Ceramic tile printing boosts Xaar results

By Melanie Defries, Thursday 16 August 2012

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Inkjet manufacturer Xaar has posted a 6.3m year-on-year revenue increase to 37.9m for the six months to June 2012.

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Meanwhile, adjusted pre-tax profit was up 57% compared to the same period last year, from £4.3m to £6.7m.

The manufacturer, which has attributed its half-year growth to its success in the ceramic tile printing sector and an increase in capacity at its Huntingdon facility, revealed it has also boosted gross margins by 2% to 46% due to improvements in efficiency.

The manufacturer’s results revealed a shift in the geographic mix of its sales towards continental Europe, which accounts for 62% of its revenues.

Xaar chairman Phil Lawler said: "As expected, the geographic mix of our sales has shifted towards continental Europe, with European-based OEMs selling to the worldwide market.

"Although a good proportion of our revenue remains sterling denominated, our exposure to Euro currency fluctuations has increased. Our treasury policy and procedures have been updated to mitigate the potential adverse effects of this."

Xaar has developed a raft of new products including its GS12 1001 series inkjet printhead, which is designed for ceramic tile production. The manufacturer has scheduled volume shipments of the new printhead for Q3.

Xaar has also launched a new product for the wide-format graphics arts market, which it hopes will help to counter a decline in sales into this market. The Xaar Proton has been developed to offer higher resolution, wide-format printing at a competitive price and volume supply is expected to commence in the second half of 2012.

Other new products still in development include the Xaar 501 GS10, which is also aimed at the wide-format graphics market and which is expected to be available in the second half of 2013, while a new Platform (P4) printhead will be commercially available in 2016.

The P4 printhead aims to offer significant improvements in speed, resolution and cost-effectiveness and will also be targeted at commercial print applications including books, direct mail, high-end packaging and brochures.

Xaar chief executive Ian Dinwoodie said that the results were "fantastic".

"We are very pleased with the interim results. Our strategy going forward is about investment for future growth and this has seen us double the headcount of research and development team, which should be 100-strong by the end of the year.

"We will also be expanding into new markets with products such as our P4 printhead. This will be aimed at commercial print applications which we do target with our existing printheads."



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