KBA looks forward to specialist future

The Würzburg-headquartered firm is the world’s oldest press manufacturer. Although Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Bauer came up with a steam driven press to print The Times in London in 1814, the year 1817 marked the foundation of the world’s first printing press factory, on the site of an old monastery in Oberzell.

Chief financial officer Mathias Dähn said: “Our focus is on profitable growth. We have said goodbye to cross-subsidies and have zero tolerance on loss-making. This is a very important message internally, and also to investors and the banks.”

The €1.167bn (£1bn) turnover group has set an organic growth target of 4% for 2017 through to 2021, with an EBIT margin of between 4-9% at a group level. It aims to make a €70m gain through optimising its security printing business and service operations, and by integrating its production network and strategic purchasing.

Quizzed about the disparity in KBA’s share price (€65.59), compared with arch-rival Heidelberg’s (€3.27), Dähn said: “What we try to do is make a product for 80 and sell it for 100. Heidelberg sometimes seems to be doing it the other way around. Even for analysts it becomes difficult to understand what the profit of Heidelberg is, so that [the share price] is the result.”

KBA claims an 80% market share in banknote printing, and also in metal decorating and glass container printing. It has a 63% share in large-format offset and packaging printing. In the declining area of web offset and newspaper printing it has a 30% share.

It also has a number of digital press developments underway, including partnerships with HP for corrugated pre-print, and with Xerox on a B1 sheetfed packaging press, the VariJet 106. It has also sold its first MetalDecoJet digital system for printing onto metal cans, and now has five installations of its RotaJet inkjet web press, at book and décor printers.

However, Bolza-Schünemman said the vast majority of growth would still be through analogue presses: “For years to come we will live in both worlds.”

KODAK announces plate price increases
Kodak announced that it will increase the price of all Kodak offset printing plates globally. Plate prices will increase up to 9%.
Kodak says it has been absorbing significant increases in costs for raw materials for offset plates, including: aluminum; chemicals; and packaging materials. Kodak continues to improve productivity and efficiencies to help offset these marketplace dynamics, but the magnitude of the materials cost impact has made it necessary to increase plate prices.
The printing plate market is both technology-intensive and cost-competitive,” said Brad Kruchten, President, Print Systems Division, Kodak. “As a result, there is no room for us to continue to absorb these escalating raw materials costs without raising our own prices.”Details of the new pricing structure will be communicated to all customers and dealers across the world shortly.Kodak is one of the three major manufactures of offset plates for the Canadian market. Agfa and Fujifilm are the other two.