By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 08 November 2017
Koenig & Bauer has reported sales and order intake growth for its interim Q3 results, albeit slower growth than in Q1 but enough to still achieve its growth targets for the end of the year.
The Würzburg-headquartered group, which celebrated its 200th anniversary this year and rebranded, posted a year-on-year sales increase for the nine months to 30 September 2017 of 2%, in the main relying on improved sheetfed growth of 7%, which follows on from a sharp rise in its sheetfed order intake in Q1.
The group, which last year broke its annual profits record, said it had taken a large step towards achieving its growth targets for full-year revenue and earnings of €1.25bn (£1.1bn) following a good third quarter, which had also seen order intake rise by 3.9% over the previous year's figure to €903.4m (2016: €869.8m).
Revenues for the Digital & Web and Special segments were both down, while overall net profit fell by 9.2% to €29.5m (2016: €32.5m) and pre-tax profits increased slightly to €35m. Earnings per share also dropped to €1.79 while order backlog remained flat at €613.2m.
Chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann highlighted a first order for the newly developed CorruJet digital corrugated sheetfed press to Bavaria-based corrugated packaging producer Hans Kolb Welpappe, addressing the prospering market of corrugated printing and stating that customer interest was high at the FEFCO trade show for the corrugated industry in Vienna last month.
Chief financial officer Mathias Dähn said: “In addition to our expanding service business, the increase in new orders was underpinned by gains in the growth fields of packaging and digital printing.”
For its Sheetfed division, order intake was once again impressive, up 11.7% to €480.3m on the previous year’s figure of €429.8m, leading to a segment profit increase of 17.3% to €20.3m (2016: €17.3m). Koenig & Bauer said this was underpinned by strong demand in the packaging sector along with positive signings for commercial sheetfed presses and flatbed die-cutters.
In its Digital & Web segment, the group posted a loss similar to Q1, with revenues down 8.8% on the previous year's figure, from €113.2m to €124.1m, despite growth in its service business and digital printing presses. Unlike Q1, order intake fell, from €128.5m to €111.1m. Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT) fell to -€3.6m (€2016: -€1.9m), with Koenig & Bauer putting the fall down to the strain from the optimisation efforts at KBA Flexotecnica.
Revenue in its Special presses segment fell short of last year’s figure, lowering to €304.6m (2016: €323.6m), while order intake saw a slight rise, from €355.3m to €359.8m, following a growth in orders for metal and glass container decorator and coding systems, although there was a slight shortfall in its security printing business.
Koenig & Bauer also used its 200th anniversary celebrations to commit to “profitable growth” by focusing on special press applications.