KBA posts results for Q3 2014

KBA has posted significant increases in sales, operating profit and pre-tax earnings in its results for the nine months to 30 September 2014.

     Group sales increased 8.5% to $982m, while the press manufacturer’s operating and pre-tax results both moved into the black, coming in at $8.7m and $1.5m respectively, compared with losses of $13.2m and $20.2m in the same period last year.

    In KBA’s sheetfed presses segment sales rose 6.5% to $503.8m, although this was outstripped by growth in

‘New’ Kodak sees first profit since Chapter 11

“Solid growth” in its printing plates and CTP business has helped propel Kodak to its first profit since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, although the results were also boosted by a one-off gain from its intellectual property (IP). Sales in the three months to 30 September nudged up by $1m to $564m compared with the previous year.

The group posted net earnings of $19m for the period. In 2013 it was in the red in Q3 prior to a $2.21bn exceptional gain due to its reorganisation

EFI acquires Polymeric Imaging’s business

EFI has acquired key intellectual property assets for digital inkjet printing of thermoformed products from Polymeric Imaging, a specialist provider of UV and LED inks for industrial and graphic arts applications. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the deal is not expected to be material to EFI’s Q4 or full-year 2014 financial results.

“This acquisition continues EFI’s momentum in inkjet graphics printing following a highly successful SGIA Expo highlighting our

KBA launches wide web digital and partners HP


KBA has launched the widest full-colour digital web press yet, the RotaJet L-Series.

It will be available in 89cm-1.3m-wide variants in monochrome or four-colour and as all the machines are based on the same mechanical base users will be able to upgrade if needed to the full width and full-colour.

The chassis is also designed to enable the print heads to be retrofitted to enable users to benefit from the advances in this technology without having to invest in totally new mechanical

LE-UV showdown at H’berg event this year

Heidelberg will pit conventional drying technology versus low-energy UV (LE-UV) drying at its Hei Tech Challenge open house in November this year.

The centrepiece of the event will be two Speedmaster B2 presses running different drying technologies - an SX 74 featuring LE-UV drying and an XL 75 running conventional oil-based inks with IR drying - to give printers an insight into the benefits of each.

Both presses will run jobs side-by-side on a range of different stocks to allow the colour

KBA acts to right-size web ops

KBA has agreed measures to dramatically downsize two manufacturing facilities related to its web offset press business.

The press manufacturer has concluded negotiations over the cuts with unions and worker representatives at its Albert-Frankenthal and KBA-FT Engineering sites, which are both located in Frankenthal. The move had been on the cards as part of KBA’s Fit@All restructuring programme. At the half-year KBA flagged that the high costs of idle facilities due to a dearth of web press

KBA adds UV LED option to press portfolio

KBA has become the latest press manufacturer to offer UV LED curing after securing a deal with US-based curing kit manufacturer Air Motion Systems (AMS).

AMS will supply LED curing systems to KBA in Germany as a factory-fitted option on the manufacturer’s range of presses from the small-format anilox Genius all the way up to its super large-format Rapida 205.

The two firms have developed an LED curing system specifically for KBA’s VariDry system, which fully integrates with the press’s

Drupa releases its first Global Insights report

Messe Düsseldorf will publish the first of four Global Insights reports on the print industry next month as part of the build-up to Drupa 2016. The impact of the internet on print - The digital flood will focus on the challenges and opportunities arising from the transition to online communications.

It is said to illustrate how print buyers, printers and their suppliers are being compelled to deal with new challenges and opportunities such as web-to-print, VDP, augmented reality, QR codes

De La Rue finally finds new chief

De La Rue has ended its six-month search for a new chief executive and appointed a BAE Systems cyber security chief.

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence managing director Martin Sutherland will take the reins at the £513m ($852m)-turnover banknote and security printer “no later than 13 October”. His appointment follows the resignation of Tom Cobbold, who left the business after three years to head up international media and events business UBM in March. In a statement, De La Rue said

’Muted’ start to year for Heidelberg, sales drop

Heidelberg has reported a sharp drop in sales in Q1, but almost halved its operating losses in the period.

Sales at the press manufacturer, which is part-way through a major reshaping of its operations, fell 14% to $571.2m in the three months to 30 June. Incoming orders fell 8.6% to $772.4m.

Equipment sales fell 16.7% to $294.2m, and services revenue was down 10.3% at $274.5m although that division’s share of group sales grew to 48%. Heidelberg said the “muted” start to its financial year

New business streams paying off for KBA

First-half sales are up at KBA, which came close to breaking even in the period. Sales in the six months to 30 June were up 3.1% to $680.2m, and the press manufacturer posted an operating profit of $5m compared with last year’s $6.44m operating loss.

