Xaar plc, the inkjet printing technology group headquartered in Cambridge UK, hoisted first half revenues 20 per cent year-on-year.The company says sales were in line with board expectations at around £38 million for the six months to June 30.
It represents a remarkable achievement for CEO Ian Dinwoodie and his team in an intensely competitive sector and in the teeth of challenging economic conditions.
In a trading update, Xaar said that its ceramic tile printing sector provided the largest contribution to the growth in revenue. Demand continues to grow.
As expected, sales into the graphics arts sector were down on the same period in 2011, reflecting the maturity and competitiveness of that segment, the company added.
Xaar's position in the ceramic tile printing sector has been strengthened by the successful launch in May of its 1001 GS12 printhead which is expected to achieve volume sales from the third quarter of 2012 onwards.
Margins in the first half of the year were slightly ahead of expectations as a result of the successful deferral of previously forecast volume price discounts in the ceramics segment. The price discounts will impact the second half of the year, but are expected to be offset by the benefits of higher production volumes.
A £22 million capacity expansion programme announced by Xaar in 2010 to support demand in the ceramic sector has been successfully completed with capacity increased ninefold – currently at 45,000 units compared to 5,000 units at the outset of the programme.
The group continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with net cash of £15.7 million (December 31, 2011: £17.4 million).
The full interim results are expected to be announced on August 16.