Posts Tagged ‘KBA’

  • KBA looks at further consolidation amid web press slump

    KBA is looking at further consolidation of its global infrastructure and workforce amid declining web press sales volume – with the company recording a group net loss of EU€-10.6 million (AU$-15.7m) for the its half-year results ending June.

    KBA (Koenig & Bauer Group), which released its quarterly financial results on 8 August, also reported a pre-tax profit of €10 million ($14.8m) for the quarter and a rise in sheet fed orders and revenue, despite recording a pre-tax loss for the full six-month period of €-8.8m ($-13m), down from the previous year’s result of €6.7m ($9.9m) for the same period.

    According to the figures, the German press giant’s web press division was hit by a 30 per cent drop in sales volume compared to the same period the previous year, coming in at €150.8 million – down from €215.3 million last year. However, business with sheet fed presses was more stable, with orders for the six-month period approaching €300 million.

    Given market trends in the web press sector, KBA CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann (pictured) believes that further consolidation within the company is ‘indispensable’. KBA management is considering alternative business models intensively to combat the sharply declined sales volume in the web press business. Potential reductions in workforce still have to be negotiated with employee representatives.

    At the end of June group workforce totalled 6,158, down 94 from the same time the previous year. Excluding apprentices, student trainees, temporary employees and staff on phased retirement schemes, the number of group employees was down to 5,431.

    In a letter to shareholders Bolza-Schünemann said:

    “Compared to 2012 our order and sales figures after six months mirror the slump in economic momentum in large parts of the world.

    “The uncertainty of many decision-makers given future media trends acts as a brake on investment in traditional web offset presses. At the same time demand for special presses for other market segments was also sluggish.

    “Given media and industry developments, demand for web presses is declining faster than expected. Along with the capacity adjustments already carried out and those still necessary, management is considering which business model could make the web press business more profitable in the longer term, even at a significantly reduced volume,” he said.

    KBA expects improved operating results in the course of the year as it pushes forward with turn-around programmes in its traditional web and sheetfed business. Projects to ‘harmonise’ processes and align group-wide purchasing are well on target.

    In the mid-term KBA aims to compensate as much as possible for the slump in traditional web offset sales with the entry into growing and profitable market segments and to improve group earnings, including its majority takeover in July of Kammann Machines, a market leader in screen printing presses for directly decorating premium-quality hollow glass containers for the cosmetics and spirituous beverage industry.

    KBA’s results for the six months ending June come only weeks after market-leading rival, Heidelberg, reported a net loss of €-110 million ($159.3m) for the financial year ending 2013.

  • KBA purchase backs packaging printing push

    KBA (Koenig & Bauer) is backing its packaging printing push with the proposed acquisition of German packaging printing equipment manufacturer, Kammann Machines.

    The deal, which sees the world’s second largest offset press manufacturer take an 85 per cent stake in Kammann, follows hot on the heels of KBA’s planned takeover of Italian press manufacturer, Flexotecnica, in February.

    Kammann Machines, based in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, claims it is the world’s largest supplier of graphic screen equipment and had provided offset print and converting solutions for over 50 years. Its packaging print products are primarily used for hollow articles such as bottles, optical discs and web materials.

    The company also has a substantial service business. In systems for directly decorating glass containers, Kammann is the global market leader. The firm, which has almost no own production facilities, was founded in 1955 and has a total of 175 employees. In 2012 it generated annual sales of over €30m (A$43.3m) and posted a net profit.

    The acquisition, which is still subject to some conditions, sees Kammann’s two managing directors continue to hold a 15 per cent stake in the company, while KBA is set to claim the 85 per cent that has, until now, been held by private equity firm, Perusa, in Munich.

    According to KBA, the move to take on packaging printing companies such as Kammann with the aim of expanding its footing in the sector is a bid to counteract the shrinking sales volume of web presses for publications heavily affected by the advance of online media.

    Although KBA is ranked as the second-largest offset press manufacturer in the world after arch rival, Heidelberg, the company comes first in the packaging sector – which Heidelberg is now also working to push into further as it continues its strategy to return to profit.

    Now, with KBA announcing its second packaging print equipment manufacturer acquisition so far this year, it is clear the company is working to maintain its lead in the packaging landscape.

    It is not clear at this stage whether KBA’s impending majority stake in Kammann, which is currently distributed locally by Melbourne’s Plastequipment International, will result in distribution in Australia and New Zealand being taken on by KBA Australia.

