-quarter sales of $211.1m (£140m), despite a dip in form for its Industrial Inkjet segment arising from the slowdown in construction in China.

Revenue for the full year came in at $790.4m, up from $727.7m in 2013, bringing EFI closer to its $1bn revenue target for its 2016 financial year.

The Chinese slowdown hit EFI’s subsidiary Cretaprint, which manufactures digital ceramic tile printers, offsetting “very strong double-digit growth in the Vutek and Jetrion brands”.

EFI chief executive Guy Gecht said: “The net result was Industrial Inkjet growth far below where we wanted it; however, as I look at 2015, we have many reasons to be optimistic about the Cretaprint product line.”

He cited the ramp-up in sales of Cretaprint devices “from a very small base” as well as the launch of the new C4 platform, which is due to start shipping in Q1 2015. “We are excited about growth resuming in Cretaprint in the second half of the year,” added Gecht.

Meanwhile, EFI’s wide-format Vutek products and Jetrion label presses were said to have posted “high teens growth for both Q4 and the full year”, while UV ink volumes grew by more than 20% for the fifth year in a row.

EFI’s Fiery business reported “an exceptional quarter” with revenues of $75m, up 16% year-on-year, thanks to “a higher attachment rate, especially with newer digital engines launched by [EFI’s] partners”.

Gecht said: “There are three main reasons for the significant jump in our market share. First, the new engines are faster, better and more versatile and as such the digital content is becoming a more significant consideration for end-user customers and partners.

“Second, we are outspending and out-innovating the competition, with new capabilities in colour management, speed and field presence. The third reason is that we see better traction in the market for the EFI ecosystem, where a customer who already uses EFI productivity software or an EFI inkjet printer is much more likely to choose a Fiery with their new digital press.”

EFI’s Productivity Software division, comprising its MIS, ERP and web-to-print products, was said to have performed below expectations in the fourth quarter, although it still hit 10% growth for the full year.

Gecht said that the Q4 dip was mainly due to “the booking mix and currency [effects]” although he added that he was confident the division would “continue double-digit growth on an annual basis”.

On the M&A front, an area where EFI has always been active, Gecht said the company was “looking at many targets and making very good progress with the select few we are excited about”.

“With that in mind in the eight quarters to go we are even more confident in hitting our $1bn target [while] hitting the higher end of our EPS range,” he said.

Responding to a question on the firm’s M&A strategy in the quarterly earnings call, Gecht added: “There’s a little bit more inkjet in the pipeline, by design; we love the ability of expanding inkjet to other applications. We think it’s a tremendous opportunity there with helping other industries to transform from analogue to on-demand digital printing.”

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