Pursuant to article 17 of the European Market Abuse Regulation - MAR, an issuer of financial instruments must immediately publish any specific information which is not publicly known if such information is likely to exert significant influence on the stock exchange price. Please find below all ad-hoc releases published from 2011 onwards.
Ad hoc Releases
25.02.2022 17:10 MEZ
Koenig & Bauer exceeds EBIT forecast for 2021 on the basis of its preliminary figures
Koenig & Bauer AG, Würzburg (“Koenig & Bauer”, WKN: 719 350 / ISIN: DE0007193500) has announced on the basis of its preliminary and as yet unaudited figures that it has exceeded its own forecast for preliminary Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for 2021.
Despite the ongoing pandemic in 2021 and a challenging procurement environment, EBIT of around €29m was achieved through the acceleration of the savings effects in the P24x efficiency programme and the more efficient implementation of the related personnel measures. This was also due to a high earnings contribution from the Special segment in the fourth quarter in particular. At around 2.6%, the EBIT margin thus exceeded the company’s own forecast of 2.0% for 2021. Driven by a generally strong final quarter, Group revenue reached the forecast range of €1,100 - 1,135m in 2021, coming to around € 1,116m.
The company plans to publish its forecast for 2022 together with the presentation of its audited annual financial statements and the annual report for 2021 no later than on March 30, 2022, also in view of the current developments in the Ukraine crisis and, resulting from this, the high level of uncertainty over the impact on the global economy. Koenig & Bauer will be holding a conference call (in English) for analysts and investors on 30 March 2022. The conference call will be available on the website later.
23.06.2021 20:00 MEZ
Partial reversal of the restructuring provisions for P24x resulting in extraordinary income of around €20m
At its meeting held today, the Management Board of Koenig & Bauer AG, Würzburg (“Koenig & Bauer”, WKN: 719 350 / ISIN: DE0007193500) decided not to implement any compulsory redundancies at the Company’s German facilities in 2021 and 2022 due to the progress made in achieving the personnel targets defined under the P24x efficiency programme. This was made possible by the constructive and cooperative collaboration with the employee representatives, with whom modern and socially acceptable measures were found to reduce job numbers. Depending on the order situation and macroeconomic conditions as well as the pandemic situation, further measures are to be taken by the end of 2022 without any compulsory redundancies, particularly in the form of working time adjustments and individual arrangements.
As a result, it has been possible to reduce the originally planned short- and medium-term one-off costs for personnel measures by about €20m to some €37m. Restructuring provisions of €57.6m had originally been set aside for this purpose in the third quarter of 2020 and were recognised through profit and loss in 2020. This has resulted in extraordinary income of around €20m that will boost consolidated earnings and free cash flow and was not included in the forecast for 2021. Excluding this extraordinary income of €20m, Koenig & Bauer confirms its operating forecast and continues to project a slight organic increase in revenue of around 4% to €1,070m and expects to break even at the operating EBIT level.
Koenig & Bauer will be publishing its figures for the first half of 2021 on 29 July 2021.
25.02.2021 20:10 MEZ
Koenig & Bauer announces preliminary figures for 2020 and issues forecast for 2021
Koenig & Bauer AG, Würzburg (“Koenig & Bauer”, WKN: 719 350 / ISIN: DE0007193500) announces that on the basis of its preliminary and as yet unaudited figures it achieved group revenue of €1,029m and preliminary consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of -€68m in the 2020 financial year. Adjusted for special items, preliminary consolidated EBIT stands at -€19m.
This means that Group revenue is significantly above the forecast issued for the 2020 financial year, which had indicated a figure of between €900 and 950m. Adjusted EBIT was also better than the forecast negative EBIT before special items of a figure in the mid-double-digit millions.
The reason for the higher revenue and the corresponding effect on EBIT is the adjustment to the group’s internal revenue recognition policy. In the course of preparing the consolidated financial statements, the company decided, after consultation with its new auditors, to retrospectively apply the group’s revised revenue recognition policy, which had previously been announced on 28 September 2020. The change also applies retroactively to the previous year’s figures, with the result that revenue from earlier periods, including the corresponding EBIT effects, are shifted into the future.
In addition to the aforementioned positive effect from the changes to revenue recognition (+€8m), reported consolidated EBIT for the 2020 financial year includes other non-recurring effects that have already been communicated in the amount of -€49m.
Slight organic revenue growth and balanced EBIT expected for 2021
On the basis of its preliminary figures, Koenig & Bauer registered a full-year order intake of around €975m in the 2020 financial year, 14.5% lower than in 2019 (€1,141m). The decline was thus less pronounced than the 21.9% drop in order intake for printing presses published by industry association VDMA.
Despite the still limited forward visibility with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic on the Koenig & Bauer Group’s business environment and the travel restrictions currently in place due to the pandemic, the company anticipates slight growth in business in 2021. This projection is based on the assumption that progress made in vaccinations that also provide protection from the covid-19 virus mutations will lead to a lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. The lower decline in order intake in 2020 compared to the industry as a whole is seen as a solid starting point for the new financial year under the prevailing Covid-19 conditions.
Against this backdrop, Koenig & Bauer projects slight organic revenue growth of around 4% to €1,070m in 2021. On the earnings side, it expects to break even at the EBIT level in 2021 following the successful launch of the P24x efficiency programme and the planned savings effects. That said, the reimposed travel restrictions – not least of all due to the emergence of mutations of the Covid-19 virus – will continue to exert pressure in the first quarter of 2021.
As forecast, the implementation of the P24x programme will leave traces on free cash flow in 2021, resulting in a negative free cash flow in the mid double-digit millions.
Koenig & Bauer will be publishing its audited financial statements and annual report for 2020 on 24 March 2021.
07.01.2021 21:00 MEZ
Koenig & Bauer AG: Proceedings against former employee of the Swiss subsidiary terminated
Koenig & Bauer AG (WKN: 719 350 / ISIN: DE0007193500) informs its investors for reasons of legal precaution that the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has terminated proceedings against a former employee of the Swiss subsidiary by issuing a legally binding penalty order. The former employee was accused of having bribed public officials in Morocco and Egypt between 2005 and 2015. A suspended fine has been imposed on him. The Swiss subsidiary was not involved in the proceedings.
