KBA will champion its latest sheetfed offset presses at Ipex and calling the May tradeshow a "critical" event for the industry. The manufacturer will showcase its Rapida 75, 105, 106 and its B3 five-colour Genius UV press under the banner 'KBA: Champions in Print' at stand 6D560 in hall 6.

The announcement came as KBA reversed a 2008 loss to post a small pre-tax profit in 2009, despite the poor market conditions. KBA has posted a €2.7m ($3.67m) pre-tax profit in its 2009 results, up from an €87.1m pre-tax loss in 2008.

Although sales dropped 31% to €1.1bn during the 12 months, the manufacturer introduced a raft of cost-cutting exercises, which included shedding just under 1,000 positions, cutting its overheads by more than €100m a year.

Its order intake for both sheetfed and webfed presses dipped, falling by 22.4% and 32.8% respectively. This combined to produce a total order intake of €883.9m throughout 2009, 28.8% down on the year previous.

In order to boost the ME contribution to Ipex, KBA along with its regional distributor Giffin graphics had organised a seminar on 29th March. Talking to PrintWeek MEA, KBA's senior sales manager Middle East, Dr. Taufik Fauzi said: "We aim to increase the ME contribution to KBA sales to 21% in this year from 12.7% in last year."

KBA says it has many deals in pipeline. "Many printers are exporting the printed products to Europe. We have 3 deals in Egypt alone, to a printer who is going to export almost all of the printed products," says

In the company's results statement, KBA also took the opportunity to have a swipe at rival manufacturer Heidelberg, which it claimed was selling off stock at deep discounts earlier this year.

It said: "Thanks to its financial stability and fast turnaround following the loss in 2008 KBA has needed no state guarantees or loans from the German Economic Fund.

kba results: 2009
Orders €883.9m ($1192.91m) (2008: €1.2bn)
Sales €1.1bn
(2008: €1.5bn)
Operating profit €8.7m (2008: €79.9m loss)
Pre-tax profit €2.7m
(2008: €87.1m loss)
Net profit €6.6m
(2008: €101m loss)