On the basis of non-audited and not yet fully consolidated figures, it appeared that the Agfa-Gevaert Group’s turnover in 2002 amounts to 4,680 million Euros, a decrease of 4.8% compared to 2001, which is in line with former outlooks. This trend is to a large extent determined by the worldwide economic slowdown and by the drop of the dollar during the second half of the year. Corrected for exchange rate variances, the decrease in turnover is limited to about 2.5%.
In spite of these difficult circumstances, Agfa succeeded in increasing its operating result before restructuring charges significantly. This is explained by the further quality improvements in some of its products and services and by the beneficial impact of the Horizon plan, which resulted in cutting costs and decreasing working capital very substantially. With respect to the latter, the target to diminish inventories and trade receivables with 500 million Euros by the end of 2003, was already exceeded by mid 2002. Agfa consequently increased its goal and now aims for a reduction of inventories and trade receivables with 750 million Euros by end 2005.
The operating result before restructuring charges increases with about 80%. Although this represents a very significant improvement, Agfa did not fully realise its very ambitious target. This was due to several one-off elements, amongst which the booking at the occasion of the closure of the financial year of a number of restatements and revaluations of inventories and costs. The introduction of a stricter policy with respect to provisioning bad debts and the production stops at year-end also influenced the final 2002 results. Finally, the year 2002 was burdened by the revaluation of purchases of raw materials and this will only be compensated for in the course of 2003.
During the financial year, the target for the 2002 net profit was increased to 180 million Euros. As this figure will be exceeded, Agfa will realise an unprecedented net profit.
In the beginning of 2003, the worldwide economic perspectives are still lacklustre. However, as Agfa continues unabatedly to implement its Horizon Plan, which is completely on track, a further significant improvement of the results can be expected in 2003.
Agfa will publish its full year results on March, 6th before opening of the stock market.
Corporate Press Relations Manager
Tel nr.: +32 (0) 3 444 8015
Fax nr.: +32 (0) 3 444 4485