Drupa Sales Boost KBA in Second Half-year
WÜRZBURG, GERMANY—06/19/08— At the 83rd AGM of German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), group president and CEO Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann revealed that Drupa, a 14-day print media trade fair recently held in Düsseldorf, had brought in orders worth more than €200m, surpassing the figure for the previous Drupa in 2004. Most of the contracts were for batch-produced sheetfed presses, sales of which had been badly hit in the first five months by a slump in the key US market. Judging by the response to KBA’s product launches, post-Drupa business also promises to be brisk. The total volume of sales generated by the fair cannot be calculated with any degree of precision until the autumn, since financing for certain export markets must still be clarified, and this has become more complex and time-consuming in the wake of the credit crisis.
Technological pole position compellingly defended
There was a broad consensus among industry experts at Drupa that KBA compellingly defended its technological edge with a raft of innovations and unique features, not only in medium- and large-format sheetfed offset technology and processes, eg for packaging printing and environmentally responsible print production, but also in newspaper press technology with KBA’s compact new high-automation models. A further focus of interest proved to be the workflow services demonstrated by KBA Complete, a consultancy established earlier this year in association with Hiflex, a provider of management information systems (MIS).
The new high-performance Rapida 106, which at Drupa vindicated KBA’s claim that it is the world makeready champion in the B1 (41in) format, generated a high volume of sales, as did the new, versatile Rapida 105, which is especially popular in emerging economies. In large format and among packaging printers KBA underscored its position as the global market leader with a string of contracts, while the new Rapida 75 B2 (29in) press built by Czech subsidiary KBA-Grafitec also attracted a number of buyers. The web division sold several commercial offset presses to printers from Latin America and Denmark, along with two presses for printing newspapers and semi-commercials. Further orders are expected over the next few months, particularly for KBA’s revolutionary Cortina and Commander CT compact web presses. Top of the sales rankings at Drupa 2008 were Germany, Russia, Ukraine, North and South America, China, the Arab states, Italy and Scandinavia.