Agfa-Gevaert in 3Q21: Decent Top Line Recovery But Increasing Inflationary Pressure, Supply Chain Issues


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Agfa-Gevaert commented on its results in the third quarter of 2021. 

“In the third quarter, we made good progress with several important steps in Agfa’s transformation process. At the end of October, we announced the intention to partner with Atos for our internal IT activities. By doing so, we will invest in a future-proof IT environment in a socially responsible way. The actions to organize the Offset Solutions activities into a stand-alone legal entity structure and organization within the Agfa-Gevaert Group are expected to be finalized by April 2022.

Business-wise, we saw a decent recovery of market demand for most of our activities, but on the other hand all divisions somehow suffered from the surging cost inflation and supply chain issues. Due to successful price actions for our film products and printing plates, as well as strict cost management, our margins remained at a decent level compared to last year. We also managed to keep our working capital stable as a percentage of sales. Going forward, we will continue to adapt our prices to the situation on the raw material markets and cost management will remain one of our top priorities,” said Pascal Juéry, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.

Highlights:

  • Decent top line recovery but contrasted performance between the divisions
  • Good margin performance versus Q3 2020 despite increasing inflationary pressure and supply chain issues
  • Strong price actions in place as contracts allow
  • Strict cost management maintained
  • Adjusted EBITDA 35% higher than in the third quarter of 2020
  • Working capital stable as a percentage of sales despite raw material cost inflation and supply chain issues

Share buyback program on track

March 10, the Agfa-Gevaert Group announced a share buyback program with a volume of up to 50 million Euro. The program allows shareholders to benefit from the sale of part of the HealthCare IT activities and shows the Group’s confidence in its ongoing transformation process. The program was launched April 1. Every week, the Group issues a press release on the status of the program. In the course of the third quarter, the Group bought approximately 2.8 million shares for an amount of 11.8 million Euro. Since the beginning of the program until November 5, 2021, the Group bought 5.8 million shares.

Supported by successful price increase actions and volume increases, both the Digital Print & Chemicals division and the Offset Solutions division significantly improved their top line compared to the COVID-impacted third quarter of 2020. In the Radiology Solutions division, the medical film business also benefited from price increases, whereas the Direct Radiography business’ top line was lower than in the third quarter of 2020, when hospitals invested heavily in mobile DR solutions in reaction to the COVID pandemic. While the order book remains at a healthy level the HealthCare IT division witnessed a temporary delay in project implementations. Furthermore, all divisions started to face supply chain issues and electronic component shortages, leading to sales recognition delays.

As price actions allowed the Group to partly mitigate cost inflation, its gross profit margin remained almost stable at 26.8% of revenue.

As the Group’s broad cost reduction program continues to bear fruit, Selling and General Administration expenses were 12% below the level of the third quarter of 2019.

R&D expenses decreased from 25 million Euro in the third quarter of 2020 to 22 million Euro.

Adjusted EBITDA increased from 16 million Euro (3.9% of revenue) in the third quarter of 2020 to 21 million Euro (4.9% of revenue). Adjusted EBIT reached 6 million Euro, versus 0 million Euro in the third quarter of 2020.

Restructuring and non-recurring items resulted in an expense of 7 million Euro, versus an expense of 9 million Euro in the third quarter of 2020.

The net finance costs amounted to 4 million Euro.

Income tax expenses amounted to 1 million Euro, versus 8 million Euro in the third quarter of 2020.

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 

Net financial debt evolved from a net cash position of 502 million Euro at the end of 2020 to a net cash position of 324 million Euro.

In spite of supply chain issues and high raw material prices, trade working capital remained almost stable as a percentage of sales (27% of sales). In absolute numbers, trade working capital evolved from 462 million Euro at the end of 2020 to 477 million Euro at the end of September 2021.

In the third quarter, the Group generated a free cash flow of minus 9 million Euro.

Outlook

The Agfa-Gevaert Group expects an upturn in performance for the HealthCare IT division in the fourth quarter but a subdued performance for the other divisions, as the inflationary impact will increase. Furthermore, the Radiology Solutions division expects lower sales figures for its medical film business. As a result, the Group’s EBITDA is expected to be below the level of the fourth quarter of 2020.

Furthermore, it is expected that inflationary pressure and supply chain issues will continue to have an impact in the first quarters of next year.

The Agfa-Gevaert Group continues its tight working capital and cost management, as well as its price increase programs to mitigate cost inflation. In some cases, the effects of price actions come with a certain delay due to contract mechanisms or commitments.

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