EFI trading “at pre-GFC levels”, helped by local performance

Third-quarter revenues were US$129m ($132.3m), a 27.9% rise over the US$100.8m it generated in Q3 2009.

The highlight from EFI’s inkjet division, which grew 18% year-on-year, came in UV ink sales, with volumes up 43% year-on-year driven by “terrific demand” for the Vutek GS series, which passed the ‘100th unit sold’ mark in the quarter.

Year-to-date growth in UV ink sales accelerated from 35% for the first six months to 41% for the nine months to 30 September.

EFI chief executive Guy Gecht described the growth as “back to pre-recession levels”.

“Nothing grows that fast except for maybe one thing – the iPhone,” he said.

Gecht said the surge in UV ink sales was “good news on many levels”, as it was not only a boost for EFI but an indicator of the health of the company’s clients.

“We are delighted to see our customers buying more ink, of course, and it’s great news for them because it shows they are winning more jobs not only against screen but against other inks, such as aqueous, and against other non-EFI users,” he said.

Meanwhile, EFI’s Fiery division posted revenues of US$61m ($62.5m), up 36% on US$45m last year, marking the second consecutive quarter of 30% or better year-on-year growth.

Anthony Parnemann, EFI regional manager for South-East Asia and Australia, told ProPrint the company had notched “strong sales results in both the inkjet and Fiery business units” in the local market.

“We are definitely noticing that the global financial downturn has helped digital production to come into its own. Customers are calling for shorter print runs, which has translated into increased demand for our OEMs’ digital engines, and this in turn has led to a healthy increase in sales of Fiery digital servers in the region. 

“Inkjet sales are looking very promising with plenty of interest in the Rastek wide-format printers as a result of leads from the recent Visual Impact Exhibition in Sydney and keen pricing on the back of the strong Australian dollar.” 

Meanwhile, EFI’s APPS division turnover grew 37% to US$15.8m in the quarter, which included revenues from the new Radius ERP for the packaging market.

EFI’s group operating income came in at US$1.8m for the quarter, up from a US$15.1m loss last year, while group pre-tax profit was US$4.9m, compared with a US$13.9m pre-tax loss in Q3 2009.

For the year-to-date, EFI is running an operating loss of $8.4m and a pre-tax loss of $9.4m, compared with an operating loss of US$61.6m and a pre-tax profit of US$21.1m for the first nine months of 2009 (the latter resulting from the disposal of vacant offices and land at its California headquarters last year).

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