Xaar back on front foot

Xaar has reported a substantial turnaround in its 2021 results, and has announced plans to enter new markets such as textiles, wide-format and packaging with an aqueous printhead in the works that it believes will be “transformational”.

06 Apr 2022 | By PrintWeek Team

The three new products launched during the period had been a big part of the success

The inkjet developer filed sales up 23% to 59.3-m pounds in the year to 31 December. Sales were up 12% excluding FFEI, acquired last summer. Gross margin increased from 27% to 34%, and Xaar reduced its adjusted pre-tax loss on continuing operations from 3.9-m to 600,000 pounds.

CEO John Mills said that the three new products launched during the period had been “a big part of our success”, along with Xaar’s new business model. “We were profitable as a group in the second half and we expect to be so going forward. That’s a big event for us because the underlying performance previously had been unprofitable,” he said.

Mills also highlighted Xaar’s strong balance sheet with 25-m pound of cash at the year-end. It may use its financial clout to develop new capabilities internally, or make more strategic buys like it did with FFEI and Megnajet.

The firm also shared some information about its strong pipeline of customers that are adopting its technology.

“It can take two, three or four years for a customer to develop a new product. Our pipeline shows huge growth in customers developing machines using Xaar technology,” Mills explained.

In 2020 Xaar had 12 customers with products in development and a pipeline of qualified interest of 21, with six machines actually launched.  Those figures doubled last year, and have already grown further in 2022, with 65 qualified interest, 53 devices in development, and 15 machines launched.

Xaar said that its new product launches gave the business confidence it would further grow its pipeline.

Mills said the firm was winning business because of its capability to print using “really challenging” high-viscosity fluids that other manufacturers cannot handle, for applications such as new materials being used in 3D printing.

“Our aqueous product will be completely transformational and we already have huge interest in it,” Mills stated. Mills said the aqueous head would also help the group towards its sustainability goal of being net zero by 2030.

“Inkjet is fundamentally a more sustainable process than analogue. Our aqueous product will use a much higher viscosity water-based ink, and less water means you don’t have to dry it so much and can print faster,” he explained.

(Courtesy: PrintWeek.com)

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