Agfa to hike prices of digital print and chemicals portfolio

Company sites high cost of raw material, logistics, energy, and salaries

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AGFA
Agfa develops, produces, and distributes imaging systems and IT solutions for the printing industry. Photo Unsplash

Agfa has announced a double-digit price increase across its digital print and chemicals portfolio worldwide from 1 January 2023, on the back of rising costs.

Despite sustained efforts to improve efficiency and constant sourcing optimization, these price increases are necessary to compensate for continuing high inflationary pressure on energy, raw material, logistics, and salary costs, the company said.

A Belgium-headquartered company, Agfa develops, produces, and distributes imaging systems and IT solutions for the printing industry, the healthcare sector, and specific industrial applications.

Vincent Wille, president of Agfa’s Digital Print & Chemicals division, stated: “Despite our relentless efforts to contain expenditures, we continue to be confronted with historically high costs for raw materials, logistics, energy, and salaries. In order to run a sustainable business – allowing us to guarantee supply and to continue to bring innovative products and quality service to our customers – we have no other choice but to increase the prices of our products substantially.”

At Agfa, we take the competitiveness of our customers very seriously and we have done everything we can in the last year to mitigate these increases. But as we see, the inflationary pressure continuing and even increasing, we have no other option but to increase prices, next to our continued efforts to increase efficiency.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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