Agfa anticipates significant COVID-19 impact on printing industry from Qtr 2 - Image Magazine

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Agfa anticipates significant COVID-19 impact on printing industry from Qtr 2

Agfa anticipates significant COVID-19 impact on printing industry from Qtr 2

While the Radiology Solutions and HealthCare IT divisions showed resilience in the uncertain global economic conditions, certain activities in the printing industry were starting to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – a new challenge that is adding to the already tough conditions in this industry.

“We feel deeply committed to our customers and the communities they serve,’” said said Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group (pictured). “As many of our customers are operating in critical industries, we are taking all measures necessary to guarantee that we can continue supplying and supporting them during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as always our utmost priority is protecting the health and safety of our employees. Furthermore, we are controlling our working capital levels, capital expenditure, and costs even more rigorously to mitigate as much as possible the impact of the pandemic on our liquidity and bottom-line result. As the printing industry – which was already under pressure – is being impacted by the pandemic, we are adapting our production capacity to the worsened market conditions, resorting to temporary unemployment where applicable.”

“Despite some impact of COVID-19 on our activities in the printing industry, we delivered a solid set of results and we generated strong cash flows. Our program to reduce working capital continues to be successful. It allowed us to further lower our net financial debt to a very healthy level,” he added.

In inkjet, the ink product ranges performed well. On the other hand, it was reported that many companies are postponing investments in high-end large-format printing equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As this market almost came to a standstill in March, a strong COVID-19 impact will also be visible in the coming quarters.

In spite of these adverse conditions, Agfa still considers inkjet as an important growth engine. The company continues to explore promising business opportunities in new market segments.

In the first quarter, Agfa entered into a strategic partnership with TFL for the development of Alussa, a dedicated inkjet printing solution to decorate high-quality genuine leathers used by the fashion, upholstery, automotive, aviation and nautical industries. Furthermore, Agfa introduced the Oberon RTR3300, a dedicated 3.3m high-end roll-to-roll machine that combines extreme productivity and quality with an extensive media scope and a unique ease of use.

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