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KBA posts record profit

Thursday, 23 March 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

KBA's Rapida 145 large format sheetfed offset press

German press giant Koenig & Bauer (KBA) says growth in packaging and digital web printing has pushed the company to a record group net profit of €82 million for 2016.

“The profitable growth was generated in existing and new packaging markets, from industrial applications in digital web printing and the continued expansion of service business,” said CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann.

“Increased revenue accompanied by improved margins, consistently high capacity utilisation and the sustained reduction of the cost base following the successful completion of restructuring underpinned the increase in profit, which reached the highest level in the Company’s 199-year history. Adjusted for non-recurring income, EBIT and EBT climbed to €62.9m and €56.8m, respectively. Group net profit rose more than three-fold to €82.2m (2015: €26.9m).

“With all segments operating profitably, we were able to achieve a further goal,” said CFO Dr Mathias Dähn. “After a decade of declining revenue and unsatisfactory margins, we want our shareholders to receive a fair portion of this success. Accordingly, the management board and the supervisory board will be asking the shareholders to approve a dividend of €0.50 per share at the annual general meeting on 23 May 2017.”

The RotaJET L inkjet rotary press is currently being enhanced for new industrial and packaging printing applications

Despite challenging global economic and political conditions, the group recorded a robust order intake of €1,149.7m, only slightly shy of the previous year’s figure (€1,182.7m), driven by growth in the rest of Europe, Northern and Latin America as well as Africa.

However, weakness in China dragged down business in Asia/Pacific, the company told investors.

Demand in China has cooled noticeably since the successful Print China fair in April 2015. The share contributed by this region contracted from 10.7% in the previous year to 7.8%. Despite encouraging business in Japan, India and other Asian countries, revenue in Asia/Pacific came to €313.0m, 6.7% down on the previous year (€335.6m). Given the favourable outlook for packaging printing in the Far East, we assume that the decline in the share contributed by this region of the future from 32.7% to 26.8% will be only a temporary phenomenon.

“Despite the persistently challenging conditions in the global economy particularly in the light of recent political developments, we are facing 2017, the year of our company’s 200th anniversary, with confidence,” said Bolza-Schünemann. “Should conditions for our global business not significantly deteriorate, we target an organic growth of up to €1.25bn in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6% in 2017.”

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