"Quarter after quarter, we continue to improve the efficiency of our operations and to increase our gross profit margin. In spite of the weak global economy, the rigorous management of our operational costs brings us closer to our short-term target of reaching a 10 percent recurring EBITDA percentage. Our top line decline is the result of the soft investment climate in mature markets, while our traditional consumable business suffers from the lower growth rates in most of the emerging markets. The measures we recently took to address our restructuring costs clearly help to deliver a sustained positive net result. Finally, our working capital management adds to the delivery of a positive net operating cash flow. We are confident that the adaptation of our product portfolio to the new economic situation will allow us to even better cater to the needs of our customers in the near future. This should enable us to limit the erosion of our top line in the quarters to come," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.
"Our top line reflects the adverse currency effects and the continuously depressed economic conditions in certain parts of the world, including most emerging markets. In these tough circumstances, we continued to progress on our main goals. Continuing to work towards our target of delivering a double digit recurring EBITDA percentage, we further improved the gross profit margin. Furthermore, efficiency programs, targeted actions to limit the restructuring costs and positive raw material effects allowed us to post a strong net profit. Cash flow generation also continued to be strong, leading to a further decrease in net financial debt. These elements will remain our main focus points in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, we will also focus on controlling the top line evolution," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.
"Currency effects and the weakness in most of the emerging markets had a strong negative impact on our first quarter revenue, in particular for our traditional businesses which are more exposed to these markets. Despite the negative effects of the strike at our Belgian manufacturing sites, we succeeded in improving our gross profit margin. Benefiting from our efficiency programs and our previously announced restructuring efforts, we achieved a positive net result. Being a major focus point, cash flow generation was strong due to our working capital management program. As a result, we further reduced our net financial debt. We believe the first half of the year 2014 will continue to show a soft business environment, but we will continue to improve our gross profit margin and we will continue to focus on cash flow generation. We stick to our medium term target of delivering a double digit recurring EBITDA percentage," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group."
"Once again, the economic environment was difficult in 2013. The exchange rates between the Euro and most other currencies were unfavorable to Agfa. In some emerging markets, GDP growth somewhat slowed down. Furthermore, sales of our analog businesses declined strongly versus a very solid year 2012, when these businesses recovered from the silver crisis of 2011. In these conditions, we chose to focus our efforts on improving our operational efficiency and our balance sheet. We succeeded in increasing our gross profit margin throughout the year. The strong improvement in the fourth quarter shows that we are on the right track to achieve one of our main goals: to restore our gross profit margin to a level in line with our recurring EBITDA target. The IT and Direct Radiography growth engines of Agfa HealthCare performed well and in line with expectations. In Agfa Graphics, our Inkjet business not only reached its target of crossing the break-even line during the year. For the first time ever, it even delivered a slightly positive full year recurring EBIT. This result shows that rationalizing the product portfolio was the right decision. As far as the balance sheet is concerned, we managed to significantly reduce our working capital and to deliver a strong operational cash flow, which resulted in a healthy reduction of our net financial debt. Due to targeted benefit reduction programs, we also reduced our pension liabilities. In 2014, we aim at making good progress towards our medium term target of delivering a double digit recurring EBITDA percentage. In that respect, our fourth quarter results are very encouraging," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.