"In 2014, our activities continued to be challenged by the global economic situation and the unstable political situation in certain regions. I am proud to say that we have been able to improve the efficiency of our operations in spite of these tough conditions. I see four major achievements. First of all, we have generated a strong net operating cash flow. This allowed us to reduce the net financial debt to a very decent level. Furthermore, our dedicated efficiency programs and positive raw material effects resulted in a significant improvement of our gross margin. Thirdly, we have been able to keep the restructuring costs and the operational costs under control. All that allowed us to book a positive net result for the second year in a row. And last but not least, I would like to mention the success of our efforts to refinance the company.
In 2015, one of our key targets is to stop the erosion of the top line. We will therefore further strengthen our focus on our organic growth initiatives. I am confident that our efforts in this field will start to bear fruit. Our financial debt situation also allows us to look into external growth opportunities, should they occur. Our second main target for 2015 is to deliver a recurring EBITDA percentage close to 10 percent of revenue," said Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.
"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.