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Koenig & Bauer has said that orders for new presses have “largely shrugged off the effects of recent political and economical developments”, as the group posted its highest EBIT figure in more than 200 years of trading.
The Germany headquartered press manufacturer had been held back by issues around the availability of parts last year, particularly at its largest unit the Sheetfed division, where sales slipped by 2% to €647.4m, but despite this also having a dampening effect on new business, the group still managed to post sales for calendar year 2018 that were slightly up at €1.23bn.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached €87.4m (2017: €81.4m) the highest level ever at the company, which celebrated 200 years in business in 2017. However, a higher tax bill resulted in net profits falling from €81.1m to €64m.
Chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann described the firm’s advances in packaging printing as “particularly gratifying” and pointed to a number of highlights, including Koenig & Bauer growing its share of the flexible packaging market to 9%, and delivering substantial growth in coding and marking, and at the Duran folder-gluer business acquired last year.
The firm also said it had made “pleasing gains” in large-format presses for carton printing, where it claims a 45% share of the overall market. The firm had already outlined plans for a €50m investment in an “additional growth offensive” programme in the medium term.