German press manufacturer KBA has experienced a bumper first six months of the year, with buoyant orders putting an end to 18 months of short-time working at its Radebeul plant.

The company said a 39% year-on-year upswing in orders, which was concentrated in China, but also apparent in other regions, affected both its sheetfed and web and special presses divisions, mostly in the second quarter of 2010.

Business in the UK, Spain and Scandinavia remained relatively weak with more activity in the B2 and smaller formats where KBA is less strong, but South East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, certain Western Europe countries, Eastern Europe, Australia and China were bouyant, and activity is slowly returning to the US, according to the company.

With total orders for the year now north of €500m, KBA claimed it was on course to achieve its sales target of €1.1bn for 2010. It added that orders for its newspaper presses, such as that from Express Newspaper Group, would be reflected in Q3.

The news follows a similar announcement by Heidelberg, which reported a 43% surge in orders in Q1 of its financial year. However, Heidelberg warned that it did not expect this trend to continue through 2010, citing Ipex and Brazil's ExpoPrint as reasons behind the surge.