Agfa Q3 figures show signs of recovery

Agfa has released its figures for its third quarter of this financial year, showing that the group’s revenues have fallen 3.5 percent from €290 million to €280 million but that the gross profit has remained the same at €85 million. Nonetheless, the net result was a loss of €15 million, which itself is an improvement on the €17 million loss from Q3 in the previous year. 

Looking at the various business divisions, the revenue has fallen slightly for both the Healthcare IT division, down from €62 million to €60 million, and for the Radiology Solutions segment, from €117 million to €103 million. However, the Digital Print and Chemicals division saw its revenues rise from €96 million to €99 million year on year. At the same time, the group as a whole generated a free cash flow of €5 million.

Agfa says that adjusting its figures to remove the effects of currency exchange shows that revenue actually increased 1.3 percent over the year year’s third quarter. The company notes that it saw revenues from the HealthCare IT division, Zirfon membranes and from the ink product lines in the Digital Print & Chemicals division. But Agfa struck a warning note saying: “the top line was impacted by the fact that print companies started to postpone investments in lower and mid end equipment due to the adverse macroeconomic conditions and in anticipation of the introduction of new technologies.”

However, the Radiology solutions, where there is a lot of medical film in use, is facing pressure due to adverse currency effects and the weakening economy in China as well as the current geopolitical circumstances.

Pascal Juery, president and CEO of Agfa.

Pascal Juéry, president and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, commented: “I am pleased to see that all growth engines performed well, even in the face of challenging economic and geopolitical conditions as well as adverse currency effects. We considerably improved the profitability of the Digital Print activities and the HealthCare IT division. Sales for our Zirfon membranes for green hydrogen production continued to grow strongly and this business also started to contribute to profitability. On the back of good operational performance, we have returned to a positive free cash flow in the third quarter.”

In the accompanying press release, the company says that it still expects a recovery in profitability in the full year 2023 versus 2022, pointing out that gross profit margin improved from 25.6 percent of revenue in Q3 2022 to 27.7 percent this year. However, it’s worth noting that the net result after the first nine months of this year is a loss of €96 million, versus a loss of €37 million in the first nine months of last year. 

The group mostly seems to be betting on the continuing growth of its Zirfon membrane business though Agfa says that the proportion of its own IP used in the Healthcare IT business is rising, which should see more profit in this area. And on the digital print side, Agfa says that it is on track in persuading existing Inca digital users to switch to Agfa ink and that the SpeedSet 1060 single pass packaging printer is still planned to be launched in 2024 with commercial availability in 2025. 

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