KBA FInancials Include Jump in Order Backlog
As an acknowledged driver of technological advances the group will be launching an array of new products and processes at the drupa trade fair in May, among them a web-fed inkjet press for the high-growth digital print market.
More shipments to Europe
A 34.3 percent rise in domestic sales trimmed the export level from 88.5 percent to 84.4 percent. The proportion of group sales generated in the rest of Europe climbed from 28.5 percent to 35.6 percent, with higher sales of both sheetfed and web presses contributing to the increase. Despite a gain in sheetfed orders, the proportion of the group total attributable to North America plunged to the exceptionally low level of 8.6 percent.
While the anti-inflationary monetary policy pursued in China put a temporary curb on sheetfed sales, the contribution from Asia and the Pacific remained high at 27.4 percent. The 12.8 percent generated in Latin America and Africa was nearer its historical average than the prior-year figure of 20.6 percent.
Consolidated payroll below 6,000
At the end of 2011 there were 6,408 permanent employees (including 428 apprentices) on the KBA payroll. Excluding the newly consolidated subsidiaries there would have been 71 fewer. Once all downsizing measures have been completed the KBA group in its present composition will have well below 6,000 employees. However, to maintain the high standard of qualifications necessary for such a technologically sophisticated line of business KBA invests a higher than average percentage of earnings in training. Last year 6.7 percent of the workforce was in training, compared to 6.5 percent in 2010.
Outlook for 2012: moderate growth and a higher profit
Looking ahead, KBA management emphasized the higher risks that exporters face from slowing growth in major emerging markets, the high oil price and ongoing debt crisis in Europe. While the Drupa trade fair is expected to stimulate sales, and management is confident that a raft of new products will boost the order intake, particularly in the sheetfed offset division, there will be no return to the high volumes of previous years. If market conditions remain stable KBA is targeting a single-digit percentage increase in sales and a higher pre-tax profit.