Following a good third quarter, the Koenig & Bauer group took a major step towards achieving its growth targets for revenue and earnings in 2017, the year in which it was celebrating its 200th anniversary. In the first nine months, order intake rose by 3.9% over the previous year (€869.8m) to €903.4m. “In addition to our expanding service business, the increase in new orders was underpinned by gains in the growth fields of packaging and digital printing,” said CFO Mathias Dähn.
CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann reported on a first order for the newly developed digital CorruJET sheetfed press addressing the prospering market of corrugated printing, which attracted great customer interest at FEFCO in Vienna in October.
Revenue rose by 2% to €847.7m. With the book-to-bill ratio of 1.07, the order backlog of €613.2m at the end of the quarter remained at the previous year’s high level. EBIT was €36.4m in the first nine months. The previous year’s figure of €39.2m had been influenced by a catch-up effect of €4.9m from a security press project. Group net profit came to €29.5m (2016: €32.5m), equivalent to earnings per share of €1.79 (2016: €1.98).
Order intake in the Sheetfed segment rose by 11.7% over 2016 (€429.8m) to €480.3m. In addition to the clear increase in service orders, this performance was underpinned by strong demand in the packaging sector and good signings for commercial sheetfed presses and flatbed die-cutters. Revenue grew by 7% from €443.8m in the previous year to €474.7m. The additional revenue with a good service business and lower costs resulted in an increase in segment profit to €20.3m (2016: €17.3m).