In November 2015, the Swiss subsidiary had initiated self-disclosure proceedings with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland due to deficits in corruption prevention, which were terminated in March 2017 (ad hoc disclosure of February 20, 2017). The events in Morocco were part of the concluded and legally binding self-disclosure proceedings. The Swiss subsidiary has no knowledge that any proceedings are pending against it that are the subject of the penalty order proceedings against the former employee. There are no indications that the proceedings against the former employee relate to the period after the self-disclosure was made. From today's perspective, the Group's results of operations and financial position are not negatively impacted by the concluded and legally binding proceedings against the former employee.
Koenig & Bauer decides to streamline the group structure
Reorganisation of the corporate structure in Banknote Solutions as of 31 December 2020
In its meeting today, the Koenig & Bauer AG supervisory board approved the draft concept of the management board for the transformation of the corporate structure in the Banknote Solutions business unit designed with Treuhand KGs into a pure corporation with profit and loss transfer agreements unanimously. In addition to strengthening corporate governance and simplifying the management structure, Koenig & Bauer wants to reduce administrative expenses with this reorganisation of the corporate structure. Koenig & Bauer remains committed to its proven broad product portfolio and will continue to further develop and consistently expand it through a large number of initiatives in accordance with market needs. The agreed reorganisation of the corporate structure has, according to IFRS, no effect on Koenig & Bauer group’s earnings, finances and assets, but the measures significantly strengthen equity in Koenig & Bauer AG’s individual financial statements.
As part of the Fit@All restructuring programme, the four business areas Sheetfed, Digital & Webfed, Banknote Solutions and Industrial were spun off as of 1 January 2015 in the legal form of an AG & Co. KG with Koenig & Bauer AG as the sole general partner. A corresponding management GmbH, whose shares Koenig & Bauer AG holds 100%, acts as limited partner. The reorganisation of the corporate structure in the Banknote Solutions business unit will take place as of 31 December 2020 and includes Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions AG & Co. KG and Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions (DE) AG & Co. KG. It takes place in each case through the transfer of the assets of the Treuhand KGs to the limited partners Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions GmbH and Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions (DE) GmbH. This reorganisation uncovers hidden reserves which, according to current estimates, are roughly in the order of magnitude of the annual loss expected in 2020 due to the corona pandemic, so that no taxes will be triggered. The balance sheet revaluation of the book values of the equity interests enables the capital strengthening of various subsidiaries and, according to current calculations, leads to a one-off income at Koenig & Bauer AG of over EUR100m with a corresponding increase in equity.
The conclusion of the intended profit and loss transfer agreement between Koenig & Bauer AG and Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions GmbH still requires the approval of the Annual General Meeting in May 2021. A reorganisation of the Treuhand KGs in the other business areas will be further analysed in the next few years, taking the business development into account.
Koenig & Bauer decides Performance 2024 efficiency programme
Increasing of profitability and competitiveness
In order to strengthen its position as leading supplier in packaging, industrial, security printing and postpress, as well as to increase the operating profitability of the Koenig & Bauer group, the company's executive board has developed and expanded the Performance 2024 efficiency programme over the past few months. By continuing and accelerating all innovation processes, product and process developments, annual cost savings of over EUR100m should increasingly be achieved until 2024. The corresponding one-off costs in the mid double-digit million range will be recognised as expenses via a provision in the group income statement of the 2020 financial year. The supervisory board was closely involved in the evaluation process and, after detailed consultation and extensive discussion, unanimously approved this programme in its meeting today.
The four-year programme is primarily aimed at strengthening competitiveness in the long-term with a series of measures. Through a large number of initiatives, the machine programme is being further developed in line with market needs, processes are being digitised and manufacturing costs are being reduced at the same time. Koenig & Bauer continues to focus on integrated system solutions and the optimisation of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers. In particular, investments in direct corrugated board and digital printing as well as the joint venture with the Durst group will be driven forward. New developments for security printing are in progress. Koenig & Bauer confirms the current product portfolio and will consistently expand it. The further digitisation of the service offerings is also in the focus.
The end markets primarily addressed by Koenig & Bauer, such as the structurally growing packaging and industrial printing, are fundamentally intact. This is clearly reflected in the currently high capacity utilisation of packaging printers for foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals and booming online trade. In view of the numerous uncertainties resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, however, customers are postponing new investments. In addition to increasing efficiency, the performance programme aims also to scale the group, as in the next few years, due to the global economic situation, the continuing travel restrictions and the worsening Covid-19 developments, only moderate revenue growth and no short-term attainment of the pre-crisis revenue level are expected.
The short and medium-term measures will take effect from 2021 to 2024. For 2020, the worsening international course of the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to have a negative impact on business performance in Q3 and Q4. In addition, the intended introduction of a new internal guideline for revenue accounting in the Sheetfed segment in 2020 will cause a one-off balance sheet shift of EUR40-60m revenue and EUR9-12m EBIT to 2021.
After completion of the programme, the Koenig & Bauer Group should achieve a revenue level of around EUR1.3bn. On the earnings side, after implementing the approved cost and structural adjustments, the management board is still aiming for a return on sales of at least 7% in the medium-term and a reduction in working capital requirements to an average of 25% of annual revenue.
The programme adopted today provides for the following details:
- Change of the supply chain organisation by adapting the group-wide structures, processes of procurement and production in one organisation as well as innovative approaches to parts and component optimisation
- Adjustment of cost and personnel structures as well as improvement of productivity through process streamlining and standardisation
- In development and construction, increase in effectiveness and efficiency through product, process and organisational optimisations such as design-to-cost projects
- Continuation and acceleration of the development of new products for the areas of packaging in sheetfed and web-fed printing with analogue and digital printing technology, hollow container decorating and solutions for postpress and banknote production
- Reduction of administration costs with further bundling of tasks as shared services, adaption of sales and service structures
- Optimisation of the production and assembly sites including the group-internal bundling, relocation and realignment of production and assemblies.
In addition to the ongoing measures such as reducing overtime and temporary work, hiring freezes and short-time work, between 700 and 900 jobs in the group will be affected in the short and medium-term from the measures adopted today. The adjustments will be discussed and negotiated with the employee representatives and social partners in the coming months. In addition to the necessary socially responsible cutbacks, the goal is to achieve a medium-term return to the planned group growth through innovative methods.
