Koenig and Bauer upbeat despite Q1 figures

Koenig and Bauer has released its figures for the first quarter of this financial year, with the company sounding an upbeat note despite most of the key numbers being somewhat lower than for the same period last year.

Koenig and Bauer has seen revenues drop in the first quarter 2018 but is optimistic with sheetfed orders up to 5.3 percent

Thus the group revenue fell from €259.1m in 2017 to €217.3m this year, while the Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) dropped from €5m last year to –€1.9m in this quarter. Equally, the order intake of €250.9m in this quarter was below the €321.5m from 2017. However, CFO Mathias Dähn explained: “Due to the delivery dates requested by our customers, press installations in 2018 will be concentrating on the second half of the year and particularly Q4 to an even greater extent than last year.”

In fairness, there were also several positive factors worth noting. Thus the revenue from services climbed from €67.4m in the previous year to €71.8m in the first quarter of 2018. The Sheetfed segment, which is dominated by packaging printing, saw its order intake rise by 5.3%. Cash flows from operating activities rose substantially over the previous year (–€14.9m) to €20.3m. However, the webfed business, which includes digital printing, continues to be disappointing with fewer orders for digital and newspaper web presses.

CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann commented: “Alongside our expansionary service business, we made further progress in the flourishing packaging printing. With our customer-centric solutions, we were able to increase order intake in cardboard and film printing, metal decorating, marking and coding printing. As expected, demand for digital printing presses was subdued.”

Koenig and Bauer is looking to new packaging, digital and industrial machines to help it grown further. Dahn points out that the company has taken the first order for its new CorruCut sheetfed flexo press, and is also developing a second press, the CorruFlex, both hoping to tap into the growing market for printing direct to corrugated board. The new CS MetalCan is also due to start beta testing shortly.

Overall the company is expecting to realise more revenue in the second half of the year and to see the benefits of cost-cutting projects in security printing, purchasing and production. Dahn added: “In the absence of any material deterioration in global economic and political conditions for our international business, we expect to achieve organic growth of around 4% in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 7% in 2018. This will put us on track to achieving our EBIT margin target of 9% and an organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p.a. by 2021.”


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