Koenig & Bauer continue recovery
Koenig & Bauer Group posted a 5.3% increase in order intake over the previous year to €286.0m in the first quarter of 2021.
This was particularly due to a double-digit increase in orders in the Sheetfed segment, of which around 60% can be attributed to the sharp growth in the more pandemic-resistant packaging printing market.
This enabled Koenig & Bauer to additionally expand its position in the market for sheetfed offset presses for packaging printing.
Dr Andreas Pleßke, CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG, said: “This favourable order intake shows us that our customers’ spending reticence is beginning to dissipate in many areas.
“Nevertheless, some new investments are being postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This mainly concerns digital decor and corrugated board printing as well as metal decorating, although we are still seeing noticeable interest on the part of our customers, and corrugated board printing, for example, is likely to experience a considerable boost over the next few years given the growth in e-commerce business.
“The end markets that we address and particularly also the structurally growing packaging printing segment, e.g. for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are fundamentally intact.
“In banknote printing, current market indicators such as the project pipeline and production figures point to a continuation of the robust business environment.
“Accordingly, we still see our proven broad product range as appropriate for achieving our goals and are convinced that we will strengthen and further expand our market position not only in the area of packaging printing.”
At €243m, Group revenue was 7.8% down on the previous year’s figure due to the impact of Covid-19.
However, the decline in revenue was less pronounced than the 13.5% drop in industry-wide revenue from sales of printing presses registered by industry association VDMA.
Service business accounted for about 29% of the Group’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 against the backdrop of the pandemic.
This means that the target of 30% for Group service business was almost reached, albeit on the basis of lower new press business than in the previous year.
Despite the lower Group revenue, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached -€8.9m, compared with -€170m in the same quarter of the previous year. The improvement of around €8.1m despite the negative volume and margin effects is mainly due to the P24x efficiency programme and reduced functional costs as well as the use of short-time work.
As a result, the EBIT margin improved from -6.4% to -3.7% in the first quarter of 2021. Group net loss shrank from -€19.1m in the previous year to -€11.7m, translating into earning per share for the period of -€0.72 (previous year: -€1.16).
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