Koenig & Bauer AG: Performance 2024 efficiency programme is flanked by applying for a KfW loan
In parallel to the corona crisis management, the management board of Koenig & Bauer AG is working intensively on the Performance 2024 efficiency programme, evaluating various scenarios. In addition, improvements in working capital and cash flow are at the top of the agenda alongside the strategic focus on packaging printing and digital services. To strengthen the stability and strategic flexibility of the group, the management board and the supervisory board decided to apply for a flexibly repayable KfW loan with a volume of up to €120m to supplement the existing syndicated credit lines (Direct Participation in Syndicated Loans). Among others, no dividend distributions are permitted during the term of the KfW loan. After the plans for increasing the operating profitability and performance of the group have been adopted, the management board will report promptly on the targets and costs of the Performance 2024 efficiency programme.
Dr Andreas Pleßke new spokesman of the management board from 1 January 2021 /
Claus Bolza-Schünemann will leave the management board due to his age on 31 December 2020
With effect from 1 January 2021, the Koenig & Bauer AG supervisory board today appointed the management board member for the Special segment Dr Andreas Pleßke spokesman of the management board until the end of 2025. Dr Andreas Pleßke succeeds Claus Bolza-Schünemann, who will leave the management board on 31 December 2020 after 28 years of service – including nine years as CEO – upon reaching the specified age limit. The supervisory board thanks Claus Bolza-Schünemann for his successful and excellent work for the future-oriented positioning of the company, his tireless personal commitment for Koenig & Bauer as well as the good and trusting cooperation.
Koenig & Bauer appoints new COO and CFO / Ralf Sammeck appointed CDO / Dr Mathias Dähn leaves the company / Annual General Meeting postponed to 14 July 2020
With Mr Michael Ulverich and Dr Stephen M. Kimmich, the Supervisory Board of Koenig & Bauer AG appoints two new Management Board members.
From 15 April 2020, Mr Ulverich will take over the new Management Board position of the Chief Operating Officer. His future responsibilities include materials management, purchasing, logistics and the 'Industrial' production companies at the sites in Würzburg and Radebeul as well as the subsidiary in Frankenthal. Mr Ulverich was most recently Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann.
Dr Kimmich will also take over as CFO on 15 April 2020. Dr Kimmich was most recently Chief Financial Officer Europe, Middle East and Africa of Joyson Safety Systems and Managing Director of Joyson Safety Systems Germany GmbH. Dr Kimmich succeeds Dr Mathias Dähn, who will leave the company in agreement with the Supervisory Board on 30 April 2020. The Supervisory Board thanks Dr Dähn for his outstanding work for Koenig & Bauer. He has played a key role in the realignment and turnaround of Koenig & Bauer since 2014.
In order to further accelerate the digitisation offensive that has already been successfully launched, the Supervisory Board has also appointed the Management Board member Ralf Sammeck to take over the group-wide coordination of the digital transformation in addition to his previous areas of responsibility.
In the wake of the corona crisis and the associated uncertainties for holding meetings, this year's annual general meeting of the company will be postponed to Tuesday, 14 July 2020 in Würzburg.
Koenig & Bauer reduces its revenue and earnings outlook for 2019
In a market environment that remains very demanding for Koenig & Bauer, not all expected orders could be booked and further project completions scheduled for this year could not be finalised as planned. In addition, higher order processing costs have reduced the margin. Accordingly, the management board of Koenig & Bauer AG expects group revenue at the previous year's level and an EBIT margin of between 4% and 4.5% in the 2019 financial year.
Koenig & Bauer will publish the annual report 2019 including an outlook for 2020 on 19 March 2020.
Koenig & Bauer on track to meet 2019 group targets
The management board of Koenig & Bauer AG has carefully noted and analysed the recent ad hoc releases issued by its competitors. On the basis of business performance in the first half of 2019, Koenig & Bauer confirms its revenue and earnings forecasts for the current financial year. Particular focus is being placed on active cost structuring while continuing work on innovative products which enable customers to realise tangible added value.
For legal reasons, Koenig & Bauer informs on proceedings initiated against the Swiss subsidiary KBA-NotaSys by the Brazilian government (Controladoria-Geral da União), notice of which has been published on the internet but not yet received by the company. The situation in Brazil was already part of the legally completed self-disclosure proceedings which the Swiss subsidiary initiated at the Swiss Office of the Attorney General regarding shortcomings in corruption prevention. This was already reported in an ad hoc release dated 20th February 2017 and at the Annual General Meeting on 22nd May 2019. From today’s perspective, this will not have an effect on the group’s earnings and finances.
Strategic course-setting for digital printing solutions
Koenig & Bauer and Durst Phototechnik agree a 50/50 joint venture in digital printing
To further advance the development of future-oriented digital printing solutions with added value for customers in the folding carton and corrugated printing markets, Koenig & Bauer AG and Durst Phototechnik AG from Brixen/Italy have agreed to pool their know-how and strengths in a 50/50 joint venture. A corresponding letter of intent has been signed by both companies. The planned joint venture is to be based in Germany and – subject to merger control approval – will assume responsibility for the development, integration, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of water-based, single-pass digital printing presses for folding carton and corrugated board. Ink and service business relating to the presses sold jointly through the global networks of the two parent companies is also to be handled by the joint venture. As a first milestone for the joint venture, manufacturing of the VariJET press for digital folding carton printing is to be commenced in time for drupa 2020.
Further strategic growth step for world market leader in folding carton printing
Koenig & Bauer signs an agreement with Duran Machinery to acquire 80% of its folder gluer business
Koenig & Bauer AG has agreed with Duran Machinery in Istanbul, Turkey, to acquire 80% of its folder gluer business. The product division, with around 50 people, is to be integrated into the Koenig & Bauer Group as Koenig & Bauer Duran. The previous, experienced management will be part of the new company’s management. For more than 30 years, Duran Machinery has been developing, manufacturing and distributing folder gluers in various formats and configurations. The innovative company established its technologically solid and customer-oriented Omega folder gluers as one of the leading brands in the global folding carton industry and has been able to increase its market share in recent years. The Turkish manufacturer is currently number 2 in the global folder gluer market with a share of around 6%. This equipment market currently has a total volume of around € 250 million. The purchase price is in the upper single-digit million euro range with additional earn-out options.
