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Asociación Técnica de Diarios Latinoamericanos
Boletín Semanal Noviembre 11, 2018

Agfa Gevaert Publica resultados del tercer trimester de 2018

  • Top line decline of 4.8%, excluding currency effects and the impact of portfolio rationalizations
  • Strong performance of Inkjet, HealthCare Information Solutions and certain Specialty Products ranges
  • Recurring EBITDA at 35 million Euro
  • Net loss at minus 5 million Euro
  • Net financial debt at 99 million Euro

Mortsel (Belgium) – Agfa-Gevaert today announced its third quarter 2018 results.

"During this quarter, we continued to make excellent progress with the reorganization of our HealthCare IT activities into a stand-alone legal entity structure within the Group. The technical part of this complex exercise is almost behind us. We have also been focusing on clarifying the strategies of the future HealthCare IT company, as well as of the other activities of the Group. As already stated before, we aim at playing an important role in the consolidation of the offset industry. This strategy has translated into concrete actions in the past quarter. We entered into an alliance with the Chinese Lucky HuaGuang Graphics Co. Ltd., which will have far-reaching consequences for our business and for the prepress industry. Furthermore, we announced our intention to acquire the prepress business of the Spanish Ipagsa company. Finally, in order to optimize production capacity, we recently announced the intended closure of our printing plate factory in Branchburg.

I am confident that when the project is completed, two companies will emerge that will have the power and the means to pursue growth in the years to come. We will give more information on how we see the companies' structures and strategies when we report on our full year results.

The strong third quarter performance of most of our growth engines was snowed under by the top line decrease of most of our traditional businesses. As expected, the top line of Agfa Graphics' prepress business was impacted by the product portfolio reorganization. In Agfa HealthCare, the hardcopy business temporarily slowed down following a marked recovery in the first half of the year. However, we are confident that this business will pick up again in the coming quarters.

Our full year recurring EBITDA margin will be around 8% of revenue. Mainly based on our current actions in the field of the prepress and HealthCare IT businesses, we stick to our ambition to target a recurring EBITDA margin of around 10% of revenue on average in the years to come," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.

Agfa-Gevaert Group - third quarter 2018

The Agfa-Gevaert Group's top line evolution was strongly impacted by the product portfolio reorganization in the Agfa Graphics business group's prepress business.

Excluding portfolio rationalizations and currency effects, the Agfa-Gevaert Group's revenue decline amounted to 4.8%. Several growth engines - including Agfa Graphics' inkjet business, Agfa HealthCare's HealthCare Information Solutions and several activities of Agfa Specialty Products - posted strong topline growth.

Mainly due to high aluminum prices and adverse product/mix effects, the Group's gross profit margin decreased to 31.8% of revenue. 

As a percentage of revenue, Selling and General Administration expenses increased to 21.4% of revenue.

R&D expenses amounted to 32 million Euro, or 6.0% of revenue.

Recurring EBITDA reached 6.5% of revenue, versus 9.0% in the third quarter of 2017. Recurring EBIT reached 4.0% of revenue.

Partly due to costs related to the transformation of the Company, restructuring and non-recurring items resulted in an expense of 15 million Euro, versus an expense of 9 million Euro in the previous year.

The net finance costs increased from 8 million Euro in the third quarter of 2017 to 11 million Euro.

Income tax expenses decreased to 0 million Euro.

As a result of the elements mentioned above, the Agfa-Gevaert Group posted a net loss of 5 million Euro.

Financial position and cash flow

At the end of the third quarter of 2018, total assets were 2,348 million Euro, compared to 2,233 million Euro at the end of 2017.

Trade working capital moved from 644 million Euro (26% of sales) at the end of 2017 to 653 million Euro (29% of sales) at the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Net financial debt amounted to 99 million Euro, versus 18 million Euro at the end of 2017.

Net cash from operating activities amounted to minus 15 million Euro.

Ferag presente en la Expo mundial IFRA 2018 de editores

With the motto: „Novel approaches and Ferag technology for more efficient mailroom processes“, the Swiss company Ferag welcomed its guests on a 132 sqm booth at the IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018, which took place from 9 to 11 October 2018 in Berlin. Customers and visitors from all over the world were introduced to topics such as " personalized inserting", new applications for the TapeFix module or the newly developed single-sheet-feeder. In addition, options for tailor-made retrofit packages and software updates were also discussed.

Ferag: "Thank you very much for the numerous visits at IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018 in Berlin and the many interesting discussions."

