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Xaar PLC (XAR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 15 September, 2004

Xaar PLC

Interim Results

Xaar PLC
15 September 2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        15 September 2004

                                    Xaar plc


Xaar plc ('Xaar'), the inkjet printing technology group headquartered in
Cambridge, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June


• The interim results continue the strong improvement in performance
which began during the second half of last year and show a sharp turn round from
the losses reported in the first half of 2003.

• Sharply increased trading profits were achieved by increased sales,
  higher production yields and tightly controlled costs.

• The financial results for the half year were :

   o  Turnover: up by 25% to £16.9m (2003: £13.6m);

   o  Operating profit before interest and tax: £2.4m (2003: loss of £3.3m);

   o  Profit before tax: £1.2m (2003: loss of £2.1m);

   o  Earnings per share*: 3.5p (2003: loss of 4.6p);

   o  Net cash and liquid resources at 30 June 2004: £9.9m (2003: £5.9m).

      * stated before non-trading foreign exchange loss of £1.3m on the
        inter-company loan (2003: gain of £1.2m).

• Sales increases were achieved in each principal territory and industry
  segment despite adverse currency movements. Asia showed particularly strong

• Clear evidence at the recent Drupa international trade exhibition that
digital inkjet is now maturing into a mainstream printing technology.

• Xaar has a strong pipeline of new products and has formed a number of
  new strategic partnerships to open new applications and additional markets.

On outlook, Chairman, Arie Rosenfeld stated :

'All of our core markets performed well during the period and, although there
are concerns about the ability of the Chinese economy to maintain its current
level of growth, we saw no slow down in our business during the first half of
the year. Third quarter performance remains in line with expectations and we
expect to be cash generative over the remainder of the year.'

For further information, please contact:

Ian Dinwoodie, Chief Executive; or                          020-7444-4140 today
Nigel Berry, Finance Director at Xaar on :              01223-423663 thereafter

Steve Liebmann at Bankside :                       020-7444-4163 / 07802-888159

                              CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT


I am pleased to report that the strong performance seen in the second half of
last year has continued into the first half of this year, with further progress
in sales, manufacturing costs and profitability.

Sales improved across the range of Xaar products, in particular for our
industry-standard XJ128 printhead which dominates the wide format graphic arts
market. We are also developing an impressive pipeline of new products for the
future. The OmniDot range of printheads, co-developed with Agfa, will be in
production in the first half of 2005; our new peripheral products will be on
customer trials during the second half of 2004, and we continue to make good
progress with our third generation HSS printhead which is due to begin field
testing next year.

We continue to see opportunities for geographic growth, and recently opened a
new sales office in India. We have also seen an increase in the number of
Xaar-based printers being exported from Asia to growing markets such as South
America and Eastern Europe; we will be reviewing the opportunities for direct
product sales to these markets over the coming months. Asia, and in particular
China, continues to show strong demand.

In line with our plans to enter the packaging and industrial markets we recently
announced strategic relationships and joint development agreements with a range
of new partners, including MAN Roland, Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials,
Xennia and imaging Technology international (iTi). These developments are
expected to open up new applications for our technology over the longer-term.

Results and Finance

Total group revenue was £16.9 million (2003: £13.6 million) for the period, an
increase of 25% over the same period last year, and 8% over the second half of
last year. The results were adversely affected by weakness in the US Dollar
which reduced reported revenues by £1.5 million compared to the same period last
year, and £0.6 million compared to the second half of last year. The business
has, however, demonstrated its ability to operate profitably at these less
favourable rates of exchange, should they continue.

Sales of printheads and inks were £15.7 million (2003: £13.0 million) with
licensee royalties of £0.6 million (2003: adjusted, £0.2 million) and
development fees of £0.6 million (2003: £0.4 million).

Trading profit before interest and tax for the period was £2.4 million (2003:
£3.3 million loss). There was a book loss on translation of the Swedish Kronor
denominated inter-company loan between Xaar's UK operations and the group's
Swedish holding company, Xaar Group AB, of £1.3 million (2003: £1.2 million
gain). Under SSAP20 this movement must be reported through the profit and loss
account rather than through reserves.

After accounting for this translation movement, profit before tax was £1.2
million (2003: £2.1 million loss), with a tax charge for the period of £0.4
million (2003: credit of £0.6 million). Adjusted earnings per share, excluding
currency translation movements on the inter-company loan, were 3.5p (2003: 4.6p
loss) and including currency translation movements on the inter-company loan
were 1.4p (2003: 2.5p loss).

