KBA Reports Jump in Sheetfed, Web Press Orders
At the end of March the KBA group employed a total of 6,559 people, 410 fewer than at the end of 2009 and 1,087 fewer than a year earlier. The group’s realignment to a global market which industry experts warn will be 25% smaller, even in the event of a strong economic recovery, will see the payroll reduced to around 6,000.
Record export level of 86.5%
With domestic sales down 22% at €28.4m, the export level rose from 83.5% to a record 86.5%. Sales to the rest of Europe slid from €81.1m to €58.4m, due to slack demand in southern and eastern states. This reduced the proportion of sales generated in this region to 27.9%, an historic low. Brisk demand in China boosted sales to Asia and the Pacific from €36.8m to €58.1m, causing a leap from 16.7% to 27.7% in the proportion of group sales generated in this region. North America, a relatively weak market, contributed 15% of group sales, Africa and Latin America 15.9%.
Forecast for 2010
Last year KBA was the only leading press manufacturer to post a profit, and notwithstanding its weak start to the year management is confident that, thanks to the realignment process implemented over the past twelve months, the group is on track to meet its targets.
President and CEO Helge Hansen says: “By the end of the year we anticipate higher group sales and a better pre-tax result than in 2009. In view of the strong increase in our order backlog in the first quarter, and the volume of orders expected in the second quarter, we have a real chance of achieving these objectives. However, at this early stage, and in view of current economic instability, we see little sense in issuing a sales and earnings forecast for the year. We shall keep you informed of progress to date in our regular financial reports.”