Atlantic Zeiser Division
Atlantic Zeiser reported net revenue of EUR 50.2 million in 2017, significantly lower than the previous year’s figure (EUR 66.2 million). Sales revenues declined in all business segments. Operating earnings (EBIT) amounted to EUR –6.0 million (EUR 1.8 million in 2016). This figure includes special items amounting to EUR –4.2 million arising from impairments to net assets.
Atlantic Zeiser concentrates on the three strategic business segments of banknote serialisation, card personalisation systems and packaging. In the banknote serialisation segment it was unable to sustain the level of net revenue following an exceptionally successful year in 2016. The decline in this business segment reflects the general market trend. In the second half of the year several important projects were acquired in the fields of numbering systems and camera verification systems.
Net revenue in the card personalisation systems business segment also declined. Due to the small order backlog at the beginning of 2017 net revenue in the first six months was low, but in the second half of the year the previous year’s level was exceeded. Orders in hand at the end of 2017 were slightly higher than a year earlier. In the financial card personalisation market segment the product range was complemented further by the ongoing development of the PERSOMASTER system and corresponding software solutions for personalising smaller printing orders, thus addressing new customer target groups. Atlantic Zeiser has thus created the preconditions for sustained growth of sales levels in the field of financial card personalisation.
The packaging business segment focuses on the two product fields of track & trace solutions for serialising pharmaceutical products as well as printing systems for late-stage-customisation of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics packaging. Net revenue in the packaging business segment fell sharply in 2017. Business development in this segment in the second half of the year failed to meet expectations by a wide margin. Due to the low order backlog at the beginning of the year, net revenue was already at a very low level in the first half of 2017. In cooperative ventures with manufacturers of integrated packaging lines there were delays in qualification processes and consequently also in machine sales. The segment of track & trace solutions for serialising pharmaceutical products also failed to fulfil expectations in 2017. However, order intake increased strongly, especially in the final quarter of 2017, due to the framework agreements concluded with customers in the first six months for the delivery of machinery and systems.
One priority of research and development activities in 2017 was the further development of the new, modular OMEGA Pro drop-on-demand printer family for single- and multi-colour printing in applications calling for the highest standards of printing quality and resolution. The software for this new printer family has been optimised for the efficient processing of very small orders, thus substantially enhancing the advantages of digital printing compared to conventional printing technologies and securing Atlantic Zeiser a unique selling proposition on the market.
Due to the persistently unsatisfactory business trend, especially in the packaging business segment, a start has been made on drawing up a concept for the future focus of the Atlantic Zeiser Division. The decision on implementing the relevant steps will be taken in the first half of 2018.