While Europe remain KBA’s biggest export market, the group reports a stream of shipments to China, with sales to Asia and the Pacific soaring from €97.4m in 2005 to €162.2m, or 22.3% (14.1%) of the group total, with the region moving into second place ahead of North America (€66.6m and 9.2%).
In Germany itself, there were fewer installations of newspaper, commercial and gravure presses, as a result of which domestic sales dropped 12% to €120.1m (2005: €136.5m) and the export level climbed to 83.5% (2005: 80.2%).
The volume of new orders, at €719.3m, however, fell short of the prior year’s exceptionally high figure of €860.9m following softer sales of sheetfed, webfed gravure and security presses but the pace picked up again in July.
Overall, a substantial boost in earnings from web and special presses in the second quarter transformed an operating loss of €6.5m from the first quarter into an €18.8m profit (2005: €0.4m loss), even though sheetfed earnings were well below target.
According to KBA president and CEO Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, efforts to secure an innovation premium commensurate with the competitive benefits delivered over more conventional sheetfed technology are frustrated by market pressures.
After deducting a financial loss of €0.1m (2005: €5.7m loss) KBA posted a pre-tax profit of €18.7m (2005: €6.1m loss), closing the quarter with a net profit of €12.5m (2005: €6.6m loss) and a proportional profit per share of 77 cents (2005: loss per share of 41 cents).
Notwithstanding the negative impact of hostilities in the Middle East on energy and commodity prices, currency movements and exports, KBA says it is targeting an increase in group sales to €1.7bn or more and a substantial improvement in profits compared to 2005.