Sales grew at both its divisions. Sheetfed offset presses increased 4.3% to $338.1m, and the web and special presses operation was up 2% to $342.1m. Sheetfed returned to the black with a $2m operating profit, a big turnaround from 2013’s $12.34m

DirectSmile now acquired by EFI

EFI has further strengthened its Productivity Software Web2Print Solutions Group with the acquisition of DirectSmile for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which will significantly strengthen EFI’s web-to-print and cross media marketing software portfolio, is not expected to be material to EFI’s Q3 or full year 2014 results.
Gabriel Matsliach, senior vice president and general manager EFI Productitivity Software, said: “Web-to-print is one of the fastest growing parts of the printing and marketing

Kodak launches its Nex Press VII DFE upgrade

Kodak has released an upgrade to its NexPress digital front-end and also unveiled a new delivery unit that enables the press to handle longer sheets.
The new Kodak NexPress VII Front End with System 15.1 software, which drives all Kodak NexPress Digital Production Colour Platform presses, was released earlier this month. It is the first in the industry to have achieved Adobe PDF Print Engine 3.2 Certification.
“For customers that have invested in the existing NexPress, this is really the

EFI unveils superwide Vutek GS5500LXr Pro

EFI has launched the Vutek GS5500LXr Pro, a 5m-wide roll-to-roll printer equipped with LED curing and the manufacturer’s new 7pl grayscale UltraDrop technology.
The device will be sold alongside EFI’s existing 5m-wide GS5000r and while it is based on the same chassis, it features entirely different printheads, curing system and electronics.
The technology is said to offer high apparent resolution as well as smooth shadows, gradients and transitions, four-point text in both standard and knockout

Xerox reveals ambitions for inkjet business

Xerox chairman and chief executive Ursula Burns said the group could make further acquisitions to boost its production print inkjet business, as she officially opened the new Inkjet Innovation Centre at Impika’s French base. Xerox acquired Impika for $53m in February 2013. It has now made a further multi-million dollar investment in expanding Impika’s facility in Aubagne in the south of France.
Burns said the $21.4bn turnover technology and services giant intended to capitalise on double-digit

Heidelberg gives XLs a speed boost

Heidelberg has upgraded its VLF XL 145 and XL 162 presses with running speed increased by up to 20% to 18,000 sheets per hour for the XL 145.
Heidelberg said the Packaging Speed Performance (PSP) versions of the machines were aimed at multinational packaging groups who require maximum throughput and minimal waste. The enhanced presses are capable of more than 70m impressions per year, a 40% increase on the original 50m target of the Drupa 2008-launched standard machines. New features on the

Xaar has issued profit warning

Xaar has issued a profit warning ahead of its August interim results announcement, sparking a 23% slump in its share price.
    Shares in the inkjet printhead manufacturer had fallen after it warned of a projected 3% year-on-year reduction in revenue and a 6% drop in operating profit margin in the year to 31 December 2014.
     Revenue for 2014 is now projected to be in the region of £130m as a result of a slowdown in sales into the ceramics market plus expected sales growth in new applications

Fujifilm enters solvent UV with Vybrant F1600 launch

Fujifilm has announced its first hybrid solvent UV printer, the Vybrant F1600, a 1.6m-wide device based on Mimaki’s JV400-160SUV, but featuring Fujifilm’s own ink system and curing technology.
The 1,620mm, four-colour, roll-to-roll printer is aimed at the sign industry and uses Fujifilm’s new FUZE ink technology, its first to combine a UV-curable component with a water-based solvent.
With a list price of around $34,160the Vybrant F1600 is half the price of Fujifilm’s mid-range Acuity LED 1600, a

H’berg arrests 5 years of losses in 2013/14 preliminary results

Heidelberg is back in the black for the first time in five years, according to its 2013/14 preliminary results, which record a net profit of $5.5m on sales of $3.34bn.

The positive net result represents a near $157m improvement on last year’s net loss and comes in spite of an 11% drop in sales, down from $3.7bn in 2012/13, further evidencing the firm’s pledge to focus on margin over volume, as stressed in its Q3 results.

“Heidelberg is once again making a net profit, which was our number one

Less visitors at Ipex, but exhibitors satisfied

The new-look Ipex has been hailed a success by organiser Informa and exhibitors alike, with the latter group achieving significant sales at the six-day London event. “We’re really pleased and the anecdotal feedback is that visitors have been delighted by what they saw. And if you take into account what the show has been through in the past couple of years, then it’s even more satisfying that it all came together,” said event director Trevor Crawford.

Almost 23,000 visitors attended Ipex across

Copytrax launches flatbed printer

Copytrax has launched a new flatbed solvent printer, the PrintMaster Rubens.

