Prodways dental and jewelry 3D printing boom drives Groupe Gorgé to 8% Q3 revenue growth

French engineering firm Groupe Gorgé (GOE) has credited the impressive sales of its 3D printing subsidiary Prodways (PWG) for fuelling its 8% revenue rise in Q3 2021. 

As revealed in its recent financials, the company generated sales of €59 million during Q3 2021, an 8% increase on the €54 million it reported in Q3 2020. According to Groupe Gorgé, this growth was driven by the strong performance of its robotics and 3D printing divisions, with Prodways reporting a particularly “buoyant environment” for its technologies within the dental and jewellery sectors.

Groupe Gorgé’s 3D printing-driven revenue results closely follow the unveiling of its plans to deconsolidate Prodways, rather than sell it altogether, as part of a wider restructuring of its business. Given Prodways’ sales growth during the quarter, Groupe Gorgé’s decision to keep hold of the company now appears to be justified, and since publishing its results, shares in its subsidiary have risen by around 5%. 

“The structural trends that are underpinning our activities this year, will continue and accelerate in the years to come: the digitalization of industrial and medical activities, the implementation of more responsible production methods that are closer to home, or the increasingly strong expectations for personalization of consumer products,” said Prodways in a statement alongside its financials. 

“This buoyant environment, combined with the Prodways Group’s strong positioning in its sectors, reinforces the group’s ambitions for future growth.”

A batch of Prodways 3D printed dental aligners.
Prodways’ revenue grew by 26% during Q3 2021, driven in part by demand for its dental and jewelry 3D printing products. Image via Prodways.

Groupe Gorgé’s Q3 2021 results

In broad terms, Groupe Gorgé reports its revenue under three main divisions: Drones and Systems, Engineering and Protection Systems and 3D printing, with the latter including any sales generated by its Prodways subsidiary. 

Over the course of Q3 2021, the company’s 3D printing segment brought in €16 million, 26% more than the €13 million it generated during the same period of last year. When broken down further into Prodways’ Systems and Products divisions, the results reveal that both its key segments also grew between Q3 2020 and 2021 by 24% and 28% respectively. 

In particular, the firm’s Systems sales, comprising those of its software, 3D printers and related materials and services, were driven by strong demand for its resins from repeat dental customers. Prodways adds that its software offering “continued to enjoy good sales momentum,” in Q3, while its machine income grew due to an “economic rebound in the luxury goods sector,” specifically in jewellery. 

Elsewhere in Groupe Gorgé’s financials, its robotics sales rose by 11% from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021, propelling its wider Drones and Systems segment to revenue growth of 10%. This area of its business continues to be driven by naval contracts, with the execution of a major Dutch and Belgian navy deal understood to be well underway, and it remains in talks with other countries about its demining services as well.

By contrast, the company’s Engineering and Protection Systems division performed less well during Q3 2021, as its revenue remained flat at €19.7 million. Groupe Gorgé itself admits that this stagnant growth was due to its Nuclear business which “continues to underperform,” but having appointed a new GM for the segment in October 2021, it anticipates that the “recovery of this activity will be relaunched.”

Groupe Gorgé Revenue (€)Q3 2020Q3 2021Difference (%) Q3 2019Q3 2021Difference (%) 
Drones and Systems21m23m+1023m23mN/A
3D Printing 13m16m+2616m16mN/A
Engineering and Protection Systems19.8m19.7m-122m19.7m-10
Consolidated Revenue 54m59m+860m59m-2

Prodways-driven growth in Q3

During Q3 2021, Prodways says that it has been able to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels thanks to its solid revenue base, which includes a strong mix of recurring customers and demand from within growing verticals. In terms of its traditional dental business, the firm’s revenue continues to be bolstered by its deal with the Straumann Group, which saw it double its material sales in Q2

Additionally, Prodways doesn’t report on its wax printing Solidscape offering directly, but the company also says it has now sold 5,000 machines under the brand, adding that these deals have not only fuelled its revenue growth during the quarter, but allowed it to establish itself as “one of the world leaders in 3D printing for jewelry.” 

Another key growth-driver for Prodways was its acquisition of Créabis at the start of Q3, a German 3D printing service provider, which helped boost its on-demand production and medical-related revenue by 28%. The move is already said to have yielded some cross-selling between its French and German businesses, something the firm expects to push moving forwards as part of its external growth strategy. 

With regards to its future offering, Prodways unveiled its ‘Futur3D’ project earlier this year, in which it aims to develop “next-gen” versions of its products and services, while on a wider scale, it sees the digitization of production and the roll-out of ‘Industry 4.0’ as an opportunity for 3D printing to help drive greater sustainability across the manufacturing world.

“The intensification of global efforts to promote the reindustrialization of the economic fabric and more responsible production methods is a fundamental trend,” added Prodways. “Recent [French] government announcements, tensions in supply chains and the urgent need to combat global warming confirm the need for innovation, to which the Prodways Group is responding.”

Raphaël Gorgé, Executive Chairman Prodways Group and Chairman and CEO of Groupe Gorgé. Photo via Groupe Gorgé
Raphaël Gorgé, CEO of Groupe Gorgé, unveiled plans to deconsolidate Prodways just last month. Photo via Groupe Gorgé

Prodways shares: one to watch? 

Since 2018, Groupe Gorgé has sought to restructure its business to focus more on its core robotics business, and announced plans to deconsolidate rather than sell Prodways as part of this initiative shortly before reporting its financials. The move will effectively see the firm’s owners list a further 26% of their shares on the public market, generating €80 million for shareholders and €55 million for the business. 

Although there was no mention of the proposed transaction within the firm’s results, it’s possible that Prodways’ strong sales have convinced Groupe Gorgé’s leadership of its subsidiary’s ongoing potential. For its part, ahead of its deconsolidation from Groupe Gorgé, Prodways has said that the move provides it with greater visibility, and it now sees its rising machine sales driving it to 20% growth for FY 2021. 

“The recovery of business fairs from Q4 onwards will be a catalyst for future orders,” stated Prodways. “For 2021, the Prodways Group confirms its guidance of around 20% growth in sales and a level of profitability, the result of the transformation plan, which should remain around the level of the first half of the year.”

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Featured image shows a batch of Prodways 3D printed dental aligners. Image via Prodways.