Agfa Graphics has reported a big jump in sales at its inkjet business on the back of its new Jeti wide-format printers, but results overall are down as the firm reshapes its offering.
In the third quarter sales were down 9.6% at €257m, although Agfa said that if discontinued businesses and currency effects were excluded, the decline was 3.8% “markedly better than in previous quarters”.
Sales at its inkjet business were up by 9% in the three months to 30 September after it booked multiple orders for the Jeti Tauro H3300 and H2500 LED wide-format printers launched in June.
Other new product launches included v11 of its Apogee workflow software and Avatar V-ZH, a no-pre-heat, chemistry-free violet plates for newspaper printing.
However, Agfa also reported “strong market-driven decline” for analogue film products, and volume pressures for computer-to-plate product lines.
Gross profit margins fell from 27.6% to 25.6%, while EBITDA was down 43.6% to €7.9m. Agfa cited the high price of aluminium and “adverse product and regional mix effects” as impacting profits.
The business announced global prices increases for plate products of up to 10% in May, which is expected to help mitigate the profit decline; and expects to grow top-line sales through the recently-announced alliance with Lucky HuaGuang Graphics in China, and the subsequent acquisition of Ipagsa’s pre-press business.
Agfa group president and chief executive Christian Reinaudo reiterated the firm’s ambitions to play “an important role in the consolidation of the offset industry”.
Last month Agfa also announced that it planned to shut its Branchburg plate manufacturing plant in the US, with the loss of 125 jobs.
Overall group sales, including Agfa’s Healthcare and Specialty Products divisions, were down 9.1% to €539m (or -4.8% excluding currency effects and discontinued businesses) and the group booked a €5m loss for the period (2017 profit: €14m).
“The strong third quarter performance of most of our growth engines was snowed under by the top line decrease of most of our traditional businesses,” Reinaudo stated.