The desktop printer, unveiled at last week’s Ipex, is designed for those wanting to buck the UV trend to offer high quality photographic, packaging and merchandising products.

“UV just doesn’t always give the same effect,” said business development director at Copytrax Steve Woods. “This gives a smooth glossy finish. It’s aimed at small entrepreneurial digital printers looking to get into small desktop flatbed

Masterwork launches MK1450ER die-cutter

Masterwork Graphic Equipment has announced the worldwide launch of the MK1450ER, which is said to be the first Chinese-manufactured large format die cutter with stripping and blanking capability.

The 5,000sph machine, which is manufactured at Masterwork’s factory in Tianjin, can die cut up to 1,450x1,050mm with an accuracy of ±0.15mm and a maximum die cutting force of 600 metric tonnes.

In addition to cutting carton board from 0.1mm to 2mm thick, the MK1450ER can handle corrugated board up to

Konica Minolta’s first label press

Konica Minolta has launched its first label press, the bizhub PRESS C70RLC, at Ipex. The press has been designed to fill the gap between those entry-level and higher end label printing presses currently available, according to the manufacturer.

The C70RLC is based on a prototype shown at LabelExpo, Brussels last year, and runs at 18m/min, where configured as a roll-to-roll printer, and 9m/min as a roll-to-laser die cut configuration. The roll-to-roll configuration has been launched first, with

New CEO takes helm at Kodak

Kodak’s new chief executive has pledged to be “open, accountable and collaborative” in the role. The group announced the appointment of Jeff Clarke to the top job.

Clarke’s background encompasses technology, corporate finance and business sale and flotation activities.   He was chief financial officer at Compaq prior to its merger with HP, and subsequently became HP’s executive vice president of global operations. He worked at HP from 2002-2003.

Kodak chairman James Continenza said Clarke’s

H’berg’s B2 Anicolor in production

Heidelberg’s Drupa-launched B2 Anicolor press has completed its beta testing and entered series production, with Heidelberg “very confident” of securing the first UK sales soon.
The Anicolor version of the 18,000sph press was unveiled at Drupa 2012, and shortly afterwards machines were installed at commercial and packaging beta sites in mainland Europe.
However, the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor will only initially be available in straight configurations, targeted predominantly at packaging

Duplo to launch multi-finisher at Ipex

Duplo is to use Ipex as the launchpad for its latest multi-finishing device, which the company says increases the range of finishes offered by its established DC-645i “at least tenfold”.
The DC-646Pro sits between the DC-645i and the flagship DC-745. It has top speed of 30 sheets/min and can handle sheets from 370x999mm down to 210x210mm, with a minimum finished product size of 48x28mm. It has a stock range of 110-350gsm. Features also include a barcode scanner for automatic set-ups. According

Manroland Sheetfed owner forsees upswing

Manroland Sheetfed will roll out ‘the next evolution’ of its presses in 2015, with its owner predicting ‘something of a recovery’ in press sales.
   The press manufacturer’s UK parent group Langley Holdings has just filed its 2013 accounts, with the Manroland Sheetfed business – Langley’s largest division – fully incorporated for the first time since its acquisition in March 2012.
   Sales at Manroland Sheetfed fell 9% to $426.3m, while orders on hand increased from $55.8m to $65.2m. The business

Konica Minolta takes stake in MGI

Konica Minolta has entered into a strategic alliance with MGI Digital Graphic Technology and taken a 10% stake in the French manufacturer, which makes a range of digital print and finishing equipment.
Konica Minolta’s stake in MGI is valued at $18.7m with the investment taking the form of a reserved capital increase the funds from which will be used to drive future growth.
In a joint statement the two companies said that their new alliance would include co-development and co-marketing of

Ipex 2014 aims for ‘event’ status

Ipex has been boosted by fresh commitments from Goss International and Screen, with almost 80% of the available space at the re-energised show now sold. Goss is a new name on the floorplan, and is taking a 63sqm space focused on hospitality and customer engagement. Jean Segura, vice president of sales for Goss EMEA, described it as “a clear message of commitment to the markets served by the show.”
    At the Ipex 2014 Open Day held this week, event director Trevor Crawford said that 45% of

Ipex 2014 ‘happy with’ return of manufacturer

Informa Exhibitions has announced the return of a significant offset litho press manufacturer to Ipex 2014.
Komori Corporation, which pulled out of Ipex 2014 in November 2012, has returned to the floorplan as sponsor of the new 450sqm ‘Eco Zone’ in the South Hall, located near the World Print Summit area.
Informa stressed that Komori was not an “exhibitor” and said that the Eco Zone was an Ipex Feature, sponsored by Komori. However, Komori personnel will be present in the Eco Zone. As the