Our financial position remains robust, with net cash at the half-year standing
at £9.9 million (2003: £5.9 million) after providing for capital investment of
£1.1 million and an increase in working capital of £0.5 million. A final tax
payment in Sweden of £0.7 million, relating to 2002, was also paid during the

Looking forward, reporting of results in 2005 will be made in accordance with
International Accounting Standards (IAS) which, under EU legislation, become
applicable for accounting periods commencing from 1 January 2005. We are
currently reviewing how this will affect the way we report the group's results.
There will be further discussion of these issues in our Annual Report for 2004.

Business Review

The digital printing marketplace

During May of this year Xaar attended the Drupa 2004 tradeshow in Dusseldorf,
Germany, the world's largest printing tradeshow, held once every four years. The
clear message from this year's show was that digital inkjet is now maturing into
a mainstream printing technology.

Xaar and its technology were particularly well received at the show, both in
terms of our own exhibition stand and those of our licensees and customers, on
which printing equipment incorporating Xaar technology was widely exhibited. The
high level of interest resulted in a large number of new enquiries and

Printheads and related products

Sales of the XJ128 printhead almost doubled over the same period last year
reflecting strong demand for the printing equipment into which this product is
integrated. To consolidate the product's leadership position, an upgraded model
has been introduced. The 'XJ128 Plus' offers a 30% increase in speed over the
standard product and is expected to become the core XJ128 product of the future.
Demand for this product continues to come primarily from the graphic arts
manufacturing market in Asia, with many of the machines produced in Asia being
sold into western markets and, increasingly, into new markets such as Eastern
Europe, South America and India.

Sales of the Mk2 XJ500 also increased in the period. In addition to wide format
graphics, this product is becoming increasingly successful in coding and marking
applications, where its wider print width is a key advantage. Again, an upgraded
version of the product was launched in the period in order to increase
penetration of this growing market; the 'XJ500 CM' offers an 80% increase in
speed over the standard product.

Progress towards full-scale production of the OmniDot remains on schedule for
the first half of 2005, with the Agfa-purchased equipment for our Swedish plant
being delivered in the second half of this year. Development of Xaar's third
generation product, the HSS, is also progressing well. Prototypes are expected
to be available for initial customer tests during 2005. Our new range of
peripheral products, including ink supply systems and driver boards, is also
nearing completion.

Our US subsidiary, Vivid Print Innovations Inc., now has projects underway with
a total value of over $1.0 million, including the integration of inkjet into
applications as diverse as printing onto children's sweets and specialised
pharmaceutical packaging.

Technology Revenues

Royalties received from Xaar licensees increased during the period. In
particular, Toshiba TEC and Konica-Minolta both continue to build commercial
printhead businesses based on Xaar's technology. Our ink licensees have also
seen increasing levels of ink sales based on the overall rise in printhead

With the changes made to the business model for ink, announced in last year's
Annual Report, sales commissions received from ink partners on their direct
shipments of Xaar-approved inks are increasing. Prior to the change in the
business model, such commission payments were less significant and were reported
within Technology Revenues, alongside royalties from licensees. In order to
ensure that revenues arising from the company's patent portfolio are separately
identified from trading revenues, only income arising from licensees is now
reported within Technology Revenues. Comparative figures for 2003 have been
adjusted to reflect this change.

Business Development

Following the announcement in last year's Annual Report of our intention to
deploy Xaar's technology into new markets we have been working on a range of
collaborative and commercial agreements with leading industry players. In
traditional printing markets we are collaborating with MAN Roland, of Germany,
the world's second largest manufacturer of traditional printing systems and
presses, to offer digital print capability on existing and new offset presses.
In printed circuit board (PCB) production we have entered a joint development
agreement with the electronic materials division of Rohm and Haas Company of the
US, one of the world's largest suppliers of materials to the PCB industry, to
inkjet print etch masks, solder masks and eventually conductive metal inks. In
Xennia Ltd. we have found an innovative ink partner offering a range of metal
inks for conductive and decorative purposes.

For newly emerging technologies we have formed a partnership with iTi
Corporation, of the US, which offers a sophisticated XY deposition system for
polymer and other functional fluids, as well as web transport and optical
measurement systems for development purposes. Introducing Xaar's technology into
these products will provide us with laboratory and commercial equipment with
which to demonstrate the benefits of inkjet to potential users in these emerging

Whilst these initiatives will take time to develop we have made a good start to
address these new market opportunities.


All of our core markets performed well during the period and, although there are
concerns about the ability of the Chinese economy to maintain its current level
of growth, we saw no slow down in our business during the first half of the
year. Third quarter performance remains in line with expectations and we expect
to be cash generative over the remainder of the year.