  • KBA feels the post-drupa bite with 25% drop in orders

    KBA (Koenig & Bauer) is feeling the post-drupa bite after recording a 25 per cent drop in its order intake for the past five months to €362 million from the previous year’s result for the same period, which was boosted by the quadrennial German trade show in May 2012.

    The offset giant’s backlog results were also impacted by last year’s drupa-boosted figures, coming in at €614.5 million at the end of May 2013 – 28 per cent lower than the 2012 result.

    The company’s results were unveiled at its 88th annual general meeting (AGM) at the Vogel convention Centre in Würzburg, Germany, with the world’s second largest press manufacturer welcoming around 70 per cent of its shareholders on the day.

    Despite the drop in sales for KBA’s German headquarters, Dave Lewis, KBA Australasia’s general manager for sheetfed presses, says that locally, the company’s orders and ongoing projects have remained steady.

    “I’d say we’re still pretty steady,” said Lewis. “The projects we’ve got are very good, and there are still people out there looking at buying presses.”

    However, at the AGM, president and CEO, Claus Bolza-Schünemann (pictured), painted a mixed picture of the current situation in the printing press market in his address to shareholders. Although the company’s sheetfed division benefitted from orders placed at the well-attended trade shows China Print in Beijing and Printtek in Istanbul, slow demand for commercial and newspaper web presses is continuing.

    In his speech to shareholders, KBA CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann reported positive news from the trade shows in China and Turkey.

    The company says that, along with competition from online media, economic weakness in key sales markets is acting like a ‘brake’ on investment. In his speech to shareholders, Bolza-Schünemann, indicated that he was not satisfied with the group profit of EU€2.3 million with sales of €1.3 billion.

    “When looking at the industry situation it must be noted that KBA is the only large press manufacturer to have remained in the black operationally and after interest for the fourth year in a row despite considerable restructuring expenses and a substantial value adjustment to fixed assets in our sheetfed division,” said Bolza-Schünemann. “We know that there is room for improvement and we are pushing forward in many areas to increase profitability.”

    In a statement, the company said:

    Along with realigning production capacity and amendments to wage agreements in place since the beginning of the year, the series of measures include cost-saving initiatives in group purchasing, administration and production, as well as a price increase of sheetfed offset presses.”

    According to Lewis, KBA’s offset sheetfed prices went up in April this year by about five per cent. “Somebody’s got to stop the decline,” he said. “If it keeps on going like it is it’s not going to end well for anybody.”

    KBA says it anticipates a slight decline in the sales volume for web offset presses and systems for security printing due to current market developments. In the sheetfed segment, management is pursuing a less volume-orientated business strategy and an additional program to reduce costs has been in place in both divisions for some time.

    The company’s management sees a need for further consolidation in the web business, which continues to be affected by slow market demand below expectations. In his speech, Bolza-Schünemann, pointed out that shareholders should prepare themselves for similar group pre-tax earnings to last year instead of the moderate increase originally planned. KBA will publish the full figures for the first half-year on 9 August.

    At the end of May, the KBA group payroll came to 6,156, or 100 fewer than one year ago. Excluding apprentices, trainees and employees in phased retirement schemes, the group payroll stands at nearly 5,500. After the loss of 2,000 jobs group-wide over the past four years, management considers additional measures are necessary, given the ‘disappointing’ market situation for web presses and in some niche markets.

    However, compared to the previous year, in 2012 KBA quadrupled its group operating profit not including special items. Even after a special depreciation of €27.1 million in the sheetfed division, operating profit rose to €16 million. The parent, Koenig & Bauer, posted retained earnings of €6.6 million after reinvesting 50 per cent of the sum of 2012’s net profit and the previous year’s profit carried forward.

  • Centrum buys KBA Rapida 162a in packaging push

    Centrum Printing is moving to expand beyond its commercial print standing into packaging and point of sale after purchasing a KBA Rapida 162a six-colour press – the largest single press investment in the company’s history.

    According to KBA Australia, the deal was sealed at PacPrint 2013 in Melbourne last month, and it is expected the new press will be installed and commissioned at Centrum Printing in Sydney later this year.

    Dave Lewis, KBA Australasia (3rd left) and Percy Vij, Centrum (5th left), seal the deal. Also pictured: Kay Halboth, KBA (far left), and Graham Harris, KBA Australasia (2nd left) as well as Linda Vij and Sandra Mascaro of Centrum (far right).

