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Xaar has canned its final dividend and posted a near-£15m loss after an annus horribilis for the business, with CEO Doug Edwards looking ahead to better times and aiming to sign up a strategic investor for its thin film printhead this year.
The impact of the serious decline in its legacy business for the ceramics market was writ large across the results for 2018, with group sales down 37% at £63.5m. The company posted a bottom line loss of £14.9m compared to the prior year’s pre-tax profit of £12.3m.
Integration and quality issues also contributed to the red ink. The manufacturer cut more than 100 jobs last year, and said that headcount in its printhead business had been reduced by 42% in the last three years. Although the bad news had been expected following Xaar’s well-documented travails, shares in the business fell to 115.7p on the news, a five-year low, as the group also revealed it would axe its final dividend.
Chief executive Doug Edwards said: “Obviously we are not happy with the results, but they are in line with what we’ve been saying for a while.
“We are trying to move the business to having more diverse revenue streams. You can see the vulnerability of becoming a business dependent on a single product, which we were.”
Edwards said the current sales mix was “a lot more diverse”.
“Our ultimate aim is to build a sustainable business. New things represent nearly 80% of revenues today,” he added.
Xaar announced a strategic review to achieve “more extensive partnering” last September. Separately, the company has 20 OEM partners in the process of integrating its 5601 printhead in printers.