Agfa optimistic over 2023 results 

Agfa has posted its full year financial results from last year, which show a marked improvement in the group’s overall position with good potential for further growth over the next few years.

The group revenue, at €1,150 million was slightly up on the €1145 million from 2022. The adjusted Earnings Before Interest Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation or EBITDA saw a much bigger improvement, up from €50 million to €76 million, which as Agfa pointed out is a 52 percent jump. 

However, the bit that matters, the overall net result was still a loss of €101 million, albeit a significant gain on the €223 million loss from the previous year, which Agfa mainly attributes to the sale of its Offset Solutions division. In addition, restructuring and non-recurring items resulted in a charge of €39 million in 2023 versus €138 million in 2022, which was largely due to Agfa’s efforts to reshape its Radiology Solutions division as it moves from film to digital. The figures also include €26 million of net finance costs. Nonetheless, the Group’s gross profit margin improved to 31.2 percent despite the current economic challenges, including cost inflation and adverse currency effects, as well as manufacturing inefficiencies and the weakness in the industrial film markets.

The biggest growth area was the Digital Print and Chemicals business, with EBITDA of €18.6 million, a 443.4 percent jump over the €3.4 million of 2022. This was mainly driven by the success of the Zirfon membranes that have been developed for green hydrogen production, though ink sales grew by 14 percent, which is partly down to converting former Inca customers to Agfa inks. 

The Healthcare IT business recorded €31.2 million EBITDA, up 16 percent on the €26.9 million from 2022. The Contractor Operations and Services unit, from Agfa’s previous offset business, made EBITDA of €2.6 million, which was much better than the €8.4 million loss of the last year. The Radiology Solutions business recorded EBITDA of €37.5 million but this was down on the €47 million from 2022. In addition, the Group generated a free cash flow of minus 48 million euro.

Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, commented: “In 2023 all our growth engines performed very well, powering the profitability of the Group. We have made strong progress in all of them, with the launch of our HealthCare IT cloud and web streaming activities, our strategic partnership with EFI and an unprecedented number of innovative product introductions, including our SpeedSet single-pass packaging printer. Furthermore, our Zirfon membrane business grew exponentially and started to contribute to our profitability in the course of 2023. This validates the repositioning of the Group in these future-oriented activities.”

For this year, Agfa is expecting continuing growth. Some of this is expected to come from Healthcare IT, although further investments in cloud technology are planned. Agfa is also expecting to see significant growth from both Digital Print Solutions and from the Green Hydrogen Solutions though Agfa also mentions general price increases to improve its margins, which won’t be welcomed by customers. There are several new large format printers planned for Fespa and the Speedset packaging press is also ramping up. Agfa has also picked up an €11 million grant from the EU Innovation fund for a new production plant for its Zirfon membrane business, which is expected to be operating from 2025

There’s a more mixed outlook for the Radiology Solutions business where demand for medical film is declining not helped by the gradual implementation of new centralized procurement practices in China. Agfa is expecting to see more demand for Direct Radiography but points out that the current geopolitical situation has affected its costs.

It’s also worth noting that Agfa has cautioned that it expects a slow start to the year and a stronger finish in the second half, helped by several postponed projects coming to fruition. You can find further details from agfa.com.


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