Strong Drupa sales to boost KBA second half-year performance but overall orders down
By Hannah Jordan Friday, 15 June 2012
While more than €100m of Drupa orders, mainly for batch-produced sheetfed offset presses, will take time to impact, preliminary half-year figures reveal overall group order intake is down €114m.
The Drupa effect is not expected to show until the half-year and Q3 figures are published on 14 August and mid-November respectively, but preliminary figures showed new orders for the sheetfed offset division worth around €300m, 12% up on 2011 .
However, the press manufacturer's sales of web and special presses suffered a huge drop of €145m to just €190m compared to the previous year’s figure of €335m, which was the result of a number of major new contracts signed in 2011.
The figure brought KBA's overall order intake for the first five months of 2012 down to €486m, €114m less than at the same time last year, although group sales were up 8% on 2011 at €458m.
The value of order backlog at the end of May was around €236m above last year’s figure, totalling over €854m, which contributed to positive projected figures for the second half of 2012.
Speaking at KBA’s 2012 AGM, president and chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann anticipated higher total turnover for the first half-year and was upbeat about the company’s projected earnings for 2012.
He predicted sales of more than €1.2bn across the group for 2012 and higher pre-tax profit than 2011 (€3.3m), although he would not disclose firm figures ahead of the first half-year report due to be published on 14 August. Bolza-Schünemann based the projection on savings from cost-cutting activities and an anticipated high level of plant utilisation in the second half-year.
Commenting on focus for the future, Bolza-Schünemann outlined a number of strategies including refocussing on its web offset activities: "We are aiming to close the gap to the number one player in sheetfed offset and move up to the number two slot in commercial web offset. As the market leader for newspaper presses we are adjusting our product palette to a smaller market volume while boosting profitability. We are also planning to expand our range of special presses. Over and above this, we are rigorously stepping up our service activities."
The latest figures come after KBA posted a return to profit in Q1 this year with operating profit improvong from a €1.8m (£1.4m) loss in 2011 to a €2m profit, while the pre-tax result swung from a €3.9m deficit to a €200,000 profit.
Meanwhile, KBA’s employee headcount, including 328, apprentices, totalled 6,256 on 31 May, down 121 from the same period last year. The figure will be reduced by several hundred more over the next few years as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
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