Full year results from Belgium’s Agfa-Gavaert show that sales fell 8.6% to €1.23 billion in 2008.

Included in the decline was a second half of the year slow-down in Agfa HealthCare’s sales, which account for 43% of Agfa’s total sales.

For the whole of 2008 Agfa HealthCare’s sales reached €1.39 billion. But over the fourth quarter of 2008 sales decreased 13.1% year on year to €325m.

The company said in its full year results that “sales figures were affected by the economic slowdown as some care organizations are postponing their investments in Enterprise IT, Imaging IT and Computed Radiography equipment”.

Pointing to highlights in the Healthcare division’s performance the company said: “In 2008, Agfa HealthCare successfully introduced its IMPAX Cardiology Suite in Europe. The major contract signed with the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris hospital network serves as a key lever for new successes in the field of enterprise IT.”

The company said sales were weaker raw material costs higher, with numbers also affected by the decision to book a number of one-off provisions (totalling €12m) for work that remains to be done under the terms of certain contracts signed in 2006 and 2007.

“In the fourth quarter, temporary production stops for imaging products and write-downs on receivables and inventories also had an adverse effect,” the company said its annual results report

In enterprise IT, Agfa HealthCare’s ORBIS solution was said to have continued its strong growth in the fourth quarter. In the course of 2008, 35 new contracts have been signed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In the field of imaging IT, Intermountain Healthcare Utah, partnered with Agfa HealthCare to integrate imaging from its 21 hospitals and from its more than 150 clinics. In addition, the US Air Force awarded a contract for the newest version of Agfa HealthCare’s picture archiving and communication system, IMPAX 6.3.

In the UK, the private acute care center King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes signed an agreement for the installation of an IMPAX radiology information system and a PACS, as well as a number of CR 35-X digitizers.

In cardiology IT, the Antwerp University hospital signed an agreement for IMPAX cardiovascular system.