Group sales were down almost 28% from €263.5 in 2012 to €190.7m. A significant contributor to this figure was a 43% year-on-year drop in web and special press sales to €92.5m (2012: €162.6m) as scheduled orders were continually postponed.
Meanwhile restraint in sheetfed offset purchasing led to a marginal 2.7% decline in sales to €98.2m (2012: €100.9m).
Overall order intake was down 15.5% year-on-year to €200m with sheetfed offset orders of €132.8m (€152.9m) while web and special press orders also shrank with a total value of €67.2m (2012: €83.7m).
Although acknowledging “unsatisfactory results” and a continued volatile market, KBA chief executive Claus Bolza-Schunemann said that the company was working hard towards sustainably improving its results and had already seen “a noticeable improvement” in gross profit margins resulting from the implementation in March of a 2.5% increase in the price of sheetfed offset presses.
“Our goal is that all product sectors and business lines contribute positively to group results,” he added.
Looking ahead the company is to focus on continued expansion in growth markets following the unveiling its Varius 80 web offset press for short-run flexible packaging and its first digital press – the RotaJet 76 – at Drupa 2012, as well as the acquisition of Italian flexo-press manufacturer Flexotecnica in March this year.
Although details of orders for the RotaJet have so far not been disclosed, PrintWeek revealed that the first firm order and a letter of intent was received at the end of last year.
Bolza-Schunemann suggested that announcements on this front were close. “We have been negotiating a raft of projects in various market segments for some time and I am confident we will announce the first sales soon,” he said.
The company’s focus on the digital and packaging markets is aimed to compensate for the general market decline in sheetfed and web offset presses, he explained.
He added: “In 2013 we anticipate that these new market segments will only make a limited contribution to group sales and earnings, however this should change in the midterm.”
Meanwhile KBA remained firm on its goals for 2013, forecasting a modest improvement in pre-tax earnings and “similar” group sales to 2012 (€1.3bn).
“I believe that our targets of a moderate rise in earnings and similar sales to 2012 remain realistic,” he said.