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KBA has announced its first quarter results, wiping out operating and pretax losses.

The company generated €253.3m ($357.3m) in sales, up more than a fifth year-on-year, with the sheetfed segment accounting for more than half€126m, up 46.9%. Lower orders for web and special presses saw an incremental rise of 2.7% in sales for the quarter.

Cost-savings and operational efficiencies derived from its restructuring created a more profitable company, helping reduce pretax losses to €3.9m f€21.3m and operating losses to €1.8m from €19.4m the prior year.

Orders too were up 37.4% to €432.1m, driven largely by niche products. KBA warned that commercial and newspaper presses continued to lag, although sales of its large format Rapida presses into the packaging market were gaining momentum, contributing to a 27.6% jump in sheetfed orders. KBA's backlog rose too sequentially by 40%.

Regionally, international sales remained unchanged at 86.5%, although domestic sales in Germany rose 20.4% and the company cited Scandinavia and China as showing growth North America's share halved from 15% to 7.6%.