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Koenig & Bauer Reports Quarterly Financials, drupa Results

May 15, 2012
WÜRZBURG, GERMANY—May 15, 2012—In disclosing the first-quarter figures for German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann also gave an upbeat preliminary assessment of the group’s performance at drupa, the definitive trade fair for the print media industry, which closes on 16 May. The high level of attendance on the KBA stand and the keen interest expressed in the raft of new product launches exceeded all expectations, which given the current economic issues in some key foreign markets were modest.

With customers coming from some 30 countries around the world, KBA booked a string of orders for sheetfed offset presses in all the formats offered, and also booked some web press orders from printers in Germany and elsewhere.

Bolza-Schünemann described the total value of the orders placed in Düsseldorf as highly satisfactory, but was unwilling to give specific figures because in many cases the financing has not been finalized, particularly where leasing agreements are being negotiated.

“We have signed a lot of contracts with both existing and new customers. But it will be weeks, or even months, before all the financing has been clarified, customer prepayments have been received and we and other exhibitors can assess our true performance at drupa 2012,” he explained

Good start to the year with a pre-tax profit
CFO Dr Axel Kaufmann reported a divergence in key figures during the first quarter. While group sales climbed by 4 percent to €263.5 million, the group order intake of €236.6 million was well below the record level of €432.1 million 12 months earlier, which had been boosted by major contracts for special presses. Fluctuations of this kind are not uncommon in the plant engineering industry, and can distort the picture. Bucking the industry trend, the backlog of unfilled orders swelled by 28.9 percent to €798.8 million at the end of March.

Typically for this sector, first-quarter sales were below target. Even so, the KBA group transformed an operating loss of €1.8 million the year before into an operating profit of €2 million. Following a financial loss of €1.8m it posted a pre-tax profit (EBT) of €0.2m (2011: a loss of €3.9 million). A group net loss of €0.8 million (2011: €5.8 million loss) corresponds to earnings per share of –€0.05 (2011: –€0.35).

Sheetfed sales rise in pre-drupa quarter
Despite a certain reluctance among printers to invest in new kit ahead of the Drupa trade fair, the influx of new orders for sheetfed offset presses rose by 8.1 percent to €152.9 million (2011: €141.5 million). This was partly attributable to a pre-drupa event at KBA’s Radebeul operation in March, which drew over 1,000 print professionals. Following a fourth-quarter dip in demand last year and some late orders that had not yet worked through to the bottom line, sales of sheetfed offset presses fell by 19.9 percent to €100.9 million (2011: €126 million).

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