• Print Innovation Asia

Koenig & Bauer reports strong Q3

Koenig & Bauer announced it remained on track for a recovery in its business in the first nine months of 2021.

Customer orders rose by 37.3% to €978.6m during this period. This performance was particularly underpinned by the increase of around 54.0% in the Special segment.

Orders were up on the previous year in all parts of this segment, especially driven by securities business. This shows that the banknote has retained its rightful place as a means of payment, especially in the pandemic, and will also remain relevant in the virtual world.

Order intake was also up in the Sheetfed segment again, rising by 35.5%, with the sharply expansionary and more pandemic-resistant packaging printing market accounting for the bulk of this growth.

In many areas, this shows that customers’ spending reticence is beginning to fade. Nevertheless, some new investments are being postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first nine months of 2021, this mainly relates to order intake in the Digital & Webfed segment, although there were tentative signs of a recovery in incoming orders in the third quarter, as a total of five CorruCUT presses were marketed to beta and new customers as of the end of July 2021.

The presses are designed for highly efficient production of rotary die-cut boxes made of corrugated board with the highest flexo postprint quality.

Customer orders rose by 56.2% year-on-year in the third quarter, thus outpacing the sector average (June – August: 39.8%).

The gross savings target of more than 30% for 2021 had already been achieved at the end of the first nine months. Group net profit rose from €-86.9m in the previous year to €5.5m as of 30 September 2021, translating into earnings per share of €0.31.

Both cash flow from operating activities and free cash flow increased significantly in the first nine months of 2021 in cumulative terms.

Cash flow from operating activities improved by €81.1m from €-47.8m in the previous year to €33.3m, while free cash flow climbed from €-62.1m in the previous year to €14.3m.

Despite the still limited forward visibility with respect to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Koenig & Bauer Group’s business environment, the company anticipates slight growth in its business in 2021.

The Koenig & Bauer Group reaffirms its medium-term targets of revenue of €1.3bn, an EBIT margin of at least 7% and a reduction in net working capital to a maximum of 25% of annual revenue, which is to be achieved after the completion of the P24x efficiency programme.

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