KBA’s figures for the first quarter of this year show clear improvements to its earnings over the same period last year, with sales up 11.9 percent to €213.4 million. Demand for sheetfed offset presses has risen with orders of €146.5m, a 10.3 percent increase. However, orders for web offset presses remained ‘subdued’, partly due to some customers postponing deliveries.
KBA now has an order backlog of €588.6m. The gross profit margin widened from 21.3% twelve months earlier to 25.4%.. Despite this, KBA posted an operating loss due to sales, though at –€10.2m this was an improvement on the prior-year figure of –€16.9m
Overall KBA improved its pre-tax loss by a third from €18.8m in 2013 to €12.1m. A group net loss of €14m (2013: –€18.5m) corresponds to earnings per share of –€0.85.
The company is continuing with its Fit@All restructuring program, which will see up to 1,500 jobs cut by 2015, leaving a total workforce of around 5,000.
Nonetheless, KBA expects group revenue for the year of €1bn to €1.1bn. The press release notes that “digital printing technology as well as presses and systems for packaging printing and special markets are expected to make larger contributions to sales and will bring about a change in product mix of the group.”
It concludes that the group anticipates a return to sustainable profitability in 2016 following the completion of the restructuring measures.