By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 12 March 2018
Agfa-Gevaert has reported a drop in both revenue and gross profit in its 2018 results.
For the full year to December 2017 the group recorded revenue of €2.44bn (£2.17bn), down by 3.7% on the €2.54bn recorded in 2015. Gross profit, meanwhile, fell by 5% from €857m to €814m.
Group recurring Ebitda fell from 10.4% of revenue in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017.
The group said its top-line decrease was attributable to adverse currency effects and the decline in the traditional businesses, including Agfa HealthCare's hardcopy business, which felt the effects of the reorganisation of its distribution channels in China. Ebitda, it added, was impacted by growth initiatives and adverse raw material effects.
Agfa Graphics’ revenue dropped by 5.7% to €1.2bn, although the group said it showed gradual improvement throughout the year, with the inkjet segment posting double-digit growth.
An Agfa spokesperson told PrintWeek: “In the last couple of years we have really focused on having the correct product portfolio in inkjet. We cut out some machines a few years ago and we focused all our R&D efforts on others and we are now bearing the fruits from that.”
The pre-press segment suffered from competitive pressure in the offset markets, market-driven volume declines – primarily in the newspaper sector, and increasing aluminium prices, the group said.
“Unfortunately, for this part of the Graphics business 2018 will continue to be difficult because there will still be a heavy aluminium impact – the price has risen even further, and there will still be that market-driven price pressure,” the spokesperson said.
Agfa Graphics’ gross profit margin decreased from 29.8% in 2016 to 29% in 2017.
Across Agfa-Gevaert’s other divisions, sales in Healthcare fell by 3.5% to €1.05bn, with recurring Ebitda down by 10.5% to €131.1m.
The Specialty Products unit, which develops items such as printed circuit boards and synthetic paper, bucked the overall trend, growing by 8.3% to €195m, and with Ebitda up by 9.1% to €18m.
The group’s net financial debt amounted to €18m in 2017, versus a net cash position of €18m at the end of 2016.
Christian Reinaudo, president and chief executive of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, said: “2017 has been the first year of a two-year transition period. Having overachieved on our profitability targets in 2016, we have taken a number of initiatives to prepare the group for future growth by addressing the complexity of the company and the top line decline.”
Agfa-Gevaert’s share price was €3.67 at the time of writing (52-week high: €4.93, low: €3.60).