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2001: KBA Posts Double-Digit Growth in Sales and Profits

Press release from the issuing company

Würzburg. The Koenig & Bauer group (KBA), the no. 3 press manufacturer worldwide, posted double-digit growth in sales and profits in 2001. Sales revenues climbed 18.6% to _1,290.1m, net income soared more than 40%. Although new order bookings throughout the print industry fell short of the high figures for 2000, when Drupa stimulated de-mand, KBA’s large backlog of unfilled orders for web presses will keep its production plants busy for the rest of the year. A decline in new order for sheetfed offset presses in the summer and autumn was more than balanced by the integration of security press specialist De La Rue Giori SA acquired in mid-year. Net Income Hits New Record High Group earnings before tax rose by almost 30% after allowing for a one-off expense to extend the parent company’s pension scheme to cover its Radebeul operation. Net income jumped 40%. Following the conversion of preference shares into ordi-nary shares in December last year shareholders will receive a higher total dividend payment to mark the most successful year in KBA’s history. More detailed expense and revenue figures will be announced at the press conference on financial statements on April 16 in Frankfurt. New Order Bookings Down on Previous Year Group orders fell to _1,209m, 12.1% short of the previous year’s high figure of _1,75.7m, which had received a big boost from the Drupa international trade fair. The web press and sheetfed divisions showed a marked contrast in performance: while the volume of new orders for web presses sank to _505.2m, reflecting a general decline in business caused by the postponement of big projects for economic reasons, sheetfed offset bookings suffered only a temporary eclipse on the back of market turmoil. As a result the total volume of or-ders, including security presses, stood at _703.8m, a 14.8% improvement on 2000. Bigger Payroll Increased sales activities led to an increase in the group pay-roll by 650 to 7,561, including 171 people employed by KBA’s two new acquisitions, KBA-GIORI SA and Holland Graphic Occasions BV. Outlook for 2002 For the current business year the KBA group is targeting the same level of sales as in the previous year. Although the vol-ume of new orders booked since the beginning of the year is a disappointing _783.4m, web press production is already safe-guarded for the rest of the year. The backlog of orders for sheetfed offset presses, bookings for which picked up strongly in November, will keep production running until well into the summer. The Ipex international trade fair in Birmingham, England in April is expected to give sales an additional boost. In view of the troubled economic climate, which according to industry watchers will not revive until the second half of the year, KBA predicts that its results from ordinary activities for the current year will be on a par with 2000 (_59m). Starting with the first quarterly report for 2002, due out in May, KBA is adopting international financial reporting standard for all its accounts.