Operating losses remained flat for Manchester-based printing business Grafenia in the first half as it grew turnover 31% and completed its largest acquisition.
On revenues of £6.74m in the six months to 30 September, EBITDA fell very slightly to £430,000 from £450,000 over the same period a year earlier, while operating losses grew to £490,000 from £470,000.
Grafenia reported a reduction its gross margin to 57.55% from 63% as transactional print revenues continued to tighten and signage manufacturing became a greater part of the firm's product mix after recent acquisitions.
The company had a net debt position of £2.54m with working capital decreasing by £270,000 in the half compared to a £150,000 increase throughout the same time period in 2016.
In July the company acquired Image Everything, an exhibition and signage business based in Manchester.
Chief executive Peter Gunning said, "In the first half of the year, we've continued to make progress in our transformation plan," but stressing that "on the surface, our results don't fully reflect the degree of change we are going through."
Looking ahead, he said, "As our industry continues to go through systemic changes, we continue to execute our transformation plan. We are gradually shifting our reliance on transactional print volumes."
"When we sell to the trade, we are invariably at the 'end of the chain' in the transaction," stating that Grafenia's intention was to be "at the front of that chain as much as possible."
He made the point that the underlying business was performing to market expectations, but that expenses have been front-loaded with the launch of the Nettl website design, print and copy platform into the Netherlands.
Grafenia said costs associated with its Nettl Web Studio, which grew to over 130 UK locations in the half in addition to the 16 new facilities in the Netherlands, would be incurred in the second half of its financial year and would impact its full-year earnings.
As of 1025 BST, shares
had slid 2.24% to 10.39p.