Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) of Germany reported its financial results for the full year of 2013, which the company characterized an indication of subdued demand for offset and security presses, particularly when pitted against the previous year’s quadrennial drupa tradeshow.
KBA in 2013 saw group sales fall by 15 percent to approximately €1.11 billion ($1.71 billion in Canadian dollars), while order intake for the full year came in at €1.012 billion, which was 9.3 percent lower than the previous drupa year.
The German press maker stated that its positive earnings in the operating business were strained by one-off impairments and high provisions for special expenses. This is largely the result of new measures enacted for the realignment of the KBA Group, publically announced in mid-December 2013.
“The financial repercussions of this project will also be noticeable for KBA in 2014,” stated Claus Bolza-Schünemann, KBA CEO and President, in a letter to shareholders. “However, in 2015 we anticipate a notable turnaround in earnings and a return to sustained profitability by 2016 at the latest.”
Sales in KBA’s sheetfed offset division dropped by 11.1 percent to €571.9 million, while revenue in the company’s web and special press segment was down by 18.9 percent to €527.8 million. Order intake in the sheetfed segment of €608 million was 8.9 percent below 2012 and compared to the previous year new orders of web and special presses declined by 9.9 percent to €404.2 million.
Within a statement describing its 2013 results, KBA points to recent statistics issued by the VDMA (German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers’ Association) that show orders and sales of printing equipment produced in Germany fell by up to 10 percent for the year. The report describes primary reasons for this reduction as being the economic impacts of the sovereign debt crisis in parts of Europe, slower economic growth in the BRIC countries, negative currency effects in emerging markets, changes in media consumption and ongoing consolidation in the printing industry in industrialized countries.