Global Graphics posts strong interim results

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, August 14, 2020

Global Graphics has reported strong financial results for the first half of 2020, with an increase in both revenue and profit.

Rottenborn: "What helped us was I think the fact that we have a diverse business"
Rottenborn: "What helped us was I think the fact that we have a diverse business"

In its half-year report for the six-month period ended 30 June 2020, the Cambridge-based software developer’s revenue from continuing operations climbed by 24.2% to €11.9m (£10.74m), compared with €9.59m for the same period in 2019, while its pre-tax profit for the period was €1.91m, an increase of 298% on the €0.48m recorded for the equivalent period a year earlier.

The company's EBITDA for the six months was €3.91m, up by 104.7% on the €1.91m recorded for the period in 2019.

During the period, the group sold its URW Type Foundry business to Monotype, for a gross gain of €5.36m, with proceeds from the sale enabling Global Graphics to focus on its core business of hardware and software for inkjet applications.

The group also brought forward the release to April of all of its products that had been scheduled for launch in June, after Drupa was pushed back to 2021.

The key launch was Direct, Global’s first fully integrated product line, taking in the company’s Harlequin RIP technology, Mako file optimiser, inkjet programs ScreenPro and PrintFlat, workflow from its partner Hybrid Software and a global reseller network via its recent acquisition Xitron.

Global Graphics chief executive Mike Rottenborn said that while the Covid-19 pandemic had been “a tremendous challenge” for Global Graphics and its customers, the company's results were boosted by a range of factors.

He told Printweek that the business had instigated a four-day working week at the beginning of May to save costs, but that some people have now returned to full-time hours, and no redundancies have been made.

“What helped us was I think the fact that we have a diverse business. Our Meteor business is primarily selling hardware, so they're leading the economic recovery – in fact I think they were recovering in China before we started to feel the impact of Covid-19 in the rest of the world,” he added.

“The other thing we see is that in China they're moving to much wider ceramics, so the companies that make ceramics printers, these are now over 2m wide. They want to print very large ceramics, which means more machines, more printheads, more driver cards and software.

“We had a very disappointing 2019 in the Chinese market but we've had a fantastic 2020, it's recovered sooner, faster and more robustly than we ever would have expected.”

Rottenborn said software sales have also been strong.

“Xitron is still having challenges because they sell to some OEMs but they also sell to a lot of end-users; they were the biggest channel for the Harlequin RIP selling into end-users, so they were affected immediately and quite deeply by Covid-19, just as many companies are that are selling direct to end-users. When people are worried about their payroll, they're not investing in equipment.

“But Global Graphics Software is still selling to OEMs – we actually had five new customers for our Mako technology sign up in June, which is a record.”

The group also serves many customers in labels and packaging, sectors which have tended to be less impacted than others by the pandemic.

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