Ahead of A$16 million DRUPA costs, K&B relishes cash

Feb 29, 2024 at 10:03 am by admin

Americans’ love of the folding stuff has brought a bonus for Koenig & Bauer, probably the world’s premier maker of banknote presses.

Latest financial reports show a 37.1 per cent increase in orders last for the special segment – which includes “banknote solutions” – to 538.8 million Euros (A$899.25 million), with the fourth quarter’s 268 million Euros intake boosted by an order from the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC.

Chief financial officer Dr Stephen Kimmich reported that while revenue in 2023 (at 413.7 million Euros) was slightly down, EBIT at 23.0 million Euros almost matched last year’s level.

The company says preliminary figures show it fulfilled its own forecast for the year. “Despite the ongoing challenging global economic environment, which is additionally being exacerbated by a number of factors such as higher energy, material and personnel costs, group earnings before interest and taxes reached 29.9 million Euros,” he said. Revenue at 1,185.7 million Euros was up 11.9 per cent on the previous year, and EBIT up 35.9 per cent.

Improved profitability was mainly due to better handling of inflation-induced additional costs, as well as improved cost management in the third quarter as a result of the absence of any recovery in demand. “At the same time, it was possible to largely pass on the higher energy, material and personnel costs, while the temporary increase in the costs of materials subsided again.”

Order intake of 1,287.9 million Euros at the end of the year was only slightly short of the previous year’s historically high figure.

At 179.8 million Euros, the Digital & Webfed segment recorded a 9.9 per cent increase in order intake, with growing 23.2 per cent year-on-year.

Kimmich spoke of the need to focus on value drivers spurring “its transformation from a printing press manufacturer into a technology company”, and address the challenges of a world characterised by rapid and unpredictable change.

He warned group EBIT for 2024 will be burdened by up to 10 million Euros as a result of spending on the DRUPA trade fair.

A ‘Spotlight’ focus programme initiated at the end of 2023 prioritises initiatives and business models that boost earnings and financial strength, deprioritises initiatives that do not directly impact earnings, and optimises group and segment organisation to make processes even leaner and more customer-friendly”.

In December, Kimmich, was appointed deputy chief executive.

Pictured: Koenig & Bauer showed its RotaJet press during an open day this month

Sections: Print business


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