Koenig & Bauer AG Reports Good Start to the 2011 Business YearMay 13, 2011
Adjustments at web press plants not yet concluded
At the end of March the KBA group’s payroll totalled 6,404. Excluding employees at three newly consolidated sales and service subsidiaries in China and Italy this was 214 fewer than twelve months earlier. With demand for big web presses unlikely to revive in the foreseeable future, management sees a need for further capacity adjustments at KBA’s web press production plants.
Export level remains at record high of 86.5 percent
Domestic sales climbed by 20.4 percent, but the export level remained unchanged at 86.5 percent because foreign sales soared. The contribution from the rest of Europe rose from 27.9 percent to 40.1 percent of group sales following a modest recovery in western and eastern states. However, southern Europe has yet to emerge from the economic crisis. North American sales accounted for just 7.6 percent, down from 15 percent. This historic low reflects a continuing reluctance among US newspaper printers to invest in new kit. While sales to Asia and the Pacific were higher, the regional contribution of 24.3 percent was lower than the previous year (27.7 percent). 14.5 percent of group sales were generated in Africa and Latin America.
Forecast for 2011 unchanged
Notwithstanding the economic and political repercussions of events in North Africa and Japan, KBA management stands by the projections made at the end of March. Staff at KBA’s Frankenthal plant have been on strike since 5 May following the breakdown of talks on further capacity adjustments at the group’s web press factories, in line with diminished market prospects.
According to KBA president and CEO Helge Hansen, a protracted industrial dispute could present a challenge. He said: “The management board is making every effort to resume the constructive dialogue with employee representatives, and we are hopeful that we shall soon be able to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both sides. In view of our broad product portfolio, 40 percent bigger order backlog and revitalised service and niche activities, we are confident of achieving a small increase in group sales and a modest improvement in the pre-tax result over 2010.”
The financial statements can be downloaded as a PDF file.