UPDATE 1-Agfa turns profit at end of 2012 after cost savings
* Q4 saw first quarterly net profit since Q2 2011
* In Q4 sales rose 1 pct, selling costs fell 1 pct
* 2012 net loss narrows
* Focus on boosting gross margin in 2013 (Adds details on quarterly performance)
BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) - Belgian industrial printers and medical imaging firm Agfa-Gevaert said on Wednesday it achieved its first net profit for more than a year in the last three months of 2012 as cost savings offset the impact of more expensive raw materials.
The company, a former film maker for cameras which has diversified into digital printing, said it reversed a downward trend from the first half of the year and ended with a fourth-quarter net profit, its first since the second quarter of 2011.
Net profit was 4 million euros ($5.2 million), following a 1 percent rise in revenue and a 1 percent fall of selling and administration costs
For the whole year, its net loss narrowed to 31 million euros from 71 million euros in 2011. Agfa said full-year recurring operating profit rose 8 percent to 139 million euros, from 129 million euros last time.
Agfa, which now specialises in hospital imaging systems and top-end printers for publishers and newspapers, is still heavily exposed to the price of silver as that is used to make the light sensitive parts of films, which it continues to make.
It said it would maintain its focus on keeping costs under control in 2013 and seek to improve its gross profit margin. It is aiming to achieve a double-digit percentage core profit (recurring EBITDA) margin in the medium to long term.
That margin was 7.3 percent in 2012 and 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter. ($1 = 0.7677 euros) (Reporting By Ben Deighton; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)
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