KBA Group reporta ordenes importantes y Buena liquidez

Good Order Situation and Cash Flow Performance in the Koenig & Bauer Group

  • Order intake up 4.4% and continued good project situation
  • Revenue and EBIT below prior year due to greater accumulation of deliveries in Q4 and bottlenecks in parts availability
  • Good EBIT margin of 6.6% in Q3 with low revenue level
    25.5% rise in order backlog to €769.3m
  • Increase in cash flows from operating activities to €50.5m, equity ratio widened to 37.4%
  • Dr Andreas Pleßke appointed to management board for five years

Driven by strong security press business and growth in packaging printing markets, order intake in the Koenig & Bauer group rose by 4.4% over the previous year to €943.2m in the first nine months of 2018. At the end of Q3, order backlog was up 25.5%, standing at €769.3m. Group revenue came to €788.8m but fell short of the previous year’s figure of €847.7m due to the even greater accumulation of delivery dates requested by our customers in Q4 and bottlenecks in the parts availability. This was also reflected in EBIT, which at €28.6m was lower than in 2017 (€36.4m).

Segment performance

While the project situation is good, order intake, revenue and EBIT in the Sheetfed segment were affected in particular by bottlenecks in the availability of parts. President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “The situation with respect to parts and the high order backlog dampen our new business due to longer delivery times. We are currently working intensely on optimising our entire supply chain to achieve a sustained reduction in delivery times.” Despite the growth in flexible packaging printing, order intake for Digital & Web was up only slightly on the previous year’s figure due to fewer orders for newspaper and digital printing presses. Together with market-entry and growth-related expenses for corrugated board and flexible packaging, the lower revenue exerted pressure on EBIT in this segment. Despite substantially higher orders, revenue in the Special segment was slightly below the previous year’s figure. However, the EBIT margin remained stable in this segment.

Financial and balance sheet profile strengthened

Cash flows from operating activities rose substantially over the previous year (–€24.6m) to €50.5m. Although free cash flow was burdened by the final payment instalment of €34.8m made in Q1 for the external funding of a part of the pension provisions, it also improved substantially. In addition to net liquidity of €74.3m and securities of €15.7m that can be liquidated at any time, the group also has access to syndicated credit facilities. The equity ratio widened from 36.4% at the end of 2017 to 37.4%.

Group targets for 2018

Referring to the targets for 2018, CFO Mathias Dähn says: “The numerous press deliveries and service activities scheduled in the final months of the year will trigger a surge in revenue and earnings in Q4. In view of this business concentration, which is challenging due to the high capacity utilisation and the parts situation but not really unusual, we aim to achieve organic growth of around 4% in Group revenue for 2018. As things currently stand, we cannot rule out a shift of around €35m in revenue into 2019 as a result of delivery delays caused by bottlenecks in the parts availability. In terms of our earnings target for 2018, we are confident that we will achieve an EBIT margin of around 7% for the full year with higher revenue in view of the EBIT margin of 6.6% in the third quarter with low revenue. Global macroeconomic risks have increased due to trade conflicts and barriers, rising US interest rates and political uncertainties in Europe (Brexit, Italy) and in the emerging markets.”

Medium-term goals until 2021

Depending on trends in the global economy, end markets and the necessary investments in growth, management is targeting a group-wide organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p.a. and an EBIT margin of between 4% and 9% by 2021. The effects of the additional growth offensive 2023 which the management board presented in conjunction with the announcement of the Q3 figures are not included in the medium-term targets, neither revenue nor costs.

Additional growth offensive 2023

Describing in greater detail the additional growth offensive 2023, CFO Mathias Dähn says: “For a stronger profitable growth, we want to actively exploit the currently available market opportunities in corrugated board printing, flexible packaging and 2-piece can decorating alongside our service initiative. The same thing applies to marking & coding and postpress equipment such as rotary and flatbed die-cutters. Based on an addressed total market volume of currently around €2bn p.a. for machines, these business fields are expanding at annual rates of between 2% and 10% as they are benefiting from growth in consumer spending and demand for packaging around the world as well as long-term trends such as e-commerce, more sophisticated packaging and smaller sizes due to more single-person households. With newly developed products such as CorruCUT, CorruFLEX and CorruJET for corrugated board printing, CS MetalCan for 2-piece can decorating and the Rapida RDC 106 rotary die-cutter, we want to stand out from the competition with improved total cost of ownership, shorter make-ready times for ever more frequent job changes, greater ease of operation and high production output. The same thing also applies to our new and enhanced products for flexible packaging printing, flatbed die-cutters and marking & coding. Complex customer surveys and analysis always form the basis for our decisions. Our growth offensive 2023 necessitates additional experts and specialists in our global service and sales network as well as targeted portfolio additions based on platform concepts. We estimate the cumulative market-entry, growth-related and R&D expenses for 2019 to 2021 at around €50m. By 2023, we want to gradually generate additional revenue of around €200m in these addressed business areas. Given this favourable market environment with structural and above-average growth as well as less cyclical end markets such as food, beverages and pharmaceuticals, we want to gradually increase the EBIT margin from additional business to a double-digit figure at steady-state.”