This expansion of Koenig & Bauer's portfolio in the growing packaging market will enable the company to offer its highest sales customer group – folding carton manufacturers – a full range of products for printing, die-cutting and gluing folding cartons from a single source. The focus is thus on innovative and tailor-made solutions also for individual and unique packaging designs. In addition, Koenig & Bauer's reputation among packaging printers, its brand philosophy and the integration of the folder gluer business into its worldwide sales and service network will significantly enhance the opportunities for revenue growth and market share gains in this attractive, high-margin business.
Koenig & Bauer progressing well on mid-term targets
Koenig & Bauer has fully reached or exceeded its guidance for 2017 with a strong revenue and earnings performance in the fourth quarter and is progressing well on its mid-term targets set in February 2017.
According to its preliminary unaudited Group figures for 2017, revenue of €1,218m was within the target corridor of the guidance of up to €1.25bn. With an increase of 4.3% over the previous year, the mid-term organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p. a. was well achieved. At 6.7% with an EBIT of around €81m; the EBIT margin guidance of around 6 % was exceeded. Order intake rose stronger than the industry trend to €1,266m. The dividend proposal for the 2017 financial year is 90 cents € per share.
The annual report for 2017 will be published on March 22, 2018.
Koenig & Bauer is driving forward the medium-term Group targets with an expanded Executive Board
- Ralf Sammeck and Christoph Müller appointed to the Executive Board
- Dr Andreas Pleßke delegated to the Executive Board
The Supervisory Board of Koenig & Bauer AG has appointed Mr Ralf Sammeck and Mr Christoph Müller to the Executive Board with effect from 1 June 2017. As of today, Ralf Sammeck leads the Sheetfed division, and Christoph Müller the Digital & Web division. Both group management members will represent their segments in the Executive Board. Aiming at expanding new equipment sales, Ralf Sammeck has additionally taken over the coordination of global equipment sales. In order to push global service, Christoph Müller has also taken responsibility for coordinating services initiatives. The planned increase in the revenue share generated by Services to 30% by 2021 is set to achieve greater profit stability. The appointment of Ralf Sammeck and Christoph Müller to the Executive Board aims to support the implementation of the medium-term Group targets announced on 20 February 2017. By 2021, the target is to reach an annual organic growth rate of around 4% and an EBIT margin of between 4% and 9% across the Group. Of the targeted €70 million increase in earnings, approximately €20 million in either case is to be generated through service growth and the optimisation of the security printing business.
In order to swiftly optimise the security printing business, the Supervisory Board has delegated Dr Andreas Pleßke, a member of the Supervisory Board, to the Executive Board for a period of one year from 1 June 2017. Dr. Pleßke will lead the Special segment and in particular the announced performance optimisation of the securities printing business on an interim basis. During the period of his delegation, he will not undertake any duties as a member of the Supervisory Board.
20th February 2017
Koenig & Bauer sets new Group targets for 2017 to 2021
- Preliminary figures for 2016 confirm guidance, dividend of €0.50 per share proposed
- Target for 2017 to 2021: Organic growth of around 4% and EBIT margin of between 4% and 9%; earnings to improve by around €70m
- Dividend ratio of 15% to 35% of Group net profit going forward; equity ratio to increase to >45%
- Settlement of self-disclosure proceedings due to shortcomings in corruption prevention in Switzerland enables optimisation and review of strategic partnerships in the security business
According to its preliminary unaudited figures, Koenig & Bauer achieved revenue of €1,167m and order intake of €1,150m in 2016. At €57m, earnings before tax and positive special items matched the guidance in full.
The revenue target for 2017 to 2021 is an organic growth rate of around 4% p.a. More than half of the targeted revenue growth will be generated in packaging printing, which is expected to expand by an average annual rate of 4% according to internal estimates. Further growth will be generated by the expansion of the service business in all segments as well as by market share gains. As security printing is not expected to generate higher equipment revenues, the company is reviewing growth options including strategic partnerships over the life cycle of the banknote. A further strategic goal is to strengthen the Group’s stability by reducing volatility and risk. Earnings stability is to be improved by lifting the share of revenue attributable to services to 30%.
For 2017 to 2021, the Group aims to achieve an EBIT margin of between 4% and 9%, depending on global economy, end markets and on the necessary investments in growth. It is anticipated that earnings will increase by €70m following optimisation of the security printing business and growth in services (≈ €20m each), the integrated production network, and strategic purchasing (≈ €15m each). Koenig & Bauer is aiming for a dividend ratio of 15% to 35% of net profit. An equity ratio in excess of 45% and net working capital of between 20% and 25% of revenue complete the Group’s targets.
The Group also actively reduced its risk profile by settling legal disputes. The Swiss subsidiary responsible for security printing settled proceedings against it in Switzerland through agreement with the Swiss Office of the Attorney General in connection with shortcomings in corruption prevention. By self-reporting, the company had initiated the proceedings itself. A symbolic fine of CHF 1 will be imposed on the Swiss company. In addition, the company accepted the skimming of profits of €27.8m from projects between 2005 and 2012 in four countries. This will not have an effect on Group net profit.
Portfolio expansion in growth market packaging
KBA plans takeover of die-cutter manufacturer Iberica AG S.A.
Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) has finalised a Letter of Intent with Officine Meccaniche G. Cerutti S.p.A. (OMGC) in Casale Monferrato, near Alessandria, Italy for the 100 per cent takeover of its Spanish subsidiary Iberica AG S.A. in Barcelona. Iberica with some 60 staff produces medium and large-format flatbed die-cutters for board and corrugated packaging without own manufacturing facilities and until now has mainly been active in Europe and in some overseas markets. The integration into the global KBA sales and service network would greatly improve Iberica’s growth prospects. The planned takeover underscores the press manufacturer’s announced focus on the growing packaging market. KBA’s sheetfed segment is the longstanding market leader in folding carton printing. Its international customer base for sheetfed offset presses and die-cutters is largely identical. Further details regarding the planned takeover will not be disclosed until negotiations are complete as contractually agreed.
