KBA Reports Sheetfed Press Orders Hit Harder than Web

WÜRZBURG, GERMANY—04/30/09—German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) published its 2008 financial statements on 30 April following preliminary disclosures on 26 March.

The global economic downturn had a disproportionately severe impact on the inflow of orders for batch-produced sheetfed presses, which plunged 22.6% to €598.5m (2007: €773.5m). The web and special press division, where multi-unit installations with lengthy production times dominate the schedule, exerted a stabilizing influence, with new orders totalling €643m (16.9% below the prior-year figure of €773.4m). Group orders therefore shrank 19.7% to €1,241.5m (2007: €1,546.9m).

Weak demand resulted in a 16.7% drop in sheetfed sales to €714.2m (2007: €856.9m), and their contribution to group sales consequently fell from 50.3% to 46.6%.

With sales of web and special presses relatively steady at €817.7m (2007: €846.8m), group sales sank 10.1% to €1,531.9m (2007: €1,703.7m). The drop in the volume of orders on hand was much greater, from €791.9m to just €501.5m at year’s end.

Provisions top €90m
The impact on profits of a €170m slide in sales was exacerbated by provisions and write-downs totalling €93.3m, primarily relating to the approved restructuring and consolidation of sheetfed facilities. This gave rise to an operating loss of €79.9m, as opposed to an operating profit of €65.7m in 2007.

A higher service turnover and solid earnings in niche markets less affected by the recession pushed up the profit generated by the web and special press division from a healthy €63.1m in 2007 to €108.5m. This contrasted with a heavy loss of €188.4m (2007: €2.6m profit) in the sheetfed division due to capacity underutilization and substantial one-off expenses in preparation for the proposed realignment. The outcome was a financial loss of €7.2m, pre-tax earnings of –€87.1m (2007: €63.2m profit) and a group loss of €101m (2007: €49m profit). Net earnings per share came to –€6.18 (2007: €3.00). At the AGM on 18 June the management and supervisory boards will therefore table a motion to dispense with a dividend.

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