Zortrax, the Polish manufacturer of the popular quality M200 3D Printer, experienced a challenging year in 2017, with sales down 12% to 47.5M PLN (circa 14M$) from 54M PLN (circa 16M$) in 2016. The company suffered from a 25% decrease of sales in the USA following the closure of their main distributor. Sales in Europe were also down impacted by some difficulties from several Zortrax resellers. In the UK, Hawk3DProto, one of the Zortrax resellers shut down its operations in early 2018 after 6 years in operation.
Profitability sharply reduced
Zortrax reacted to the difficult conditions experienced in 2017 with a significant investment in its R&D department, doubling its headcount. The investment weighs significantly on the operating profits that halved in 2017, with EBITDA down to 6M PLN (circa 1.8M$). Furthermore, in 2017, the company initiated a strengthening of its network of distributors learning from the lessons of what occured in 2017. We could expect some announcements in this regard in the following months.
Recent announcements include the addition of a US distributor that also acts as an authorized service center.
Zortrax plans to bring several products to market in 2018 to grow again
Following on its increased investment in R&D in 2017 (x2 from 2016), Zortrax is expecting to bring several printers and peripheral devices to the market in 2018. Earlier this year, in March, the company revealed the M200+.
Rafał Tomasiak, president of the board of Zortrax S.A, explained this effort with great hope for this year: “I hope that 2018 will bring a record number of product launches in the history of Zortrax S.A.”
Zortrax holds on its plan of listing on the main Warsaw Stock Market
Zortrax made clear of its ambition to list on the main market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange when it raised cash in 2014 and 2015. With the difficulties experienced in 2017, the management has decided to place on hold the process favoring a listing on NewConnect an organised but unregulated market – an alternative trading system. It is dedicated for young, growing companies, especially in the high-tech sector. Zortrax had expected to list on NewConnect by the end of June 2018, however this actions now appears to be indefinitely suspended.
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Featured image show guests at the Zortrax Experience getting a first look at the Inventure 3D printer. Photo by Michael Petch.