CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann reported on the successful start of the joint venture with Durst and the good outlook.
“Following approval from antitrust authorities, we officially founded the 50/50 joint venture with the inkjet pioneer at the beginning of May 2019 and appointed an experienced expert as managing director of Koenig & Bauer Durst as of 1 August 2019,” said Bolza-Schünemann. “We are also seeing good opportunities for digital production lines in the folding carton and corrugated board industry. This sector is demanding economical and flexible solutions for smaller, more individualized print runs. In addition to the VariJET 106 for digital folding carton printing, the Koenig & Bauer CorruJET 170 and the Durst SPC 130 for digital direct printing on corrugated board as well as the ink business and all related services are part of the joint venture’s portfolio.”
“We have already sold our fifth RotaJET system for digital decor printing,” added CFO Mathias Dähn. “Two orders for this sophisticated and premium-quality digital printing solution have been received from manufacturers of wood-based products who themselves want to print decors that had to date been procured externally. This allows them to address the increasing trend toward individualization with smaller order volumes. We are seeing great revenue and earnings potential for our RotaJET digital printing platform as a result of this increasingly apparent structural transformation in decor printing.
‘This applies simultaneously to digital beverage carton printing following the key contract from Tetra Pak,” Dähn observed. “For the large and high growth market for analogue direct printing on corrugated board, we have developed the sheetfed flexo presses CorruCUT and CorruFLEX with a number of unique features. Following a testing phase in our plant, the prestigious pilot customer and development partner Klingele has now approved the ordered CorruCUT. Equally gratifying is customer feedback from the field tests currently underway on the CS MetalCan which we developed for 2-piece beverage can decorating with some unique features.”
Following €276.4 million in the first quarter, positive order development in the Koenig & Bauer group continued in the second quarter with new orders of €296.9 million. In the first half of 2019 a good order intake of €573.3 million was achieved. The prior-year figure of €705.3 million benefited from a major order in security printing. Through the accumulation of deliveries in the second half of the year, group revenue of €506 million was still slightly below the prior-year figure of €514.4 million. At €678.2 million, order backlog as of June 30 was 11% higher compared with the beginning of the year (€610.9 million).
“With the high order backlog of €678.2m as of 30 June 2019, we have good visibility for the second half of 2019. On the basis of a good order situation with high capacity utilisation and the continued progress with our group projects for boosting earnings, we are confident, with the planned order processing in security printing and the expected orders in metal decorating, to achieve organic growth of around 4% in revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6% in 2019 in the group,” Bolza-Schünemann said. “The impact on the margin resulting from the growth offensive 2023 has already been taken into account for our earnings target 2019.”