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Growth Dip Follows Record Year for KBA, New Orders Down 17% Overall

Press release from the issuing company

Wuerzburg. At the Koenig & Bauer (KBA) AGM in Wuerzburg, Germany, company president Reinhart Siewert revealed that a record performance in 2001 (turnover up 18.6% at EUR1.29bn, ebt EUR76.6m) would be followed in 2002 by a dip in growth on the back of the global downturn. Although profits are expected to be on target at around EUR50m (4% pre-tax return on sales), group turn-over will narrowly miss the mark at EUR1,250m. This is because web press turnover (newspaper and commercial presses) will fall marginally short of its previous high level. Sheetfed sales, however, are set to surpass the figure for 2001. Weak demand for web presses caused a 35.6% drop in the total volume of new orders booked in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier. But in the second quarter business picked up again as buoyant sales of sheetfed presses were paralleled by a string of orders for web presses, among them a big contract from Switzerland. As a result the order shortfall shrank to just over 17% less than in the first half of 2001. Preliminary figures - the group's financial statements for the first six months of the current year will be issued on August 30 - show that the parent company's order backlog on June 30 stood at EUR827m, some 25% down on the same period in 2001. Company turnover in the first six months rose 5% to EUR632m, though growth is expected to weaken slightly during the rest of year.

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