Agfa Graphics today announced that the 2008 edition of the four-yearly Drupa printing trade fair has been a great success. The company's stylish stand caught the eye of the crowds and its innovative solutions met with general approval from numerous print professionals. As a result, Agfa Graphics reported a solid order intake for both the prepress and the industrial inkjet segment.
Strong order intake at the Drupa show
Agfa Graphics signed contracts in excess of €100m (including the first year of consumable contracts), reflecting the strong interest in its innovative portfolio of market leading products.
The attention of the Drupa 2008 visitors was clearly focused on industrial inkjet systems and ecological prepress solutions. This confirms Agfa Graphics' growth strategy in both areas.
Targets for the Drupa show exceeded in industrial inkjet
They were already a hype at Drupa 2004, but since then industrial inkjet solutions have developed into a mature technology, playing a central role at Drupa 2008. This market evolution confirms Agfa Graphics' strategy for industrial inkjet. The company invests heavily to become a reliable global player in this new segment of the printing industry with a full range of industrial UV curable inkjet systems.
The first generation of Agfa Graphics' inkjet systems met with great success at Drupa. The company sold :Anapurna wide format printers, :Dotrix single-pass inkjet presses and high-end :M-Press industrial inkjet presses for a total value of approximately €15m.
Multiple units of the large systems were sold including a :Dotrix Transcolor duplex for book production to Corlet (France) and a second :Dotrix Modular to Gardners in the UK. The specialty printer Noteworthy in the USA also decided to order a second :Dotrix Modular for printing plastic bags.
In the wide format UV arena, Agfa Graphics took orders from all over the world for over 100 systems, with the new Anapurna XLS, launched at the show, as a star performer.
Ecology is key in prepress
In the prepress segment, the shift from analog Computer-to-Film systems to digital Computer-to-Plate solutions continues. Drupa 2008 clearly showed a growing interest in solutions that allow Computer-to-Plate printers to operate more environment-friendly. In this field, Agfa Graphics sets the standards with its breakthrough ThermoFuse technology. Both Agfa Graphics' chemistry-free :Azura printing plates, and its low-chemistry :Amigo printing plates allow to reduce the use of chemicals in the production process and, at the same time, improve their output quality. In addition, the innovative :Energy Elite printing plate is being recognized in the industry as the best no bake thermal plate available.
Agfa Graphics concluded important contracts with the British Wyndeham Press Group, who ordered seven :Avalon N platesetters and signed a five-year plate contract. A multi-year agreement was signed with the Founder Corporation (Beijing) to distribute Agfa newspaper prepress solutions throughout China. The first Super-VLF platesetter (:Avalon N48) and a multiple year plate contract were sold to the Italian Mazzucchelli Printing Group. Furthermore, Agfa Graphics signed a major deal of 11 Advantage platesetters with a multiple year plate contract with the Austrian MediaPrint Zeitungsdruckerei. They are the first newspaper printer in the world to upgrade to chemistry-free CtP solutions.
Taking into account the economic slowdown in the USA and the first signs of a slowdown in the UK, Agfa Graphics confirms its outlook for 2008. The business group expects stable sales in prepress as the growth in digital solutions should offset the decline in the analog segment. Agfa Graphics will also continue to reduce the start-up losses for industrial inkjet, which should reach break-even in the course of 2009.
Stefaan Vanhooren, President Agfa Graphics, stated: "Printing is a very competitive business, but there are still considerable opportunities for those willing to adapt to the changing market conditions. Our success at Drupa confirms that we are following the right strategies. We strive to further strengthen our position in the growing digital printing plate segment and we target to become a global player in the industrial inkjet market. To further improve our profitability, we will continue to focus on reducing our costs and to examine possible selective price increases for our consumables."
For more information on Agfa Graphics, please visit their website.