Koenig & Bauer got off to a dynamic start in the 2023 financial year and recorded noticeable revenue growth in all segments. In a difficult market setting, with high rates of inflation worldwide and a temporary lasting rise in the cost of materials, profitability improved in the first quarter of 2023 year-on-year, as expected.
Group revenue in the Q1 2023 rose by 17.9% to €281.0m. A positive performance across all segments contributed to this growth. The two segments of Sheetfed and Digital & Webfed recorded a particularly dynamic performance. Gross profit improved by 23.6% to €76.9m with a gross margin of 27.4% (previous year: 26.1%). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) showed a marked improvement of €5.3m to €-3.2m. The EBIT margin reached -1.1% (previous year: -3.6%). Koenig & Bauer thus improved its operating profitability substantially.
In particular, the more efficient handling of the challenges resulting from disruptions to global supply chains and an overall positive volume and mix effect (approximately €5.5m) were major factors in this positive performance. Specifically, the greater efficiency can be attributed to the fact that the rise in the cost of materials, in energy and personnel costs (around €6.5m) was almost offset by the price increases announced by the company (approximately €6.0m).
At 31 March 2023, order intake amounted to €301.2m, meeting expectations. The order backlog reached €970.6m, exceeding the previous year’s figure.
“The developments in the first few months of this year clearly show that we are on a sustained growth trajectory. We achieved the highest Q1 revenue in the Company’s recent history. At the same time, we were able to offset the higher cost of materials through price increases, at least in part. In particular, we have systematically pushed ahead with specialisation in sophisticated and high-margin target markets of the packaging printing sector, and this is now starting to pay off,” commented Dr. Andreas Pleßke, Chief Executive Officer. “Our strength lies in our ability to develop continuously and to adapt to changed underlying conditions with agility, speed and flexibility. Our strategic focus on innovative solutions for packaging printing is what makes us a modern technology group. Koenig & Bauer is a company in steady metamorphosis. During our corporate history of over 200 years we have continually renewed ourselves, and aim to keep on doing so in the future.”