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Sheetfed packaging presses drive KBA revival

Thursday, 14 April 2016
By Print 21 Online Article

The KBA plant at Würzburg

Revitalised German press giant Koenig & Bauer (KBA) says it’s back in the black after a ‘sometimes painful’ restructure that focused on sheetfed packaging presses following the collapse of its newspaper and commercial web press business.

'We cannot turn a blind eye to the changes': KBA chairman Claus Bolza-Schünemann

“KBA is now a completely different company, compared to 10 years ago,” said KBA chairman and drupa president Claus Bolza-Schünemann. “We come from the newspaper world but we cannot turn a blind eye to the changes. The new web press business has dropped by 80% in ten years, from €2 billion in 2006 to €400 million now. The market is stagnant and will remain so. Our Digital & Web Solutions business unit will continue to serve it, however, with an adjusted capacity.”

Sheetfed packaging presses now account for more than two-thirds of KBA sales.

“We have successfully completed the sometimes painful restructuring. The proportion of our packaging solutions in total sales has risen to 70%, while the proportion of our media dependent revenues has decreased from 65% to 10%.”

KBA now has four financially independent units: Sheetfed Solutions, Digital & Web Solutions, Special Solutions and Industrial Solutions.

“The focus on growing markets and profitable niches as well as the new holding structure with four autonomous business units is effective,” said Bolza-Schünemann, who believes the mood of the entire global printing industry is on an upswing.

“In most companies, the restructuring phases have been completed. Now, they are at the helm again and accept the challenges of digital changes. We all see that the print product is and will remain omnipresent in our everyday life, since our business reaches far beyond the printing of media. Print is a promising market and not at all a dying business.”

In its drupa preview, KBA said it would showcase new solutions in analog and digital packaging printing, industrial printing and digital networking.








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