KBA’s 2016 full year financial report reveals the company’s highest profit margin in 199 years, with 26 per cent coming from the Asia Pacific region.

The company says this growth comes mainly from its packaging printing segment, and increased market share.

Gross profit climbed to €346m ($529), from last year’s result of €247m, with the gross profit margin widening from 26.8 per cent to 29.7 per cent. Ebitda also rose, from €65m to €92m. Ebit more than doubled from the prior corresponding period (pcp), reaching €87m from €35m.

Claus Bolza-Schünemann, chief executive at KBA, says, “The profitable growth was generated in existing and new packaging markets, from industrial applications in digital web printing and the continued expansion of service business – despite the absence of any macroeconomic support.”

Group revenue increased 13.9 per cent, coming in at €1.1bn. KBA says thanks to market share gains, revenue growth in the packaging segment was stronger than in the global market as a whole. The company’s Digital & Web division grew its revenue by 59 per cent to €156m, exceeding what KBA says was its mid-term goal of €125m. According to KBA, growth in the packaging market and substantial market share gains allowed its Sheetfed segment to achieve a 9.5 per cent increase in revenue to €615m.

As a result, the KBA management board wants to increase group revenue organically by around 4 per cent per year until 2021, mostly through packaging printing.

Dr Mathias Dähn, chief financial officer at KBA, says, “We don’t want growth at any price. Rather, what we are seeking is profitable growth. Depending on global economy, end markets and the necessary investments in growth, the group is targeting an EBIT margin of between 4 and 9 per cent for the period until 2021.

“After a decade of declining revenue and unsatisfactory margins, we want our shareholders to receive a fair portion of this success. Accordingly, the management board and the supervisory board will be asking the shareholders to approve a dividend of €0.50 per share at the annual general meeting.”

The company’s global workforce expanded in 2016, increasing by 69 to 5,318 employees.

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