KBA Reports Substantial Sheetfed Orders in Q2
Further consolidation in web press business
At the end of June group workforce totaled 6,158, down 94 from the same time the previous year. Excluding apprentices, student trainees, temporary employees and staff on phased retirement schemes, the number of group employees was down to 5,431. Given market trends in the web press sector, KBA CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann believes that further consolidation is indispensable. Management is considering alternative business models intensively to combat the sharply declined sales volume in the web press business. Potential reductions in workforce still have to be negotiated with employee representatives.
Outlook for 2013
Given the slowdown in the global economy and the unstable situation in the Middle East and Latin America, KBA’s management is aware of some risks facing the export business. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann stated: “The volume of orders obtained in the next three months is crucial to just how close group sales in 2013 will come to last year’s figure of nearly €1.3bn. Taking into account the current economic climate, we cannot rule out a single-digit percentage decline in sales compared to 2012.”
KBA expects improved operating results in the course of the year as it pushes forward with turn-around programs in its traditional web and sheetfed business. Projects to harmonize processes and align group-wide purchasing are well on target. As part of this KBA is also investing in ensuring its competitiveness in the future. Despite the risks and expenses mentioned, management is targeting a group pre-tax profit (EBT) similar to last year (€6.1m). CFO Dr Axel Kaufmann: “Our annual earnings guidance anticipates a similar product mix as last year and takes into account the possibility of a slight decline in sales. It also covers our investment strategy for growth and process harmonizing or potential expenses resulting from capacity adjustments at our web facilities.”