Agfa’s Q2 2023 figures show a mixed picture

Agfa has released its figures for the second quarter of this year, which shows revenues of €287 million, the same as for Q2 in 2022. The gross profit fell slightly from €90 million in Q2 last year to €87 million in Q2 this year. Overall the group made a loss of €14 million, slightly worse than the loss of €13 million in Q2 last year. 

Agfa splits its business into four areas: Healthcare IT; Radiology solutions; Digital Print and Chemicals; and Contractor Operations & Services former Offset, or CONOPS, which is essentially the ongoing supply of film and chemicals plus support services to ECO3, which bought Agfa’s Offset Solutions business in May of this year.

The Print and Chemicals division reported a 5.8 percent rise from €98 million last year to €104 million this year. Agfa says that its continuing to grow its sign & display business, thanks to its inks and its acquisition of Inca Digital, with the company having already sold several Onset printers using Agfa inks. The company is also continuing with the development of Inca’s SpeedSet 1060 single-pass packaging printer, which I will write about in more detail later this week. In terms of industrial inkjet, Agfa sold a second InterioJet water-based inkjet printing press to décor paper printing company Chiyoda.

Agfa is continuing to enjoy success with its Zirfon membranes, which are used for hydrogen production via alkaline electrolysis, with over 100 customers now. Several large customers are now starting to build commercial electrolyzers, which allows Agfa to generate recurring Zirfon sales.

However, Agfa cautioned that sales of its Orgacon conductive materials and the products for making printed circuit boards were down due to continuing weakness in the electronics industry.

Overall the Digital Print and Chemicals division saw its gross profit margin fall from 26.2 percent of revenue in Q2 2022 to 24.1 percent this year. Agfa says that even though it has used price rises to offset inflation, it suffered from manufacturing inefficiencies, adverse currency effects and the weakness in the electronics industry.

The Healthcare IT division saw revenues rise from €57 million last year to €62 million this quarter. However, revenues for the Radiology Solution business fell from €113 million last year to €103 million this quarter. Agfa’s press release  attributes this to the “current geopolitical situation”.

Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, commented: “Whereas the macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions remained tough for several of our traditional activities, we booked significant revenue growth for our growth engines in HealthCare IT and Digital Print. In terms of new business creation, we are on track with the development of the SpeedSet 1060 single-pass packaging printer. When introduced to the market in 2024, it will be the fastest printer in its category.”

He continued: “Furthermore, as more and more large green hydrogen projects are being implemented, sales for our industry-leading Zirfon membranes are growing exponentially. Meanwhile, we are making good progress with our project to build a new industrial unit for Zirfon membranes at our Mortsel site in Belgium. I am very pleased that this project has been selected for a EU Innovation Fund Grant. The new plant will allow us to meet future customer demand and to be a key player in the clean energy transition.”

As it happens, I talked with Vincent Wille, President digital print and chemicals division, earlier this year at the Fespa show, as pictured above. He told me that Digital printing solutions is one of three core teams, with the others being the Zirfon membranes for hydrogen production “which has a huge growth potential, and IT software.”

Talking about digital print, he said that “Customers don’t always need the fastest machine so we want to find the best solution for the customer,” adding: “We want to make the best printers but we want to sell them as a solution with our ink, our servicing and our software. So the customer is not buying a printer but is buying a solution.”

He added that industrial printing is one of the division’s main growth areas, including packaging, which is mainly carton-based for corrugated and folding carton, decor and printing on to leather.

Agfa has developed a method of inkjet printing onto leather using an adapted InteriorJet printer, which I’ve previously covered. It’s a small but growing business, as evidenced by Agfa having just filed a patent case in a Hamburg court against the luxury goods brand Gucci regarding decorating natural leather. 

You can find further details on all these products and the financial results from agfa.com.


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