Esko Records Another Quarter of Profitable Growth
Gent (Belgium) - Esko, a leader in packaging pre-production solutions, has recorded another quarter of profitable growth during the third quarter of 2006.
Consolidated net revenues increased by 11 percent compared to the third quarter of last year. Eliminating sales from discontinued products to other markets, packaging revenues increased by 13 percent year-over-year. New system sales (excluding services) grew by 29 percent compared to the same quarter in 2005. The EBITDA margin for the quarter was greater than 11 percent. Net working capital and cash flow continue to develop favorably.
For the first nine months of 2006, Esko sees its consolidated packaging business growing by more than 14 percent over the same period in 2005. New system sales (excluding services) during the period increased by 27 percent year-over-year. The EBITDA margin for the full period exceeds nine percent of revenues, an improvement of four times greater than the same period in the previous year.
Solid performance in all business areas
As in previous quarters, all regions and product lines contributed to the business growth. During the first nine months of 2006, Esko’s packaging business grew year-over-year by over 20 percent in Europe and by close to 15 percent in the North American and Asian markets.
From a product perspective, Esko’s flexo platesetter product line is the strongest performer, with worldwide sales increasing by more than 50 percent year-over-year. Growth for Scope software and Kongsberg tables exceeds 15 percent. Esko’s overall service business expands as well: the revenue growth in installations, maintenance contracts and other services for packaging customers well exceeds the decline in service activities related to discontinued CtF and offset CtP products in other markets.
“The continuation of our revenue growth in the third quarter indicates that Esko is capable of bringing the right integrated solutions to packaging designers and manufacturers worldwide, to help them take optimal advantage of new business opportunities in the market”, notes Carsten Knudsen, President and CEO. “It is important that we continue the dialog with our customers and with other supply chain players, to ensure that our solutions support the efficiency improvements, cost reductions, collaboration initiatives and technology changes constantly reshaping the packaging industry”.