Manroland Sheetfed parent company Langley Holdings said the press manufacturing operation was “slightly ahead of plan” in the first half of 2018 but overall group revenue and profit was down.
In his review of the group’s results for the six months to 30 June 2018, Langley chairman Tony Langley attributed this “mainly to a strong order intake for new presses from the packaging sector”.
He said new press sales reached a “near record level for our stewardship (since February 2012) in the first quarter, although fell back to more normal levels in Q2”.
He added: “Having gone through seismic changes, the print sector is now reasonably stable and although growing slowly, it is doing so from a much lower base point than Manroland’s infrastructure was originally intended”.
The final stage of consolidation at Manroland Sheetfed was actioned during the period and the remaining occupants of the former headquarters building – situated less than a mile from the principal facility – will be relocated by the end of the year.
“Steps were also taken during the period to rationalise the market organisation in Austria and Switzerland and although the second half is expected to be a little slower overall, I expect the business will perform at a similar level to 2017; not a stellar performance but a solid contribution nonetheless,” said Langley.
Langley Holdings’ five divisions recorded combined revenue of €398.2m (£354.8m) in the period, down 5.8% on the €422.6m achieved at the same stage in 2017, while pre-tax profit was down by 4.8% from €45.7m to €43.5m. Operating profit was down by around €2.5m year-on-year to €42.5m.
Forecasts for the full year indicate revenues up to €922m (2017: €903.5m) while pre-tax profit is expected to reach €102.2m (2017: €111.8m).
Net assets were €678.8m (H1 2017: €606.3m) and cash was €350.4m (2017: €297.3m).
Langley’s German power protection subsidiary Piller had a slow order intake but closed the half year in line with budget while the group’s French car welding machine producer ARO continued to perform well and significantly exceeded its plan in the first half.
Conditions were challenging in the period for Langley’s German plant machinery builder and aerospace components manufacturing division Claudius Peters, which continued to be affected by a dearth of investment in the cement and steel industries, with no signs of improvement on the horizon.
“The overall trading for the first six months of 2018 was very satisfactory – some areas of activity more so than others. With a group as diverse as ours this must be expected, and it is the lesser contributing areas that receive most attention,” said Langley.
“From today’s perspective, the forecast for the full year is achievable. I expect the group will continue to generate cash, adding to the already healthy surplus over working capital requirements we already have available for further development, as and when suitable opportunities arise.”
Langley Holdings is a privately-owned engineering and industrial group based in the UK and operating in several industry sectors. Its principal operating divisions are in Germany and France and it has more than 80 subsidiaries worldwide, employing around 4,300 people globally.