UPDATE 1-Lower costs and one-off gain lift Agfa profit

Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:34am EDT

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BRUSSELS Aug 28 (Reuters) - Belgian graphics group Agfa posted a sharply improved net profit in the second quarter, lifted by a one-off gain from closing a medical plan in the United States as well as lower production costs.

The sharpest rise in profitability came at its specialty products unit, where the group made better use of its production capacity. But one-off events resulted in a windfall of 31 million euros.

Overall, Agfa made a net profit of 23 million euros ($30.8 million) in the second quarter, up from the 2 million in the previous year.

The group said it also lowered its research and development cost by 14.3 percent and made cuts in selling and administrative expenses, leading to an improved operating profit.

The market for its high-end industrial inkjet printing products was hit by weak economies and companies' reluctance to make big investments, Agfa said.

Nevertheless Agfa expects this business, one of its growth engines, to break even in the course of 2013.