Agfa Q3 results show net loss

Agfa’s latest financial results for its third quarter show that its revenues are up from €439 million in Q3 last year to €474 million last year. However, once restructuring costs and taxes are taken into account, the group posted a net loss of €17 million.

Agfa has developed this high speed large format hybrid printer, the Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED.

There’s a mixed picture from Agfa’s various divisions. The Digital Print and Chemicals division had a good quarter, up from €82 million in Q3 2021 to €96 million this quarter. mainly driven by ink sales for graphics use as well as wide format printing equipment. Agfa has also signed its first contracts in August for its version of the Inca Digital Onset printers, which will come with ink and software from Agfa. But the picture was less rosy for industrial inkjet where the décor printing business was impacted by the weakening economic environment, as customers are postponing investments in their digitization process. 

Agfa is still optimistic that it can grow its specialty chemicals range but has had slower sales than expected. This includes the Orgacon conductive materials that are used in hybrid and electric car technology, which has been impacted by wider supply chain issues in the car industry as well as lower demand for certain electronic devices, especially display screens.

That said, sales of the Zirfon membranes for advanced alkaline electrolysis are growing as expected and Agfa is considering setting up a new industrial unit for the Zirfon membranes at its Mortsel site in Belgium.

However, Agfa’s range of products for the production of printed circuit boards was hit by cost inflation and by the Covid-related lockdowns in China. On the other hand, Agfa’s specialty film and foil products benefited from the post-Covid pick-up in some sectors such as aviation, the oil and gas industry and the printing industry. Agfa also blames the weak economic conditions for lower than expected sales of its Synaps range of synthetic papers.

The Offset Solutions division saw some modest gains, with revenue up 3.3 percent year on year from €192 million to €199 million, partly down to currency effects and price rises. The gross profit margin also improved from 19.3% of revenue in the third quarter of 2021 to 23.4% this year due to Agfa having put up its own prices.

But as Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, noted: “In August, we signed a share purchase agreement with Aurelius Group for the sale of our Offset Solutions division. We are on track to complete the transaction in the course of the first quarter of 2023.” 

Healthcare IT saw the biggest growth, with revenue up from €49 million in 2021 to €62 million in 2022 mainly down to several contracts reaching fruition though with some impact from supply chain problems affecting hardware sales. But Agfa says that it has a healthy order book and that it continues to attract new customers in this area and expand the scope of its solutions at existing customer sites.

However, Agfa’s Radiology Solutions business only managed to increase its revenues by 1.5 percent from €116 million in 2021 to €117 million in 2022. This is mainly because investment priorities in healthcare are changing as we move to a post-Covid world, not helped by the continuing lockdowns in China and shortages of components. Thus the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation fell 39 percent from €15 million to €9.1 million. 

For the first nine months of 2022, the group’s total revenues are up slightly from €1,276 million to €1,367 million, and gross profit it up 6.7 percent from €370 million to €394 million. But the EBITDA figures fell 4.3 percent from €77 million to €74 million year on year. 

Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.

Juéry summed up: “In these times of exceptional economic and geopolitical instability, we saw strong contrasts between the third quarter performances of our various activities. The HealthCare IT and Offset Solutions divisions performed well, with strong improvements in profitability. The Radiology Solutions and Digital Print & Chemicals divisions continued to struggle with the lockdowns in China, supply chain issues and cost inflation. Several activities also felt the impact of the weakening economic environment, mainly in Europe and China. On top of the current transformation actions regarding our internal IT and financial services, the economic reality requires further measures to adapt the cost structure of the Group.”

Agfa-Gevaert Group expects the next few quarters to be fairly rough, noting that the cost inflation, supply chain issues and Covid lockdowns in China are all still ongoing, not to mention the uncertain geopolitical outlook with the continuing war in Ukraine and subsequent impact on energy supplies. However, Agfa does note that while the raw material cost inflation is starting to ease, it expects salary cost inflation to remain a concern in the near future.

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