Koenig & Bauer reports strong start to year
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Koenig & Bauer has reported a big jump in orders for sheetfed presses in Q1 thanks to “sharp growth in the more pandemic resistant packaging printing market”.
In the three months to 31 March overall orders increased by 5.3% to €286m (£248m). Although group sales were down 7.8% at €243.5m, K&B said that this was still a better performance than the industry average according to figures from the VDMA association.
At the manufacturer’s Sheetfed division order intake jumped by 20.6% to €193.1m, boosted by demand for large-format packaging presses and post-press equipment.
CEO Andreas Pleßke said that customers’ spending reticence was “beginning to dissipate in many areas”, although some investments – in particular in digital décor, corrugated board printing and metal decorating – were being postponed because of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 situation.
“The end markets that we address and particularly also the structurally growing packaging printing segment are fundamentally intact,” he stated, and said that K&B’s broad product range would result in further market expansion beyond the packaging arena.
EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) losses for the quarter reduced from €17m to €8.9m, and K&B said it expected to break even at the EBIT level for the full year, with sales expected to grow by 4% to €1.07bn.
The group said the Q1 EBIT improvement on the prior year was mainly due to its P24x efficiency programme, reduced functional costs as well as the use of short-time working.
Order intake in the Digital & Webfed division was “heavily impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic and declined by 46.1% to €23.5m, while orders in the Special business unit (including banknote, hollow container printing and metal decorating) were effectively flat at €73.4m.
K&B’s share price rose by 4.6% to €25 on the news.