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Agfa boosts revenue as ‘extraordinary inflation’ hits profit

Print technology manufacturer Agfa-Gevaert Group reported a 22% year-on-year increase in earnings before tax to 19 million Euro in Q1 of 2022. Revenue was up 7.2% to 424 million Euro but the group posted a net loss of 7 million Euro. Agfa’s sign & display business “continued its upwards trend.”

  Agfa's award-winning Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED hybrid large-format printing press
Agfa Pascal Juery fill 180x162
   "A time of extraordinary
Pascal Juéry,
      CEO Agfa-Gevaert

“We are living in a time of extraordinary inflation, geopolitical uncertainties and in particular the Russia-Ukraine conflict, unseen volatility in our supply chains and continuing COVID effects, particularly in China,” said Pascal Juéry, president and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group based in Mortsel, Belgium.

“All input costs from raw materials, energy, packaging, transportation and salaries continue to increase materially and supply chain disruptions are strongly impacting our activities. In this complex inflationary context, we are able to maintain margins through pricing and cost management actions. 

“Driven by the strong performance of the Offset Solutions division, we significantly improved our recurring EBITDA, which shows that our pricing strategy and strict cost management are paying off.

“Furthermore, we again took major steps in our transformation program in recent months," "Juéry said. "The measures we have taken recently with regard to our internal IT services and our internal financial services are examples of how we are simplifying our operating model. 

“Only a few weeks ago, we announced our plans to acquire Inca Digital Printers. This investment will strengthen our position in the high-speed wide format market as a whole and specifically in the promising packaging segment. Digital printing is a profitable growth engine for us with a tremendous potential that will be further accelerated by the addition of Inca.”

The Group’s revenue increased by 7.2%, mainly driven by the Digital Print & Chemicals and Offset Solutions divisions. Despite extended inflationary pressure and supply chain issues, adjusted EBITDA increased from 15 million Euro (3.9% of revenue) in the first quarter of 2021 to 19 million Euro (4.4% of revenue). Adjusted EBIT reached 4 million Euro, versus minus 1 million Euro in the first quarter of 2021.

“As a result of the elements mentioned above, the Agfa-Gevaert Group posted a net loss of 7 million Euro,” the company said.

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The Agfa-Gevaert Group expects the full impact of cost inflation in the second quarter, which will also be affected by the uncertain geopolitical situation and the COVID-related lockdowns in China. Additional price actions are being taken to tackle cost inflation. Assuming that the uncertainty in most markets will not deteriorate, the second half of the year is expected to be better thanks to additional pricing actions coming into effect.

Digital Print & Chemicals – Q1 2022

The Digital Print & Chemicals division’s top line grew substantially versus the first quarter of 2021. Price increases have been implemented in almost all business areas to tackle the increasing raw material, packaging, energy and freight costs. The full impact of these price increases will become visible in the second half of the year. Further price increases will be communicated in the near future.

In the field of digital print, the sign & display business continued its upwards trend, both in terms of top line and bottom line. The ink product ranges for sign & display applications continued to perform well, clearly exceeding pre-COVID levels. In spite of industry-wide logistic challenges, the wide-format printing equipment business continued to recover from the strong COVID-19 impact.

In January, the European Digital Press Association rewarded three Agfa innovations introduced in 2021: the Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED hybrid large-format printing press, the InterioJet water-based décor paper printing press for laminate surfaces, and the Alussa leather printing system.