K&B highlights customer interest in 'total cost of process'

Jo Francis
Friday, October 29, 2021

Koenig & Bauer has filed a big increase in orders in Q3, stating that “customers’ spending reticence is beginning to fade in many areas”.

Koenig & Bauer: focus on growth markets including packaging
Koenig & Bauer: focus on growth markets including packaging

The group posted order intake up 56.2% in the three months to 30 September, while orders for the first nine months of the year were up 37.3% to €978.6m (£826.6m).

Sales in Q3 were up 18.2% and the group has an “historically high order backlog” of €823.2m.

The German manufacturer has also reached its planned savings targets for 2021 through its P24x performance improvement programme. 

Orders for the first nine months were boosted by an increase of 54% in the Special presses division, specifically for security printing applications. 

“This shows that the banknote has retained its rightful place as a means of payment, especially in the pandemic, and will also remain relevant in the virtual world,” the firm stated. 

Sheetfed orders were up again in the period, by 35.3%, with packaging accounting for most of the uplift. 

K&B said that customers’ reticence to spend was “beginning to fade in many areas”, but not all.

“Nevertheless, some new investments are being postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic,” the group explained. 

Its Digital & Webfed division was most affected, although the business has racked up five CorruCut beta users/sales. 

Joint venture Koenig & Bauer Durst held a special event to officially unveil the VariJet 106 B1 sheetfed inkjet press earlier this month.

CEO Dr Andreas Pleßke commented: “Our customers’ decisions to opt for a VariJet, RotaJet or CorruCut, for example, show that our focus on growth markets such as digital folding-box, beverage-carton and decor printing as well as corrugated printing is paying off. More than ever before, our customers’ purchasing decisions are being guided by efforts to optimise their ‘total cost of process’.”

At the nine month mark group net profit was €5.5m compared with an €86.9m loss in the prior year.

Despite the still limited forward visibility regarding the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the group’s business environment, K&B anticipates “slight growth” for the full year, with organic revenue growth of 7%-10% to €1,1bn - €1,135bn, and an EBIT margin of 2%.

The group is also a participant in the UN Global Compact sustainability initiative, focusing on seven of the 17 sustainability goals: good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and partnerships for the goals.

K&B’s share price rose from €29.20 to €30.75 following the announcement (52-week high: €31.40, low: €16.75).

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