In the first half of 2013/14, Datacolor AG increased consolidated net sales by 11% to USD 33.7 million (H1 2012/13: USD 30.4 million). Due to significantly higher investments in marketing, sales and new products, operating earnings (EBIT) declined to USD 2.5 million (USD 2.9 million) and the EBIT margin to 7.5% (9.6%). Net profit was USD 2.2 million (USD 2.7 million). Datacolor is debt-free, has a substantial net cash position of USD 27.6 million including financial assets (September 30, 2013: 29.6 million) and a solid equity capital ratio of 64.0% (63.5%). The average headcount rose to 359 (2012/13: 331).
Datacolor has continued to expand its position as a global market leader in its core markets, the textile industry and digital color calibration of displays and printers. Spending on research and development was further increased with the aim of exploiting the potential for innovation to best effect and accelerating the launch of new products. The US market performed strongly in the first year half, partially driven by a significant systems order from a US customer., As a result, the percentage of net sales attributable to the region North and South America climbed to 33.2% (29.3%). The Asia-Pacific region also realized increased revenue and contributed 32.1% (32.0%) to net sales, benefiting from the continuous expansion of its own sales, service and support organization, particularly in China. In Europe the gradual recovery of the markets continued. The region accounted for 34.7% (38.7%) of net sales.
The integration of the support and service organization into the regionally structured, directly managed sales organization further improved the efficiency of Datacolor’s distribution setup. In Turkey, the existing local agent’s sales and service staff were integrated into the Datacolor organization. The business performed well despite the uncertain political environment. Additionally, Datacolor expanded the direct sales and service organization by establishing a company of its own in the key growth market Brazil.
Datacolor was able to intensify its direct contact with customers by strengthening marketing, product management and marketing services. At the same time, customers benefit from timely, innovative developments and solutions for new applications. Through a series of successful webinars Datacolor has raised the awareness of its imaging product line and gained valuable user information, which feed directly into product development. The increased online marketing and Internet selling that is regularly adapted in line with customer requirements will likewise help to sustain a positive trend in sales over the long term.
In the first half of 2013/14, Datacolor rolled out the spectrophotometer “45G” to industrial customers which enables a high-precision quality control of color, surface structure and gloss of a sample. The portable measurement device is suitable for use in all areas of industry where precise color measurement and surface quality are key. With “ChromaCal™”, a color calibration system was launched that guarantees scientists color consistency in digital microscopy images. With this innovative product, Datacolor is tapping attractive new fields of application and markets at the same time. At the beginning of the second half of the year, Datacolor launched “Spyder HD™”, a color calibration system that, for the first time, can be used in both photography and video production. The premium product from the successful Spyder range assists photographers and videographers through the whole editing process and offers with the display calibration system “Spyder®4ELITE HD” for the first time an integrated calibration functions for computer displays, video reference displays and TVs.
In the second half of 2013/14, Datacolor will continue to invest strongly in research and development, the strengthening of the marketing organization as well as its direct, customer-oriented sales and service organization. The strategic focus remains on continuously extending its leading position with imaging products in the consumer goods market and growing in existing and new industrial markets by providing efficient systems for the high-precision measurement and communication of color. In the second half of the year, Datacolor will launch several new product innovations to assist customers in digital color management and support perfect color control in complex supply chains.
Sustained strong investments in new, innovative products, a highly efficient sales, service and support organization and its strong financial position pave the way for Datacolor to achieve its ambitious growth targets. Assuming the economic trend in the important markets Europe, the USA and Asia is sound overall, Datacolor expects to further increase sales and sustain the gratifying performance seen in the first half of the year.
The full half year report 2013/14 is available on: www.datacolor.com/content/reports
Lucerne, May 6, 2014