Agfa results reflect progress in 2021

Agfa’s sign and display business turned in a strong performance in 2021, while losses at its Offset Solutions division have been substantially reduced. The Belgian-headquartered group filed overall sales up 3% at 1.76-bn euros for calendar year 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was up 5.1% to 104-m euros.

18 Mar 2022 | By PrintWeek Team

Agfa said that successful price actions allowed the group to “partly mitigate cost inflation”, with gross profit margin down slightly to 28.3% (2020: 28.9%).

CEO Pascal Juéry said he was particularly pleased with the progress at its Healthcare IT business and in “several growth areas” of the digital print and chemicals wing. “The year 2021 came with many challenges, including supply chain issues and strong cost inflation. However, this did not prevent us from improving profitability and from reaching several key milestones,” he stated. “We finalised our pension de-risking program, which resulted in a substantially lower net liability and reduced pension cash outs. We also launched a share buyback program. Furthermore, we took important steps in the transformation of our company.”

Juéry said the group had simplified its go-to-market organisation and the project to organise the Offset Solutions activities into a stand-alone legal entity structure was “well on track”.

At offset solutions, Agfa’s biggest business unit, sales were up 6.3% to 748-m euros and losses at the adjusted EBITA level reduced from 21.9-m to 6-m euros.

Gross margins had improved slightly, in part due to the closure of the plate factories at closure of its factories in Leeds and at Pont-à-Marcq, France.

Agfa said the increase in sales reflected a partial recovery from the impact of Covid-19, as well as prices increases to tackle cost inflation across raw materials, packaging, energy and freight.

The most recent wave of price increases came into effect in February, and Agfa said the division was also looking into ways to “adapt the revenue model for certain services it provides to its customers”.

At its digital print and chemicals business, sales were up nearly 14% to 330-m euros while adjusted EBITA nudged up by 1.7% to 19.2-m euros, with margins falling as a result.

Agfa said that profitability at the sign and display part of the division “improved considerably versus 2020”,  but high cost inflation, logistic challenges and temporary manufacturing inefficiencies had impacted margins at its film products wing.

Inkjet inks performed well, with sales of inks for industrial applications growing strongly. Agfa also opened its new Mortsel manufacturing plant for water-based inkjet inks during the period.

The group said the new Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED hybrid wide-format printer had been a successful introduction. Its range of products for producing printed circuit boards was hit by cost inflation, including the high cost of silver, which was only partially offset by price increases.


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