Arie Rosenfeld                                                 15 September 2004


                                      6 months to    6 months to   12 months to
                                      30 June 2004   30 June 2003   31 Dec 2003
                                       (unaudited)    (unaudited)     (audited)
                                             £'000          £'000        £'000
                                       -----------    -----------  -----------
Turnover (Note 1)                           16,881         13,552       29,230
Cost of Sales
Exceptional XJ500 Cost                           -         (1,068)      (1,068)
Exceptional Production Cost                      -           (767)        (767)
Non-exceptional cost of sales               (7,305)        (7,507)     (13,920)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Total Cost of Sales                         (7,305)        (9,342)     (15,755)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Gross profit                                 9,576          4,210       13,475
Other operating expenses (net)              (7,161)        (7,467)     (14,775)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Operating profit/(loss) on ordinary
activities before interest                   2,415         (3,257)      (1,300)

Interest receivable and similar
Foreign exchange (loss)/gain on
company loan                                (1,250)         1,241        1,791
Interest receivable                             97             74          135
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Total interest receivable and similar
                                            (1,153)         1,315        1,926
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Interest payable                               (67)          (127)        (180)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Profit/(loss) on ordinary activities
before taxation                              1,195         (2,069)         446

Tax on profit/(loss) on ordinary              (359)           570          501
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Retained profit/(loss) for the
financial period                               836         (1,499)         947
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Earnings/(loss) per share excluding
foreign exchange (loss)/gain on
inter-company loan - basic (Note 2)            3.5p          (4.6)p       (1.4)p
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Earnings/(loss) per share - basic
(Note 2)                                       1.4p          (2.5)p        1.6p
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Earnings/(loss) per share - diluted
(Note 2)                                       1.4p          (2.5)p        1.6p
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses
for the six months ended 30 June 2004

                                      -----------    -----------    -----------
                                       6 months to    6 months to  12 months to
                                      30 June 2004   30 June 2003   31 Dec 2003
                                       (unaudited)    (unaudited)     (audited)
                                             £'000          £'000        £'000
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Retained profit/(loss) for the
financial period                               836         (1,499)         947

(Gain)/loss on foreign currency
translation                                    746           (965)      (1,290)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Total recognised gains and losses
relating to the period                       1,582         (2,464)        (343)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

AS AT 30 JUNE 2004

                                      -----------    -----------    -----------
                                             As at          As at         As at
                                      30 June 2004   30 June 2003   31 Dec 2003
                                       (unaudited)    (unaudited)     (audited)
                                             £'000          £'000        £'000
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Fixed Assets

Intangible assets                            1,398          1,216        1,576
Tangible assets                              5,335          6,787        6,090
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
                                             6,733          8,003        7,666
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Current assets

Stocks                                       2,226          2,671        2,592
Debtors                                      6,323          6,741        6,424
Short term investments                       2,945          1,400        2,325
Cash at bank and in hand                     6,946          4,917        6,133
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
                                            18,440         15,729       17,474
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
amounts falling due within one year         (4,550)        (6,579)      (5,968)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Net current assets                          13,890          9,150       11,506
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Total assets less current                   20,623         17,153       19,172

Creditors: amounts falling due after
more than one year                          (1,446)        (2,155)      (1,833)

Provision for liabilities and                 (496)          (124)        (345)
charges                                  -----------    -----------  -----------
Net assets                                  18,681         14,874       16,994
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

Capital and reserves

Called-up share capital                      6,004          5,984        5,983
Share premium account                        8,648         11,129       11,129
Own shares                                     (20)           (20)         (20)
Other reserves                               1,105          1,105        1,105
Profit and loss account (Note 4)             2,944         (3,324)      (1,203)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Shareholders' funds - all equity            18,681         14,874       16,994
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------


                                      -----------    -----------    -----------
                                       6 months to    6 months to  12 months to
                                      30 June 2004   30 June 2003   31 Dec 2003
                                       (unaudited)    (unaudited)     (audited)
                                             £'000          £'000        £'000
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from               4,050         (2,867)         182
operating activities                     -----------    -----------  -----------
Returns on investments and servicing             6            (59)         (49)
of finance
Taxation                                    (1,010)          (505)        (564)
Acquisitions and disposals                       -              -           (5)
Capital expenditure and financial           (1,095)          (821)      (1,083)
investment                               -----------    -----------  -----------
Cash inflow/(outflow) before                 1,951         (4,252)      (1,519)
management of liquid resources and       -----------    -----------  -----------
Management of liquid resources                (620)        (1,400)      (2,325)
Financing                                     (213)          (194)        (587)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Increase/(decrease) in cash in the           1,118         (5,846)      (4,431)
period                                   -----------    -----------  -----------


1. Segmental analysis

The segmental analysis of turnover is:

