“2022 has been a year of unprecedented economic and geopolitical instability,” said Agfa-Gevaert Group, posting a net loss of €223 million (Euros)in full year 2022. The top line of the company’s sign & display business grew strongly, it said, but “inflation, supply chain disruptions and COVID lockdowns in China impacted our activities.”
Agfa installed four Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LEDs at a US signage firm in Nov 2022
“In these turbulent times, we continued to execute our strategic agenda,” said Pascal Juéry (pictured), president and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, predicting a return to profit in 2023.
“Given the expected strong increase in demand, the Board of Directors yesterday validated an investment in a new production facility for our Zirfon green hydrogen membranes in our Belgian site in Mortsel,” he said.
“We finalized the acquisition of Inca Digital Printers, which strengthens our position in high-speed digital printing and speeds up our entry in digital packaging printing.
“In HealthCare IT, we stepped up investments in R&D and commercial resources and we established a new management team, focusing on the core North American markets.
“The sale of our Offset Solutions division to Aurelius Group, which is expected to close early April, should enable us to increase the focus on our growth businesses. In our efforts to build a simple, agile and future-oriented organizational model, we re-organized our internal financial services and partnered with Atos for our internal IT operations.
“Our 2023 priorities are the implementation of further price increases across our businesses, the reduction of costs related to our operating model initiatives, and to deliver growth in HealthCare IT, Zirfon and digital printing,” Juéry said.
Digital Print Division
In the field of digital print, the top line of the sign & display business grew strongly in 2022, Agfa said.
“The ink product ranges for sign & display applications performed well throughout the year. In spite of industry-wide logistic challenges for the high-end equipment, the wide-format printing equipment business posted solid revenue growth. In the field of industrial inkjet, the décor printing business was impacted by the weakening economic environment, as customers are postponing investments in their digitization process. Volumes for OEM inks decreased due to the lockdowns in China, the unstable geopolitical situation and the weak economic environment.
"At the Fespa trade show on June 1, 2022 Agfa announced the closing of the acquisition of Inca Digital Printers, a UK based leading developer and manufacturer of advanced high speed printing and production technologies for sign and display applications as well as for the rapidly growing digital printing market for packaging. Integration has been completed and the first contracts have been signed for the first Agfa ink-powered and Agfa-branded Onset wide-format machines. The development of Inca’s Speedset single-pass packaging printer is proceeding as planned. The machine is generating strong interest among potential customers."
Overall, the Agfa-Gevaert Group expects “a recovery in profitability in the full year 2023 versus 2022.”