    According to Percy Vij, managing director of Centrum, the move to take on the new Rapida will play a central role in the company’s push into packaging and point of sale (POS).

    “We are a general commercial printer at the moment but we see opportunities in niche markets, such as packaging and point of sale,” says Vij. “The new KBA Rapida 162a will enable us to enter these markets. We will also be setting up a trade print service to enable other printers to serve that market.”

    For Sandra Mascaro, Centrum general manager, the new press addition will enable the company to fill a larger and more diverse range of orders that are already beginning trickle through from customers.

    “We already have promises of several million dollars’ worth of packaging work from existing clients and believe that as one of the few printers in the country with this size of press there will be plenty of work out there,” says Mascaro.

    Dave Lewis, general manager of KBA Australasia says: “This is a huge leap forward that Centrum have taken and we are pleased that they have chosen KBA as their new press partner. We are sure that this Rapida will be a great success for Centrum Printing”

    Centrum’s purchase of the Rapida 162a – which will join the print company’s two existing medium-format presses in Sydney – enables KBA to count itself among only two companies to have sealed deals to sell offset presses during the PacPrint trade show.

    At the show, Cyber sold both of the Ryobi offset presses it had on display at its stand, with Trent Nankervis of CMYKhub striking a deal with Cyber’s Bernard Cheong for its Ryobi 928 eight-colour A1 perfector machine on the second last day of the show.

  • Drupa – the press conferences, Part Three; KBA goes digital; Screen goes wide format

    There was a time when manufacturers held back product launches to coincide with drupa. Not any more. Product development cycles move faster than once every four years and the imperative to get new development into the market and get some return on investment is intense.

    Nonetheless, most companies try to have something new to talk about at drupa. Sometimes it’s only a refresh of existing products; sometimes they are fortunate to coincide a launch with the exhibition. It’s part of the press corps role to note and pass on what products are launched.

    The next generation of the KBA leading family, Claus Bolsa-Schünemann, (pictured on home page) made his first appearance as CEO of the German press manufacturer. He made much of the fact that KBA has survived the financial crisis without government bailout. He was proud, he said, the company made profit, albeit very little, every year and that it is structured to continue in the much tougher market conditions all press manufacturers face.

    According to Bolsa-Schünemann, the global market annual sales of analogue presses halved from €9 billion in 2007 to €4.5 billion now. To address this KBA continues to play in almost every sector of the industry, especially in high-end offset packaging where it is the undoubted leader. A new big Rapida 145 changes plates in record time, claiming 78% shorter makeready than its rivals. This is an enormous press, more of a standalone packaging factory.

    KBA’s benchmark press, Rapida 106, is also made over like new; new auto plate changer, new ink unit, new dryer and new hi-line delivery. With a rated speed of 20,000 it’s a formidable challenger in the commercial market. A less sophisticated version is the Rapida 105 for printers who don’t require so many quick changeovers; a workhorse long run press.

    These are the mainstream sheetfed offset presses, along with its commercial and newspaper webs, that KBA relies on to make money, but like everyone else it has to address the digital market. It has taken a typical path, for KBA, by creating the RotaJET inkjet web press from the ground up. This plays into the company’s serious industrial production ethos by being rated for 3,000 A4 pages per minute. Is there a market for this type of machine? Only time will tell.

    Screen develops labels and wide format inkjet

     The Japanese company Screen continues to identify itself with the inkjet revolution. It changed from being a CTP manufacturer a few years ago when that technology reached saturation in the market, to becoming a press manufacturer.

    There’s little doubt the techno-expertise of Screen, the industry’s favourite OEM manufacturer, can be applied to everything. This time around it has a new flatbed wide format printer, the Truepress Jet W1632UV. The main differentiation of the UV enabled press is speed, putting through 94sqm per hour for sign and display output.

    Screen’s other drupa launche is the Truepress Jet UV inkjet label press. It joins an increasing number of manufacturers piling into digital labels, where it is envisaged there is a growing demand for short runs.

    The Truepress Jet is a formidable contestant with an automatic head cleaning function, proprietary high-res screening and 16sqm per minuter throughput.

    drupa leaves no doubt that the manufacturers are energetically driving technology. How many of the products will be a success and survive to the next drupa is impossible to tell. But for anyone looking to invest in the graphic arts, there’s a techno smorgasbord laid out in the halls of drupa 2012.