                                    -----------     -----------     -----------
                                   6 months to     6 months to    12 months to
                                  30 June 2004    30 June 2003     31 Dec 2003
                                     £'Million       £'Million       £'Million
                                   -----------     -----------     -----------
Geographic: Europe & Middle                5.9             5.7            11.1
            Americas                       1.6             1.5             3.2
            Asia                           9.4             6.4            14.9
                                     -----------     -----------     -----------
                         Total            16.9            13.6            29.2
                                     -----------     -----------     -----------

Industry    Graphic arts                  12.3            10.2            22.5
segment:    Packaging printing             2.9             2.4             4.5
            Industrial                     0.5             0.4             0.6
            Development fees               0.6             0.4             1.1
            Licence fees and               0.6             0.2             0.5
            royalties                -----------     -----------     -----------
                         Total            16.9            13.6            29.2
                                     -----------     -----------     -----------

2. Earnings/(loss) per ordinary share - basic and diluted

The calculation of earnings/(loss) per share is based upon the profit/(loss) for
the period after taxation and the weighted average number of ordinary shares in
issue during the period. For basic earnings/(loss) per share, this is 60,003,648
(30 June 2003: 59,737,053, 31 December 2003: 59,783,345) and for diluted
earnings/(loss) per share, this is 61,260,066 (30 June 2003: 59,737,053, 31
December 2003: 60,027,840), the only difference being in relation to movements
in share options.

Basic earnings/(loss) per share excluding foreign exchange loss/(gain) on the
inter-company loan is based on earnings of:

                                      -----------    -----------    -----------
                                       6 months to    6 months to  12 months to
                                      30 June 2004   30 June 2003   31 Dec 2003
                                       (unaudited)    (unaudited)     (audited)
                                             £'000          £'000        £'000
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Retained profit/(loss) for the
financial period                               836         (1,499)         947

Foreign exchange loss/(gain) on the
inter-company loan                           1,250         (1,241)      (1,791)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------
Retained earnings for the financial
period excluding foreign exchange
loss/(gain) on the inter-company
loan                                         2,086         (2,740)        (844)
                                         -----------    -----------  -----------

3. Comparative figures

These interim financial statements do not constitute statutory financial
statements within the meaning of section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. The
results for the year ended 31 December 2003 have been extracted from the
statutory financial statements, which have been filed with the Registrar of
Companies and upon which the auditors reported without qualification. The
accounting policies that have been applied to these interim figures are
consistent with those applied in the preceding annual accounts.

4. Reduction of share premium account

A special resolution was passed at the Company's 2004 Annual General Meeting
allowing the Company to reduce its Share Premium Account by £2,565,000 in order
to create a reserve that may be transferred to the profit and loss account of
the Company. Court approval was gained for this transfer on 19 May 2004 and the
creation of the reserve and the transfer to the profit and loss account were
made accordingly. The effect on the consolidated profit and loss account of this
transfer is shown below:


Retained loss at 31 December 2003                                       (1,203)

Retained profit for the 6 months to 30 June 2004                           836
Loss on foreign currency translation                                       746
Transfer of reserve from Share Premium account                           2,565
Retained profit at 30 June 2004                                          2,944

5. Interim report

The Interim Repost will be sent to shareholders shortly and will be available
thereafter from the Company's registered office, Science Park, Cambridge, CB4



We have been instructed by the company to review the financial information for
the six months ended 30 June 2004 which comprises the profit and loss account,
the statement of total recognised gains and losses, the balance sheet, the cash
flow statement and related notes 1 to 4. We have read the other information
contained in the interim report and considered whether it contains any apparent
misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial information.

This report is made solely to the company in accordance with Bulletin 1999/4
issued by the Auditing Practices Board. Our work has been undertaken so that we
might state to the company those matters we are required to state to them in an
independent review report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent
permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than
the company, for our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we
have formed.

Directors' responsibilities

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority which require that the accounting
polices and presentation applied to the interim figures are consistent with
those applied in preparing the preceding annual accounts except where any
changes, and the reasons for them, are disclosed.

Review work performed

We conducted our review in accordance with the guidance contained in Bulletin
1999/4 issued by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom. A
review consists principally of making enquiries of group management and applying
analytical procedures to the financial information and underlying financial data
and, based thereon, assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation
have been consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed. A review excludes
audit procedures such as tests of controls and verification of assets,
liabilities and transactions. It is substantially less in scope than an audit
performed in accordance with United Kingdom auditing standards and therefore
provides a lower level of assurance than an audit. Accordingly, we do not
express an audit opinion on the financial information.

Review conclusion

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 30 June 2004.

Deloitte & Touche LLP
Chartered Accountants

14 September 2004

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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