Fremont, CA 94555
Sales: $790M for EFI at the corporate level; Ink World estimates $120 million in ink and consumables.
Major Products: EFI has one of the graphic arts industry’s broadest inkjet portfolios with VUTEk, Jetrion, EFI Wide Format, Matan, Reggiani and Cretaprint printers and presses. That portfolio has also made EFI the market leader in UV inkjet inks for the superwide format, wide format (e.g., billboards, signage, POP, etc.) and narrow web label printing markets. EFI offers a wide range of ink products for wide/superwide format and industrial inkjet markets, including UV, UV LED and water-based dye disperse inks.
Key Personnel: Guy Gecht, CEO; Marc Olin, CFO; Ghilad Dziesietnik, CTO; Frank Mallozzi, SVP, worldwide sales and marketing; Scott Schinlever, SVP/GM, EFI Inkjet Solutions; Stephen Emery, VP ink and Jetrion industrial inkjet businesses.
Number of Employees: Approximately 2,800.
Operating Facilities: 29 worldwide offices.
Comments: Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (EFI) had a tremendous year in 2015, with the company’s organic sales growing substantially while adding new markets through acquisitions, particularly the addition of Reggiani Macchine, an inkjet textile specialist, and a second company in the super wide format space, Matan Digital Printers.
EFI reported revenue of $882.5 million in 2015, up 12% year-over-year compared to 2014. Meanwhile, non-GAAP net income was $97.9 million, compared to non-GAAP net income of $87.1 million in 2014.
In a huge move, EFI acquired Reggiani Macchine, Bergamo, Italy, in mid-2015. EFI Reggiani is a leader in the field of industrial inkjet printers for the fast-growing digital textile market for fashion and home furnishings. Its printers run the gamut of water-based dispersed, acid, pigment and reactive dye printing inks.
Stephen Emery, VP ink and Jetrion industrial inkjet businesses, said that 2015 was another excellent year for EFI.
“EFI did well in 2015,” Emery said. “From an ink perspective, we had continued strong growth in LED inkjet and a number of customers started benefitting from using EFI – 3M co-branded SuperFlex ink – a unique formulation that provides durability for outdoor graphics in wraps, with the option of 3M MCS Warranty coverage for some applications.
“Globally, we also did well despite continued headwinds related to the strength of the US dollar,” Emery added. “Overseas markets become more important to EFI’s ink business than ever before in 2015. We had continued growth of our Cretacolor ink products for ceramic decoration, and that is a market where the vast majority of the customer base is in Asia and Europe.”
The Reggiani acquisition not only gives EFI a new market in the textile space, but it also creates new opportunities for the company’s signage and graphics customer base with the rapid growth of fabric graphic soft signage work.
“In July, EFI entered the textile printing market in a big way with the acquisition of a leading textile printer manufacturer, Reggiani Macchine, and that has opened up new market opportunities for EFI on the ink side with water-based inks for a textile market that is even larger than the graphic arts market we traditionally serve,” Emery noted.
In another highlight, EFI received numerous awards during the past year.
“While the biggest award for me as leader of the ink business is seeing growth in usage for our products, we also received some important industry awards for products we launched last year,” Emery noted. “Our clear ink for the VUTEk H2000 Pro inkjet printer and our thermoformable EFI SuperDraw Ink won Must See ’Ems Awards this year. Near the end of 2015, we launched a new EFI Armor line of UV inkjet coatings, and it won a Product of the Year Award from SGIA.”
Textile is a huge opportunity for digital printing, and EFI is capitalizing on its strengths to make gains in this segment.
“Textile has amazing growth potential,” said Emery. “It is a market that is motivated to go from analog to digital print not just for economic reasons, but for environmental and market demand reasons. The major industrial textile centers of the world are very eager to adopt greener methods, and retail trends like fast fashion are making quick-turnaround, high-quality digital textile imaging more popular than ever before. Obviously the acquisition of Reggiani shows how serious we are about this market opportunity.”
Another area of opportunity is thermoforming, or creating 3D plastic parts and signs.
“We are also seeing rapid growth in thermoforming applications using ink technology EFI acquired in 2014 that enables digital printing of plastic parts and signage that are formed in to 3D shapes,” added Emery. “Inkjet inks traditionally could not withstand the heat, pressure and stretching required in the forming process, so that is a new market for EFI where we could not participate before.
We are winning new customers – including some businesses that did not print before and used manual decorating methods – as well as creating opportunity for existing customers to provide a new business service in thermoformable graphics.”
Regulatory issues impact inkjet printing as well, and not only in packaging. The debate between LED and UV curing is also an area that is under investigation, and Emery reported that EFI’s emphasis on LED curing gives it a head start in that area.
“In food packaging, in particular, we recognize the need for low-migration inkjet inks and that is an area where we have focused some of our R&D efforts,” Emery noted. “But managing in the regulatory environment goes well beyond packaging. In Europe, for example, there are regulatory issues that may one day really demand the use of LED inkjet as opposed to traditional UV, and our high-productivity platform for LED addresses that concern. EFI’s environmental heath and safety team is constantly reviewing the changes and ensuring that our inks comply with all the latest regulations and prepare for forthcoming changes.”
Emery said that EFI is successfully navigating the challenges caused by raw material supply and currency fluctuations.
“We are fortunate that our scale with ink manufacturing has helped us maintain consistency and quality in our raw materials supply,” he said. “Currency trends, as mentioned earlier, are a headwind for EFI and other US companies in the ink business.
“EFI diversified somewhat in 2015 where, company-wide, a little more of our revenue was not based in US dollars, which helped a bit with currency issues,” Emery added. “But our ink manufacturing operations are largely US-based, so we cannot control how the currency situation impacts us there – we just focus on serving our customers around the world to continue driving growth.”
Understandably, EFI is optimistic about the future of digital printing.
“A few years ago, our CEO, Guy Gecht, set a prediction of EFI reaching $1 billion in total revenues in 2016, and we are focused on reaching that goal,” Emery said. “I’m optimistic because, on the ink side of things, we are seeing strong growth from our existing customers in the signage and graphics space, and we have the opportunity to continue making an impact in additional markets like packaging, textile and ceramics that have a lot of room to grow in the analog to digital transformation. Beyond 2016, I think we want to continue the momentum we’ve started helping customers grow, and we’re excited about the opportunities to develop new innovations that help customers do more with digital print.”