Nieke Roos
22 April

In the first quarter, Barco recorded 235.7 million euros in sales, a decrease of 3 percent compared to the same period of 2019. The Kortrijk-based imaging specialist received 253.7 million euros in orders, a 5 percent drop year-over-year. As of end-March, its order book stood at 341.8 million euros, flat year-over-year and up 6 percent compared to end-2019. While its healthcare business boomed, its other activities suffered from the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Barco, the pandemic had measurable impact on its activities at the start of this year. As a result of lockdowns in China, the company’s sales there were halted during February and gradually resumed in March. Also in China, operations and supply chains were disrupted during February but recovered to near full capacity by the end of Q1.

“The cost productivity and operational efficiency measures we implemented over the past few years, have created a more resilient business model, poised to withstand severe economic headwind,” comments Barco CEO Jan De Witte. “Based on our experience in China since January and with a persistent focus on both short and long-term business continuity, we managed to contain our cost spending levels while keeping our manufacturing facilities operational.”

Barco’s Healthcare division registered double-digit topline growth with strong results for diagnostic imaging, mainly driven by intensified demand for remote radiology solutions amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Entertainment division was growing through mid-March at which point demand for event projectors began to stall and cinema replacement cycle projects began to be pushed out. In Enterprise, orders increased during the quarter, fueled by the new Clickshare Conference product. However, in the latter half of March, weakening demand impacted both orders and sales, which caused sales to fall below last year’s Q1. The Control Rooms segment was weak relative to a strong first quarter of 2019, due in part to softening demand from oil and gas industry customers compounded by project delays resulting from COVID-19 lockdown measures.

For Q2, Barco anticipates a weak demand for the Entertainment division, in particular for the Cinema and the Events segments, further demand shifts and deployment pushouts during the lockdown period for the Enterprise division and a continued solid performance in line with the trends of the first quarter for the Healthcare division. As visibility for the full year is currently limited, the company is withdrawing its FY outlook for 2020. It intends to give a new outlook when it reports H1 results in July.