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MAN Roland orders rise 40%, spurred by a 30% sheetfed gain in North America

Press release from the issuing company

Westmont, Illinois — MAN Roland returned to the fast track during the first half of 2005, with a 40 percent increase in new orders, representing EUR 1.2 billion ($US 1.47 billion). The significant gains over the first six months of last year were accelerated by a 30% surge in sheetfed orders in North America. "The success in the first half of this fiscal year along with the measures we have taken to improve our efficiency give us a strong platform for reaching our ambitious goals, one being to ensure the future growth of our business and another to ensure that our business divisions have a healthy structure,” reports Gerd Finkbeiner, CEO of MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG. Outstanding performances in sheetfed activity in numerous geographic territories contributed to the rise, as did a continuation of strong web press sales in both the commercial and newspaper sectors. In North America, the upward trend has been accelerating over the past four and a half years in several key categories. From 2001 to mid-2005, MAN Roland Inc. achieved: • An 87 percent increase in new orders for sheetfed units. • An 81 percent boost in the value of new orders for sheetfed units. • A 56 percent rise in the value of new orders for web units. “We’re seeing sustained gains in the newspaper segment, record-breaking activity in the commercial web sector, and now significant rises in sheetfed orders,” says Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc., the press provider’s North American arm. “These latest performance figures confirm MAN Roland’s position as the industry’s technology leader in both the web press and sheetfed markets. Printers are increasingly responding to the fact that breakthroughs like CIM and larger format presses can help them be more competitive and more profitable.” The worldwide numbers showed that the web press division doubled its operating profit, while the sheetfed press division significantly reduced its half-year losses and almost broke even in the second quarter. In addition to the upsurge in new orders, recent capacity adjustments and cost reduction measures are credited for the new phase of prosperity. Joining North America on the list of high achievers were Central and Eastern Europe. In countries such as Austria, Poland and Bulgaria, sales of sheetfed presses were up by no less than 60 percent.