Management board change at Koenig & Bauer AG
Mathias Dähn takes over as CFO from Axel Kaufmann
Dr Axel Kaufmann (44), CFO at Koenig & Bauer (KBA) since October 2010, will leave the press manufacturer at his own request to pursue new professional challenges. The KBA supervisory board appointed Dr Mathias Dähn as Mr Kaufmann’s successor in today’s meeting. Mr Dähn who holds a doctorate in business administration has a broad financial and industrial background at an international level with extensive experience in controlling, purchasing, M&A and optimising commercial processes. He has held various managerial posts in the past at Robert Bosch, telecommunications group debitel, Loyalty Partner, the MAN Group and more recently as CFO at Austrian lighting manufacturer Zumtobel. Mathias Dähn will start this management board mandate at the beginning of June 2014. Following a mutually agreed time period, he will take over all of the duties pertaining to this position from Mr Kaufmann. Until he leaves the management board Axel Kaufmann has agreed to be available to facilitate a smooth transition. After holding various executive positions within the Siemens group for more than ten years, in 2010 Axel Kaufmann left global network supplier Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to become CFO at KBA.
Supervisory board chairman Dr Martin Hoyos: “I wish to thank Mr Kaufmann for all his work over the past years and for the professional transfer of responsibilities to his successor. I am convinced that with Mr Dähn we have gained an excellent CFO who will offer essential support during the ongoing restructuring process and beyond.”
KBA appoints experienced restructuring expert to management board
Dr Andreas Plesske to press ahead with Fit@All programme as CRO
The supervisory board of Koenig & Bauer (KBA) has appointed Dr Andreas Plesske (53) as management board member responsible for restructuring operations (CRO) with effect from 1 May 2014. His initial term of office is limited to 31.10.2015, with an option to extend this by a further six months. The restructuring expert shall push on with the extensive programme “Fit@All” approved in December 2013 to realign the world’s second-largest press manufacturer and thus also relieve the CEO of these tasks.
The qualified lawyer and economist Dr Andreas Plesske has extensive experience in management and restructuring as CEO and CRO at German and international companies of varying sizes and from different industries. This includes companies similar to KBA active in machinery and plant engineering.
“We are pleased to welcome such an experienced and distinguished expert to our company on the one hand to implement Fit@All consistently and swiftly, while also simultaneously guaranteeing an unrelenting focus on the market presence of our operating business”, the company explained.
Given the fundamentally changed market environment within the print industry, in December 2013 KBA introduced a programme to strategically realign the group and a series of measures aimed at strengthening the profitability and competitiveness of the company. The programme’s priorities are the restructuring of the core business by sustainable capacity adjustments, optimisation and concentration of the depth of added value at the different sites as well as the focus on print-related business fields with potential for growth.
Heinz-Joachim Neubürger leaves Koenig & Bauer supervisory board
Gottfried Weippert takes over the position of chairman temporarily
Heinz-Joachim Neubürger (61), member and chairman of the Koenig & Bauer (KBA) supervisory board since June 2013 and October 2013 respectively, announced his resignation and leaves the printing press manufacturer’s supervisory board with immediate effect. The resignation was accepted today by the supervisory board. Gottfried Weippert (53), vice-chairman, takes over the role as chairman temporarily until the appointment of a new board member by the register court takes place and a new chairman is elected.
Neubürger cites the high investment in terms of time and presence on-site which have arisen from the implementation of the Fit@All Group restructuring programme as reasons for his decision. “Demands regarding my availability have changed substantially since the election by the AGM in June 2013. I am unable to devote the amount of time needed. In the spirit of good corporate governance I consider it necessary to accept the appropriate consequences”, says Neubürger.
In December 2013 the KBA management board adopted a programme for the realignment of the KBA Group with the title “Fit@All”. It includes a package of measures aimed at strengthening the company's profitability long term and future development potential. The programme’s priorities are sustainable capacity and structural adjustments in the traditional core business, reducing the depth of added value as well as a stronger focus on growing special markets in which KBA is already well positioned today. Implementation of the measures defined in detail began at the beginning of 2014. The original goals of the programme will not be affected by personnel changes in the supervisory board.
Sales and earnings targets for 2013 no longer attainable
Based on expected results for the third quarter the management board of Koenig & Bauer (KBA) has revised its previous sales and earnings forecast for 2013. In view of the much lower sales volume than expected in both business segments due to economic and market developments, the press manufacturer’s initial target of Group annual sales of approx. €1.3bn in 2013 will not be reached and management estimates revenue of approx. €1.1bn. Given reduced sales, anticipated extraordinary expenses for impairments and restructuring measures, it is likely that KBA will post a loss for 2013. Excluding the special items mentioned, management continues to target a positive operating result and balanced Group earnings before taxes.
KBA will publish the interim report on the third quarter including further details on 11 November.
Dieter Rampl leaves Koenig & Bauer supervisory board
At today’s supervisory board meeting Dieter Rampl (66), member since 2002 and chairman of the Koenig & Bauer (KBA) supervisory board since June 2006, announced his resignation. Rampl resigns as chairman and leaves the press manufacturer’s supervisory board with immediate effect. After retiring in May 2012, the long-standing chairman of the UniCredit Group board of directors cited his partial move to the USA as the reason for his decision. This change does not allow him to carry out his supervisory board duties and role as chairman with the intensity necessary.
The appointment to fill this vacant supervisory board post by the register court should take place in October, as well as the election of the new chairman in an extraordinary supervisory board meeting.
Koenig & Bauer AG proposes a dividend of 40 cents per share
The KBA group posted in 2012 a significant increase in operating profit. KBA’s traditional business – as press manufacturer – is in sheetfed and web offset presses but is also successfully active in growing markets, such as packaging, security, digital printing and coding. Earnings before and after tax were higher than in 2011, despite a considerable one-off special depreciation. The management and supervisory boards will propose a dividend of 40 cents per share at the AGM on 13 June 2013 to allow shareholders to participate in the group’s positive result and the profit of the Koenig & Bauer AG.
Group sales climbed by 10.9% to €1,293.9m, compared to the prior-year figure of €1,167.2m. Sheetfed offset sales rose by 10.2% to €643.2m triggered by the industry’s leading trade show, Drupa. Despite newspaper, illustration and magazine printers reluctance to invest, in the web and special press division sales increased by 11.5% to €650.7m driven by strong business in special presses. However, the intake of new orders came to €1,116.2m, 28.1% lower than 2011. While the sheetfed division saw a 17.1% increase, orders for web and special presses were only half as high as in the record previous year. At the end of 2012 order backlog came to €648m, still more than in the years 2008 to 2010.
