Koenig & Bauer improves results in 2021

Koenig & Bauer Group (K&B) reported a positive set of results for 2021, despite the difficult backdrop, but said the forecast for 2022 remains challenging. At the end of December 2021, the business had an order backlog of 806.8-m euros, reflecting the 32.4% year-on-year increase in customer orders for presses and services.

06 Apr 2022 | By PrintWeek Team

The group net profit was 14.5-mn euros in 2021

Accordingly, the company’s order intake was 1.29-bn euros, up from 974.7-m euros in the previous year. The company’s revenue climbed by 8.5% to 1.115-bn euros. It said, Q4 was comparatively weak across the industry as a whole due to procurement difficulties, but that it recorded a 19.1% increase in order intake, which exceeded the industry average of 7.1%.

K&B’s EBIT for 2021 amounted to 28.5-m euros, compared to an EBIT loss of 67.9-m euros in 2020. It said the improvement of 96.4-m euros over the previous year is mainly due to the more efficient implementation of the P24x efficiency programme’s personnel measures.

The group net profit was 14.5-m euros in 2021 – compared to a net loss of 103.1-m euros in 2020 – which translated into earnings per share of 0.83 euros.

Underlying conditions listed by the group during 2021 included supply chain constraints and the associated increases in material and energy prices, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

K&B CEO and board spokesman Andreas Pleßke said: “2021 was both a positive and a challenging year for Koenig & Bauer – but together we managed to achieve our annual revenue forecast and to exceed our EBIT target. In addition, we outperformed the industry as a whole. Despite all due caution given the still very uncertain economic outlook, we take this as a sign that we have done a very good job in recent years and that our decision to focus on growth markets, such as conventional and digital packaging printing, is paying off.”

Looking at individual segments, K&B said its recovery was particularly evident from the first quarter with a strong order intake in its Sheetfed segment. This was followed in June by MetalPrint, which is part of the group’s special segment and registered one of the best order intakes in its history.

The securities business, which forms part of the special segment, also bounced back in the third quarter with a strong order intake. Finally, the digital and web-fed segment showed signs of recovery in the third quarter and this strengthened in the fourth quarter.

With current factors including the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus as a result, the ongoing pandemic, and the protracted supply chain constraints, K&B said it is anticipating “a slight year-on-year increase” in group revenue and the operating EBIT margin in 2022.

K&B said a forecast for 2022 was not available on the date the consolidated financial statements were completed because a reliable assessment of the full impact of the aforementioned risks was not possible due to the prevailing uncertainties.

Stephen Kimmich, K&B CFO, said: “As soon as the situation permits, we will endeavour to provide a reliable and detailed 2022 forecast. Despite all the adversities, we as a team proved last year that we did an excellent job and not only achieved our goals for 2021, but also slightly exceeded them. We are being buoyed by our good order situation – including in those areas that were previously more exposed to our customers’ spending restraint due to the uncertainties resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic – as well as the good progress we are achieving with our efficiency programme. Even though the procurement situation will continue to pose major challenges for us in 2022 and the increase in raw material and energy prices will also result in higher material costs this year, we are firmly convinced that we will achieve our goals for 2022 and beyond.”

The group confirmed its medium-term targets of revenue of 1.3-bn euros, an EBIT margin of at least 7%, and a reduction in net working capital to a maximum of 25% of annual revenue, which is to be achieved after the completion of the P24x efficiency programme.

(Courtesy: PrintWeek.com)

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