Esko, a system integrator for packaging pre-production headquartered in Gent, Belgium, reports a strong performance throughout 2006, its first complete year under Axcel ownership. Audited consolidated revenues for the full year amounted to €127.0 million, an increase of 9 percent over 2005. EBITDA for the full year ended at €13.6 million, a 74 percent improvement over 2005.
Packaging revenues increased by 11 percent compared with the previous year, and sales of new packaging systems (excluding services) grew by 16 percent. Overall service revenue went up by 3 percent despite a declining contribution from maintenance of discontinued CtF and CtP equipment.
“We are very pleased to see a continuation of our prior years’ business growth,” says Carsten Knudsen, president and CEO. “Our revenue growth is driven by the extension of our design and pre-production solutions portfolio, the expansion of our geographical presence — direct or through our distribution partners, and an increase of our market share in several key market segments. Combining this revenue development with a constant improvement of skills and efficiencies throughout our organization has allowed us to strengthen our profitability, thus providing us with the resources to further grow and develop Esko.”
Revenue growth rates in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific were above 10 percent year-over-year. The strongest advances were noted in Central Europe, the Baltic Region and Latin America. Sales in Japan were tempered by the uncertain local economic climate but still increased by 5 percent. The sales of new Esko software products in 2006 grew by 11 percent compared to 2005; this excludes the business from software updates and upgrades which is typically covered under full-service maintenance agreements.