IT sales surge 29% at Agfa HealthCare in Q1

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Agfa-Gevaert Tuesday announced first quarter results for Agfa HealthCare saw a 29 percent jump in IT sales, largely thanks to sales in the U.S., favorable currency effects and the recently acquired Heartlab activities. 
  
For all products, HealthCare's sales increased 6.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2005. Sales in IT increased 29 percent compared to the first quarter of 2005, thus more than compensating for the continuing decline in the North American film and print markets, Agfa said. Driven by the strong increase in IT, the share of services in HealthCare's sales increased to 26.5 percent in the first quarter of 2006 versus 23.3 percent in the full year 2005.
  
The results were negatively affected by sharply increasing silver prices. However, due to continued targeted pricing actions for film and print products, HealthCare's margins remained virtually unchanged compared to the first quarter of 2005. The EBITDA-margin (before restructuring and non-recurring items) was 13.9 percent of sales. EBIT amounted to 25 million Euro, or 7.7 percent of sales, compared to 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2005.
  
Agfa in a release said its healthcare IT strategy "progressed further with strong performance in hospital-wide IT and in radiology information systems and picture archiving and communication systems (RIS/PACS). In hospital IT, Agfa became the first global company to provide Belgian hospitals with an integrated IT platform which covers the whole healthcare enterprise." ORBIS, Agfa's hospital and clinical IT system, will be implemented in pilot projects in three Belgian hospitals. In France, the first six orders for ORBIS were booked and in the Germany-Austria-Switzerland region 21 new ORBIS contracts were signed. HealthCare also unveiled its IT strategy for North America, in which ORBIS will play a central role.
  
Worldwide orders for RIS/PACS were "exceptionally strong" in the first quarter, partly driven by U.S. imaging centers and community-based hospitals. In the first months after its release, more than 100 sites around the world have signed up for IMPAX 6.0, Agfa's next-generation PACS solution, the company said.

Agfa HealthCare

 Euro million  Q1 2005  Q1 2006 (*)  % change
Net Sales  305  324  6.2%
EBITDA (**)
% of sales
 42.8
14.0%
 45.0
13.9%
 5.1%
EBIT (**)
% of sales
 22.8
7.5%
 25.0
7.7%
 9.6%

(*) including Heartlab, acquired in June 2005.
(**) before restructuring and non-recurring items.