manroland bets on packaging as web press profit grows

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manroland web systems says its grew profits by almost five per cent in 2016 on reduced orders and almost flat turnover.

The German press maker says that while orders in the year fell from 241 million Euros to 214 million Euros, turnover was almost constant (242 million Euros compared to 241 million Euros in 2015.

Profit before taxes and interest (EBIT) increased again to 6.5 million Euros (previous year 6.2 million Euros).

"For manroland web systems, the financial year of 2016 once again brought increased market shares, a marked organic growth in the service sector, a growing interest for third party press retrofits - including PECOM-X applications for presses including Goss - the first milestones for realising a packaging press, a very good utilisation and, together with all sub companies, an excellent result," says a spokesperson.

Strategy for following years will see further expansion of its market position, more investments in "promising technologies" and conquering further new, profitable business fields.

The company says its entry into packaging printing is one result of the "immense" amount of its total revenue it commits to research and development. Growth in the worldwide market for packaging printing - due to growing brand differentiation, increasing needs for comfort, varying sizes for packaging and emerging markets - is said to be 3.5 per cent for all product categories, and four per cent for flexible packaging.

manroland took its first order for a packaging press in 2016, and says the Varioman offset-gravure hybrid for printed films will offer system integration, service and maintenance packages and "all proven key competences of printing systems made in Augsburg".

"With the Varioman, we want to provide a new production system to our customers - at the first configuration level for flexible packaging printing," says managing director Alexander Wassermann. "The market asks for press systems that meet the demands for brand differentiation, enhanced comfort and additional packaging sizes."

In its f:line form for film and paper, the press will combine the latest technology with high substrate and production flexibility, and process integration to deliver faster, more efficient and cost-reduced packaging printing.

Features include variable sleeve offset printing units which can be individually designed for printing films and combined with other components, among them corona treatment, EB or UV drying and gravure units with dryers. Printable substrates include films or paper from 10 to 300 μm, and there will be solutions for different web widths and production speeds of up to 400 metres/minunte.

manroland will use its integrated presetting and control technology to reduce waste rates, and says per copy costs can be a quarter of those for gravure.

The first-ever Varioman press - set to start production for an international packing printer at the beginning of 2018 - will be a hybrid press with offset and gravure units for flexible packaging printing, and comes with a life-time service contract to ensure consistent high performance.

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