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KBA 2002: Record Turnover, But new orders down 9.5%

Press release from the issuing company

April 11, 2003 -- Frankfurt am Main/Würzburg. In 2002 the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) bucked the slowdown in business and advertising to boost group turnover by 3.8% to €1,353.8m (2001: €1,304m), beating its own forecast by more than €100m. Nonetheless, it did not escape unscathed. At €1,084.5m the volume of new orders was 9.5% down on the previous year’s figure of €1,197.9m, while the backlog of orders on hand shrank 24.4% to €832.9m (2001: €1,102.2m). At a press conference on the financial statements for 2002 – the first to be issued since KBA adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) – KBA president Reinhart Siewert quoted a profit from ordinary activities (ebt) of €43.2m (2001: €62.3m). Although market-related pricing pressures and weak fourth-quarter sales pushed group operating profit below the €50m target set, it still compared well with that of other players in the print industry. Group net profit for the year, including deferred taxes, fell to €28.1m (2001: €40m). Earnings per share were €1.75, against €2.49 in 2001. The annual accounts for the parent, Koenig & Bauer AG, on which dividend payments are based, were prepared in accordance with German Commercial Law (HGB). A one-off expense of €20.2m arising from the merger of a former joint-venture enterprise, Karat Digital Press GmbH, resulted in a smaller profit (€17.9m) than in the group accounts. The management and supervisory boards therefore propose a total dividend payment of €8m (2001: €16m), or 50 cents per ordinary share (previous year: 67 cents + 33-cent bonus). Group capital outlay of €51.7m (2001: €81.4m) focused on replacing equipment and rationalising workflows to enhance productivity and cut lead times. Depreciation totalled €45m (2001: €38.5m). The diminishing backlog and subsequent drop in capacity utilisation at KBA’s web plants caused the group to downsize its payroll to 7,391 (2001: 7,561) in the course of the year. The figure for 2002 includes 124 staff attached to Karat Digital Press GmbH.