Agfa’s Digital Printing Business Grows as Ink Sales Boom.

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Date: Thursday March 21, 2024 02:18:13 pm
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    Agfa’s Digital Printing Business Grows as Ink Sales Boom.
    Last year, Agfa’s Digital Print & Chemicals division surpassed Radiology to become the company’s largest sector, with a 14% increase in inkjet ink sales, largely due to acquiring Inca’s former clientele. Agfa, based in Belgium, reported a 3.2% increase in group sales to €1.15 billion, not accounting for currency fluctuations. Adjusted EBITDA soared by 52% to €76 million, while the net loss narrowed to €101 million from €223 million the previous year, after accounting for restructuring and discontinued operations.

    Agfa large format UV printers - Flatbed, roll-to-roll & hybrid inkjet presses

    The Digital Print & Chemicals division saw a 12% revenue increase to €409 million, with adjusted EBITDA rising over five times to €18.6 million, improving margins from 0.9% to 4.6%. While Radiology Solutions experienced a 4.5% decrease in sales to €425 million, Healthcare IT sales grew by 4.9% to €249 million.

    Contractor Operations and Services, responsible for manufacturing and supplying film and chemicals to the separated offset business ECO3, maintained steady sales at €68 million, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 3.9%. Within Digital Print & Chemicals, Agfa attributed its success to the “growth engines” of Digital Printing Solutions and Green Hydrogen Solutions, alongside overall price increases. Despite a cautious investment climate for equipment, the Digital Printing Solutions sector achieved profitable growth, benefiting from increased ink sales in all categories and the ongoing transition of Inca’s customer base to Agfa’s ink sets.

    Agfa’s Tauro UHS wide-format printers, operating at 600sqm/hour, were previously estimated to use approximately 3,000 liters of ink annually, in contrast to an Inca Onset’s consumption of over 6,000 liters at 1,400sqm/hr. A significant launch planned for 2024 is the SpeedSet B1 single-pass inkjet press, with The Delta Group announced as the first beta customer for the product, and another client expected to follow shortly.

    It is estimated that a SpeedSet press could use about €1 million worth of ink annually. At the upcoming Fespa event, Agfa will unveil its new Anapurna H3200 high-speed printer and a 5-meter roll-to-roll device, developed through a new partnership with EFI. Additionally, Agfa plans to introduce a new mid-range printer and rebrand its inkjet portfolio at the same event. Agfa anticipates the global agreement with EFI to generate an additional €15-20 million in sales from mid-2024 to mid-2025, with expectations of €30-40 million in subsequent years. As part of the agreement, EFI will incorporate Agfa’s premium hybrid printers into its product lineup. Despite this, Agfa is not listed on the current Drupa floorplan and will not be exhibiting, while ECO3 will be present in Hall 5.

    Reflecting on the company’s performance, Agfa’s president and CEO Pascal Juéry remarked, “In 2023, all our growth engines excelled, significantly boosting the group’s profitability. We’ve made considerable advancements across the board, marked by the debut of our HealthCare IT cloud and web streaming services, our strategic alliance with EFI, and a series of innovative product launches, including the SpeedSet single-pass packaging printer. Additionally, our Zirfon membrane business saw exponential growth and began contributing to our profits during 2023, affirming the group’s shift towards these forward-looking endeavors.”

    Juéry acknowledged the ongoing transformation of Agfa, noting that such a comprehensive change requires time. Looking ahead to 2024, Agfa expects substantial growth in both revenue and profitability within the Digital Print & Chemicals division, propelled by Digital Print Solutions and Green Hydrogen Solutions. Following the announcement of these results, Agfa’s share price recovered from a 52-week low of €0.98 to €1.24, a more than 15% increase (52-week high: €2.94).
    Agfa Clinches Four Pinnacle Product Awards Recognizing Innovation And Excellence In Inkjet Printing Solutions — TEXINTEL

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