Management board change

The supervisory board has appointed its member Dr Andreas Pleßke to the management board for five years with effect from 1 December 2018 for managing the Special segment. His area of responsibility also includes the optimisation of the internal production network. Furthermore, the company has been able to find Prof Dr-Ing Raimund Klinkner as his successor to the supervisory board.

manroland Goss Celebra su exito en World Publishing Expo 2018

manroland Goss web systems, the company recently established by the merger of manroland web systems and Goss International, proudly looks back at a successful World Publishing Expo 2018 (WPE) in Berlin: “We are pleased to announce a successful show, with many interesting and promising customer discussions. Our participation in WPE 2018 was a great success,” Alexander Wassermann, CEO of manroland Goss declared.

What does the industry need today? What does modern newspaper production look like? And what does automation mean for newspaper printers? These questions were raised and fully addressed by manroland Goss in their invitation to the largest newspaper printing fair in the world in Berlin from October 9 to 11, 2018. In addition to having the best and largest portfolio of new presses in the world, and an unbeatable worldwide service network made stronger through the recent merger, manroland Goss presented itself as the automation partner for the printing industry. Comprehensive retrofit solutions and upgrades for longer life cycles of print operations, more productivity, and better quality of the existing machinery were introduced.

Innovative customers also appreciated the promising automation concept Maintellisense. “Whereas other manufacturers still dream of predictive maintenance, we have already taken first steps for its implementation in the portfolio and presented them at WPE 2018,” Wassermann explains. Automated maintenance programs were of great interest to numerous companies at WPE and confirmed that manroland Goss is the high-performance business partner for the printing industry.

“We are very happy about our success at WPE and look to the future with confidence. Our products and innovations will sustainably promote the printing industry, particularly in web printing,” Wassermann concludes.

Schur consolida negocio de máquinas en Dinamarca

To further expand and strengthen its machine platform and offering to its customers Schur has decided to centralize all sales, development, production and after sales activities into one company.

The Newspaper, distribution, palletizing and logistic products from Schur Packaging Systems AB will be moved to Schur Technology a/s in Horsens and a new technology center will be established for these products.

As part of this change the sales and service company Schur Wamac France SAS in Paris has been sold to the local management.

The transfer of operations from Schur Packaging Systems AB to Schur Technology a/s will commence immediately and is expected to be finalized in April 2019.

QI Press Controls expande actividades en India

Kalptaru Offset, Natraj Print House, Saraswati Press, Hexagon Print & Pack and Sanat Printers are five new Indian partners with whom Q.I. Press Controls (QIPC) will collaborate. The Dutch specialist in measuring and control equipment for the printing industry supplies Indian printers with various mRC-3D systems for colour register control.

Rakesh Dave, managing director of QIPC-EAE India, is delighted to respond to the different orders. He emphasises the versatility of QIPC's automation systems. "Every press and printing company is different, of course," he explains. "These orders also involve three different types of machines. For each specific installation, we will really deliver custom work. These orders show once again that QIPC systems can be integrated in any type of web offset press.”

Kalptaru Offset
In Ahmedabad, an mRC-3D system for colour register and cut-off control is installed on a TPH Orient press. In total, two cameras are involved. Kalptaru will print fewer wasted copies, work more efficiently and deliver higher quality prints thanks to QIPC's innovative system.

Natraj Print House
Natraj Print House, also based in Ahmedabad, will also equip its Pressline press with an mRC-3D system for colour register and cut-off control. This also involves two cameras. As with Kalptaru Offset, these will be installed by QIPC and the staff will receive technical training on site. 

Saraswati Press
The order Saraswati Press placed with QIPC consists of four different projects, all of which will be carried out at the Kolkata printing plant. Four of these are two colour register mRC-3D cameras installed on a NAPH Graphics press. "Our systems are already installed on several NAPH presses," says Rakesh Dave. "That turns out to be a successful combination. Hence this new order.

Hexagon Print & Pack
This print shop in Mumbai has an mRC-3D colour register system installed on a TPH Orient press. The first priority of this quality printer from the Bombay region is to further improve the quality of their printing. In addition, the QIPC system will contribute to a reduction in the number of lost copies and a more efficient production process.

Sanat Printers
Sanat Printers from Sonipat already has experience with QIPC systems. The good reputation of the Dutch company also contributed to Sanat Printers having a new mRC-3D system for colour register and cut-off control installed on its Harris M600 press. The printer wants to save on the number of lost copies and is convinced of the high technology used by QIPC.

About Q.I. Press Controls:
Q.I. Press Controls develops and delivers innovative, high quality optical measure and control systems. We are globally active in the newspaper and magazine printing industry. Our total solutions are supported by a worldwide service network. These reliable systems are proven in the market of existing and new printing presses and offer our customers structural better results.
For more information: http://www.qipc.com