Cost-cutting measures and higher contribution margins from a rise in sales and the growth in service and special press turnover resulted in an operating profit before special items of €43.1m. Despite enormous ongoing pricing pressure affecting the web and sheetfed offset business, this figure is more than four times that of 2011 (€9.9m). KBA’s sheetfed division was affected by a one-off special depreciation on fixed assets of €27.1m. Following this value adjustment, group operating profit stood at €16m. Benefiting from an advantageous product mix, the web and special press division posted a jump in earnings to €54.7m, almost twice the figure for 2011 (€28m). However, the one-time impairment as well as high trade show and launch costs for new press generations dampened operational earnings in the sheetfed sector. Following a €18.1m loss the previous year, earnings in this division fell to –€38.7m. Excluding the impairment this segment’s result stood at –€11.6m.
Group pre-tax profit (EBT) climbed from €3.3m in 2011 to €6.1m. KBA posted a net group profit (after tax) of €2.3m and earnings per share of 14 cents.
Although the execution of major projects and the decline in new orders for web presses resulted in a fall in customer prepayments, cash flow from operating activities remained high at €83.3m (2011: €83.9m). Free cash flow grew from €57.8m to €61.2m causing liquid assets to swell to €206.3m. After scaling back bank loans to €31.6m, KBA’s strong net financial position of +€174.7m plus credit lines approved for the next three years strengthen the group’s solid financial standing. This is also reflected in the group’s equity ratio of 40.2% and an above-average equity-to-fixed-assets ratio.
In the outlook for 2013, KBA management refers to the unstable market environment, ongoing consolidation in the printing press industry and further risks, such as exchange rate developments, which make longer-term forecasts difficult. The KBA board will therefore clarify its views further in the interim reports to come.
KBA expects a boost in sheetfed offset sales triggered by the world’s second-largest trade show, China Print, in May. A further moderate increase in earnings and sales similar to 2012 are the group’s targets for 2013 based on the current order and project situation. The group envisages a slight decline in sales for web offset presses and security printing systems, which will have to be counteracted with cost-cutting measures in the web division. In the sheetfed segment the strategy of not concentrating purely on sales volume is accompanied by cost savings especially in manufacturing. Beside the additional optimisation of the group’s internal processes, diversifying in growth markets remains a Focus.
Operating profit tripled – Double-digit growth in sales – Special depreciation strains as one-off effect
Preliminary figures for 2012 issued by printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) reveal group sales rose by over 10% to nearly €1.3bn and a positive operating profit of over €30m before special items, more than triple that of 2011 (€9.9m). Operating and free cash flow were also significantly positive.
Along with the ongoing schemes to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the world’s second-largest press manufacturer profited from its versatile product portfolio. Today over 30% of sales come from sectors less effected by the structural shifts in the print media industry. Just yesterday, with the aim of expanding its broad product range, the company announced the planned acquisition of an Italian press manufacturer specialising in flexo presses for flexible packaging.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the sheetfed division posted a special depreciation of just under €30m. This is a reflection of the management’s strategy to focus on more profitable orders and products. It also mirrors the assessment of changes to market parameters expected in the mid-term and a more results-orientated business strategy for the future. Following this one-off special effect, which did not impact on cash, KBA’s pre-tax profit was slightly higher than the prior-year figure of €3.3m. The group posted a positive net profit for the fourth year in a row.
Shareholders are to participate in the company’s operating success. KBA CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “Given the strong increase in operating profit before non-recurring items at group level and the net profit at the Parent, in 2012 our shareholders should receive a dividend again. We will provide more details on this once our official figures are released on 22 March.”
Higher demand for sheetfed offset presses in 2012 resulted in a double-digit increase in new orders. The fourth quarter saw a slight operating profit and pre-tax earnings (excluding impairment) in the sheetfed division. In contrast, in the more volatile web and special press division fewer large orders were placed than in the above-average prior year, thus resulting in a 28% reduction in group order intake compared to 2011. Nevertheless, order backlog of €650m at year’s end was still higher than in the years from 2008 to 2010. Additionally, strong cash flow boosted funds. Again KBA’s financial figures and balance sheet outperformed other companies in this industry segment.
The number of group employees fell by over 200 to 6,187. Following the extensive adjustments to capacity over the past years, the KBA management board have introduced a further cost-saving scheme to substantially improve the profitability of the sheetfed and web offset divisions by the end of 2014. Along with the new product-house organisation and group-wide realignment of purchasing and production activities including the closure of the Trennfeld facility by the end of 2013, amendments to labour contracts have been in effect since the beginning of 2012 at the Würzburg and Radebeul plants. These amendments aim to boost the flexibility and profitability of KBA’s core business.
Focus on takeover of Flexotecnica in Italy
Healthy finances make it possible for Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) to invest in growth markets. Following the entry into the promising digital print market at Drupa 2012 with an inkjet web press produced at KBA’s main plant in Würzburg, the takeover of Flexotecnica in Tavazzano, near Milan, signals the entry into the growing print market for flexible packaging (especially films). Flexotecnica is a subsidiary of Officine Meccaniche G. Cerutti (OMGC), an Italian company specialized in gravure for packaging and publication with headquarters in Casale Monferrato near Turin.
With approx. 100 employees Flexotecnica builds and merchandises central-cylinder flexo presses for printing on various flexible packaging materials. So far the Italian company is mainly present in Europe and in some overseas markets. The manufacturing of parts has been completely outsourced. KBA views this planned takeover as an opportunity to expand its strong market position in the folding carton market into a further growing packaging segment by using its own international organisation. The price for the majority stake in the Italian company will be in the high single-digit million euros, following adjustments on the basis of agreed items made on the settlement date. The acquisition has already been approved by the KBA supervisory board. The final takeover by KBA is still subject to conditions which have to be met in the next few months, e.g. review by antitrust authorities. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any further details concerning the takeover at this time.
Orders up at KBA: black art innovator in the black
Notwithstanding the challenges arising from ongoing structural changes in the print media market the KBA group met all its capital requirements from a healthy operating cash flow of EUR83.9m, scaled back bank debts still further and boosted liquid assets. The 195-year old enterprise bucked the industry trend in disclosing a post-recession profit for the third year in succession.
