With order intake reaching a particularly high €454.4m in the second quarter and the order backlog rising to €805.8m at the end of the first half, the Koenig & Bauer Group is on track to meet its targets for 2018.
Strong security business and more orders in packaging printing caused order intake to rise by 17.2% to €705.3m in the first half of 2018 (2017: €601.9m).
Driven by the good Q2 figure of €297.1m, group revenue came to €514.4m but fell short of the previous year’s figure of €538.9m due to the even greater accumulation of delivery dates in the second half of the year. This was also reflected in EBIT, which at €10.6m was lower than in 2017 (€16.3m).
The Sheetfed segment reached a strong order intake of €326.3m, exactly matching the previous year’s figure, which had been influenced by the Print China fair.
“Substantial growth was achieved in large-format cardboard printing. As the world market leader in folding carton printing, we are benefiting from heightened capital spending of the international packaging printers," said president and CEO, Claus Bolza-Schüneman.
EBIT of €7.7m was below the previous year’s figure (€12.1m) due to the delivery-related decline in revenue from €307.8m in 2017 to €283m.
“Despite the encouraging growth in new business in flexible packaging, orders in Digital & Web (€84.7m) were slightly down on the previous year (€85.7m) due to fewer orders for newspaper web presses and services. In addition to the market-entry costs for corrugated and flexible packaging in particular, EBIT was significantly burdened by the decline in revenue from €68.3m to €55.8m.”
CFO Mathias Dähn added: “This was materially due to the decline in revenue from digital printing presses as a result of subdued demand. However, we see significantly greater short and medium-term potential in the large corrugated and foil printing markets, which are expanding at above-average rates. The targeted expenses required for future growth will leave traces on our cost position, exerting pressure on segment earnings.”
Driven by large orders in security printing and growth in marking and coding, order intake in the Special segment rose by 52.8% to €330.6m (2017: €216.3m). With revenue rising slightly from €189.2m to €195m, EBIT came to €14.4m, thus matching the previous year’s figure (€14.6m).