KBA Reports Jump in Sheetfed, Web Press Orders

WÜRZBURG, GERMANY—05/12/10—In the first quarter of 2010, German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) booked a big increase in new business compared to the same period the previous year. The group order intake climbed 43.2% to €314.4 million (2009: €219.5 million), with the increase in web and special presses (43.1%) roughly the same as in sheetfed presses (43.5%).

Following a weak intake of orders from November 2009 to February 2010 and reduced web-press shipments in the first three months, group sales of €209.8m were 4.7% down on the previous year’s €220.2m. While the sheetfed division posted an 11.7% increase in sales to €85.8m, sales generated by the web and special press division slid 13.5% to €124m.

Better operating result but lack of profit contributions
Weak quarterly sales impacted on profit contributions and earnings. Although the gross profit margin climbed from 13.6% twelve months earlier to 21.7% as a result of cost-cutting measures, KBA posted an operating loss for the quarter of €19.4m. This, however, was well below the prior-year figure of €32.7m. Following a small financial loss of €1.9m the group made a pre-tax loss (EBT) of €21.3m, compared to a loss of €35.2m the previous year. After taxes it disclosed a net loss of €20.2m (2009: a loss of €33.2m). Earnings per share also improved to –€1.23 (2009: –€2.03).

Bigger inventories for scheduled shipments reduce cash flow
The quarterly loss and bigger inventories reduced cash flows from operating activities to –€41.3m, well below the 2009 figure of €19.2m. The free cash flow came to –€43.4m, against €13.5m twelve months earlier. Funds shrank from €76.1m at the end of December to €38.8m at the end of March. While bank loans totalling €55.5m were higher than at the end of last year (€48.3m), net debt was a manageable €16.7m. This is well within the long-term credit lines available and should improve significantly along with the cash flow as sales pick up in the second half-year. Group equity represented 38% of the balance sheet total, well above the industry average.

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