Brisk demand for security, metal-decorating and coding equipment helped swell the group order intake to EUR1,552.1m – its highest level since the record year of 2006 and 20.8% up on 2010 (EUR1,284.9m). The backlog of unfilled orders almost doubled from EUR440.8m to EUR825.7m. But at EUR1,167.2m group sales were marginally below the prior-year figure of EUR1,179.1m due to shipping delays and weak demand for sheetfed and web offset presses in the second half-year.
Flagging investment activities in the final four months led to an 8.3% drop in new sheetfed contracts to EUR569.9m. Brisk demand for niche products, however, sent the intake of new orders for web and special presses soaring by 48.1% to EUR982.2m. Although the two divisions each posted sales worth EUR583.6m, this represented an improvement of 5.9% over the prior year in sheetfed sales, but a slide of 7.1% in sales of web and special presses following shipping delays.
The rising cost of raw materials, heavy investment in new products, wage increases, unscheduled structural expenses and lower sales following external delays in deliveries until the current year reduced the group operating profit from EUR22.2m in 2010 to EUR9.9m. But despite unsatisfactory market pricing and fluctuating levels of plant utilisation, KBA’s web and special press division posted a profit of EUR28m (2010: EUR14m), with niche and service activities playing a major role. In the sheetfed division, price erosion and the high up-front expense associated with developing new products put paid to any operating profit, even though restructuring measures delivered substantial cost savings. The division therefore made an operating loss of EUR18.1m following a profit of EUR8.2m the year before.
A group pre-tax profit of EUR3.3m and annual net income of EUR0.4m fell well short of the corresponding figures for the previous year of EUR15.3m and EUR12.5m. Earnings per share were just 2 cents (2010: 76 cents). In view of this unsatisfactory performance, and the current challenging business environment, the management and supervisory boards plan to dispense with a dividend for 2011.
Despite bigger inventories, cash flows from operating activities surged to EUR83.9m (2010: EUR30.1m) following a jump in customer prepayments and a drop in trade receivables. This covered higher outflows for investing activities and boosted the free cash flow to EUR57.8m. Liquid assets soared to EUR145.6m while bank loans were trimmed to EUR35.9m, giving a net financial position of EUR109.7m at the end of the December, over twice the figure for 2010 (EUR47.9m). A comfortable level of liquidity and access to adequate credit lines document KBA’s solid financial profile, as does the high ratio of equity to the bigger balance sheet total, which in 2011 was 38.2%.
Looking ahead, KBA management emphasised the higher risks that exporters face from slowing growth in major emerging markets, the high oil price and ongoing debt crisis in Europe. While the Drupa trade fair is expected to stimulate sales, and management is confident that a raft of new products will boost the order intake, particularly in the sheetfed offset division, there will be no return to the high volumes of previous years. If market conditions remain stable KBA is targeting a single-digit percentage increase in sales and a higher pre-tax profit.
KBA issues preliminary figures for 2011: Bucking the industry trend: new orders up, pre-tax profit
Preliminary figures issued on 2 March reveal that German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) bucked the industry trend in 2011 to post a pre-tax group profit for the third year in succession, the total being in the single-digit millions. Group sales were marginally lower than in 2010 (EUR1,179.1m) following slacker demand in the second six months and delays to shipments in the fourth quarter. However, at more than EUR1.5bn, the volume of new orders surpassed the prior-year figure by over 20%, primarily due to brisk demand for special presses. The order backlog at year’s end topped the EUR800m mark, exceeding the prior-year figure of EUR440.8m by over 80%. While the world’s second-largest press manufacturer failed to achieve its growth targets for sales and earnings, its performance was once again above the industry average. A major contributory factor was the group’s balance of high-volume and niche products.
KBA reports a good start to 2012 in terms of sales and new orders. The official figures for 2011 will be released on 30 March.
KBA appoints Michael Kummert new head of production
With effect from 1 April 2012 the supervisory board of German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) has appointed Michael Kummert (49) new executive vice-president for production. A qualified engineer, Michael Kummert will take over the production remit from president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann, and alongside the two main sheetfed and web press factories in Radebeul and Würzburg will also be responsible for continuing the integration of KBA’s other domestic and foreign production plants in the recently expanded internal group supply network. Following KBA’s inevitable realignment in recent years to a smaller market volume, the supervisory board’s objective in expanding the management board with a production expert is to boost efficiency, cut costs and target new fields of activity.
Mr Kummert was recruited from global roller-bearing manufacturer SKF in Schweinfurt, which he joined in 1990 after taking an engineering degree at the technical university in Karlsruhe, majoring in production technology. Employed at a number of locations, Mr Kummert successfully reorganised manufacturing processes and restructuring production plants in various capacities (head of industrial engineering; manufacturing, plant and site manager head of manufacturing and process development). His last appointment was in Schweinfurt, as head of a new business unit for large and taper roller bearings with a workforce of around 1,000.
KBA profits from strong standing in niche markets
- Orders up 15.4%
- Modest lift in sales
- Shipping delays, new provisions affect third-quarter figures
- High cash flow, solid finances
- Strong fourth quarter sales and earnings expected
- Moderate growth of group sales and pre-tax profit
While the third quarter saw demand in the press engineering sector slow, German press vendor Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) profited from a strong presence in niche markets such as security printing, metal decorating and industrial coding, where demand is robust. In the summer quarter the group booked new orders worth EUR472.8m, the highest level since the record year of 2006. The order intake for the nine months to October was up 15.4% at EUR1,155.7m (2010: EUR1,001.2m). The order backlog passed the EUR800m mark for the first time since summer 2008, totalling EUR810.8m. However, revenue for the full nine months rose by just 1.8% to EUR785.7m (2010: EUR772.1m). Delayed shipments and substantial charges for further capacity cuts at KBA’s underutilised web press production plants led to a pre-tax loss of EUR15.6m for the third quarter and EUR26.6m for the full nine months (2010: –EUR6.7m). The group posted a net loss of EUR32.5m (2010: –EUR9.2m), which corresponds to earnings per share of EUR –1.97 (2010: EUR –0.56).
