At the six-month point, the company has increased revenues from commercial print to €49.1 million, a 21.3% increase thanks to the acquisition at the end of last year of Laserline in Berlin. The company is blaming Brexit for the weakened UK business.
Dr Christian Friege, chairman of the Cewe Stiftung (trust) board, says: “With the exception of the UK, the forecast for the European online business segment remains positive. Moving from offline to online printing takes time. wee believe that we are very well positioned, especially with the acquisition of Laserline and we expect sales to rise again in the second half of the year.”
Laserline has strengthened the commercial print segment and will push the business into profit in 2019 he says. Currently the division reported a €2.1 million Ebit loss as the costs of the acquisition were taken into account. CeWe has also purchased the property where Saxoprint is located in Dresden and bought Cheerz, another photo products business.
Despite dampened expectations caused by the hot weather across Europe, the photo products business increased sales by 7.5% to €180.3 million (€167.7 million). Photobooks contributed a 3.9% rise. Wall pictures, calendars, cards, mobile phone covers and other gifts also added to the growth. Continued marketing of the core brand has also played a major role, Friege adds.
There was slight increase in the number of phonebooks produced in the first six months, from 2.28 million to 2.37 million, digital print rising to 880 million (841 million).
The biggest turnover rise came from commercial print with sales rising to €49.1 million from €40.5 million thanks to the acquisition of Laserline. Overall turnover increased in the first six months to €254.5 million (€234.6 million) generating a pretax loss of €3.4 million compared to a loss of €0.4 million in 2017.
The company’s revenue and profits are very much weighted to the second half of the year and the results are inline with management expectations. If this continues, sales will reach between €630 million and €665 million with pretax profits between €47.5-53.5 million.
Saxoprint is growing, but not in the UK where Brexit is clouding the issue says Cewe. The commercial print arm is growing thanks to the acquisition of Laserline while the number of phonebooks produced has also increased.