Koenig & Bauer is working “intensively” on new products for the packaging, digital and industrial printing markets, after filing a strong set of results for its latest financial year.
The German manufacturer, who celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, reported sales which were up 4.3% to €1.218bn for the year to 31 December 2017.
The firm said it had met or exceeded its financial targets, as well as growing market share. EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) grew from €62.9m to €81.4m, with margins up to 6.7%, which was above the figure expected.
Sales at the Sheetfed division, K&B’s largest business unit, were up 7.3% to €660.2m, while order intake jumped 15.2% to €656.2m.
Chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann said that a “sharp rise” in order for K&B’s new flatbed die-cutters had “exceeded our expectations substantially”.
EBIT margins in Sheetfed increased from 5.1% to 5.7%, and the division was also boosted by orders for bespoke presses for commercial and packaging printing.
At K&B’s Special presses division, which includes presses for security printing, metal decoration, and for printing onto hollow containers, sales were up 5.3% to €444.3m while order intake grew by 16.1% to €533.7m.
The Digital & Web division disappointed, with order intake slumping by 23.3% to €139.6m, and sales was down 16% at €154.2m, which K&B said was mainly a result of the ongoing decline in orders for newspaper and commercial web offset presses. K&B has also invested heavily in developing a new offering for flexible packaging which is yet to come to fruition.
Chief financial officer Mathias Dåhn said: “With the measures taken in flexible packaging printing, a turnaround is apparent, although it will be important to continue to take the right actions to close the gap between our company and the successful leaders of this attractive market.”