With demand flagging, the total volume of incoming orders for sheetfed offset presses was just 2.2% higher at EUR472m (2010: EUR462m). This contrasted with brisk business in niche products, which boosted the volume of new orders for web and special presses by 26.8% to EUR683.7m (2010: EUR539.2m). Sheetfed sales, however, climbed by 14.9% to EUR397.4m (2010: EUR346m), whereas sales of web and special presses slid by 8.9% to EUR388.3m (2010: EUR426.1m), largely due to shipping delays. But despite the loss of revenue, and the need for additional provisions to fund personnel adjustments, KBA’s web and special press division posted a modest profit for the nine months. In the sheetfed division, pricing pressures and the substantial upfront expense associated with developing new products for the Drupa trade fair next year outweighed the cost savings achieved, eliminating any operating profit.
Cash flows from operating activities swelled from EUR11.6m a year before to EUR64.6m following an increase in customer prepayments and a drop in trade receivables. This more than covered cash flows for investing activities and raised the free cash flow to EUR40.7m. Funds totalling EUR128.1m and ample credit lines, underscore KBA’s strong financial position. Compared to the higher balance sheet total the group’s equity ratio was a sound 36.7%.
At the end of September there were 6,446 employees on the group payroll, just a few more than in 2010 even though three subsidiaries were consolidated in January. Once the capacity adjustments at KBA’s web press plants have been completed the group will have a payroll of around 6,000.
Management is confident that a surge in sales of high-margin products in the fourth quarter will enable KBA to post the moderate increase in group sales (2010: EUR1.18bn) that was projected in the spring. Claus Bolza-Schünemann, KBA’s new president and CEO since 1 November, confirmed that the group is targeting a pre-tax profit for the third year in succession. However, the group is unlikely to achieve the anticipated modest improvement on prior-year pre-tax earnings of EUR15.3m. This is because the additional charge for capacity cuts at the group’s web press plants was higher than expected, and the perceptible market slowdown has led to a reassessment of certain items in the accounts.
In view of the challenging business environment and uncertainty concerning investment in print prior to the Drupa trade fair next May, management is issuing no detailed projections for sales and earnings in 2012 until March next year.
Koenig & Bauer AG: Changes in the board of directors
Helge Hansen hands CEO post over to Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Dr. Axel Kaufmann appointed deputy president
After successful realignment of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), president and CEO Helge Hansen approached the supervisory board to suggest that his forthcoming retirement at the age of 65 years be brought forward to allow the company reins to be handed to a successor on 31.10.2011. With great respect and equal understanding, the supervisory board has accepted this offer and proposal. Supervisory board chairman Dieter Rampl: “Despite the very difficult circumstances, Helge Hansen has, with great expertise and his many years of experience, furthered the sound development of both earnings and finances at Koenig & Bauer AG, and has helped to position the company group for a successful future. We are expressly grateful to Helge Hansen for the fruitful cooperation, his great personal commitment and his excellent work for the good of the company. We wish him all the best for the future.”
The supervisory board has by unanimous decision appointed Claus Bolza-Schünemann (55) to follow Helge Hansen as company president. Claus Bolza-Schünemann has to date served as deputy president with executive responsibility for engineering and web press manufacturing. Dieter Rampl: “As an acknowledged press engineering expert, one of the branch's strategic visionaries and a representative of the founding family, Claus Bolza-Schünemann has all the qualifications necessary to take the helm and to uphold our continued development as the second-largest press manufacturer in the world. The supervisory board wishes him every success for the tasks to come.”
Parallel to the change at the top, the supervisory board has furthermore announced that CFO Dr. Axel Kaufmann (41) is to take on the duties of deputy president alongside his financial remit.
Christoph Müller’s contract has been extended.
KBA group: leap in earnings, sales and new orders
German printing-press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) issues its group financial statements for 2010:
- Pre-tax profit EUR15.3m, free cash flow EUR20.4m
- Group sales up 12.3% at EUR1,179.1m
- New orders jump by 45.4%, order backlog by 31.6%
- 39.6% equity ratio and no net debts
- Dividend of 30 cents per share proposed
- Target for 2011: moderate growth in sales and earnings
Brisker demand following a revival in the spring drove the group order intake up to EUR1,284.9m, a 45.4% improvement on the crisis-shaken previous year. Orders for sheetfed offset presses jumped 33.8% to EUR621.6m, while those for web and special presses soared 58.2% to EUR663.3m. The group order backlog at the end of December was up 31.6% at EUR440.8m. The above-average growth rates for the world’s second-biggest press manufacturer were partly attributable to its broad product range, which addresses both volume markets such as commercial, packaging and newspaper printing, and less volatile niche markets such as metal decorating, coding and security printing.
Group sales climbed 12.3% to EUR1,179.1m (2009: EUR1,050.4m) following a substantial two-year decline triggered by the economic slump and structural changes in the market. Sales of sheetfed offset presses came to EUR551.1m, 15.1% above the prior-year figure. The web and special press division posted a 9.8% increase in sales to €628m.
In KBA’s core markets – sheetfed, commercial web offset and newspaper printing – persistent excess capacity on the supply side continues to weigh heavily on prices. Nonetheless, a double-digit jump in revenue, and the cost savings delivered by consolidation, enabled KBA to more than double its operating profit from EUR8.7m to EUR22.2m, with both divisions posting a positive operating result. KBA posted a financial loss of EUR6.9m (2009: a loss of EUR6m), but boosted group pre-tax profit from EUR2.7m in 2009 to EUR15.3m. Net profit of EUR12.5m was also well above the prior-year figure of EUR6.6m and equates to earnings per share of 76 cents. Following a two-year hiatus in dividend payments the management and supervisory boards will table a motion at the AGM on 16 June in Würzburg proposing a dividend of 30 cents per share for the 2010 business year.
Assessing the prospects for 2011, KBA chief executive Helge Hansen noted that the recent events in North Africa and Japan, the unresolved debt crisis in Europe, soaring prices for energy and raw materials and inflationary pressures in China have raised the level of risk to which exporters are exposed. Nonetheless he is confident that the upturn in Group sales and earnings over the past two years can be maintained in 2011. He said: “Last year’s growth rates were high partly because they followed exceptionally poor prior-year figures, and are therefore unlikely to be repeated on this scale. For 2011 we are targeting a moderate increase in sales and earnings, with both divisions contributing their share.” In view of current market volatility, management is reserving further details for the first-quarter report in mid-May.