Koenig & Bauer on track for a profitable growth

A strong third quarter and a robust demand in turbulent economic environment

Koenig & Bauer
Printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer Würzburg, Germany (K&B)

Koenig & Bauer, a global supplier of sheetfed and web offset printing machines, is opening up new business areas with digital and sustainable solutions. Driven by a strong third quarter, the Koenig & Bauer Group is on a growth trajectory despite the turbulent economic environment.

Like many manufacturing companies, Koenig & Bauer is still caught between high order backlogs on the one hand and many adverse factors mainly on the supply side on the other.

“Our flexibility and creativity – including in conjunction with our suppliers – are having an impact, as we have learned to deal more effectively with the exceptional situation over the past few months,” says Dr Andreas Pleßke, Chief Executive Officer of Koenig & Bauer, commenting on the growth in revenue and earnings. 

“Following the strong order intake in the first half of 2022, customer demand is still very solid and we are pleased to be able to tap new areas of business with the latest digital and sustainable solutions, thus offering our customers added value,” he adds.

The new cross-group digital unit, headed by Sandra Wagner, Vice President, digitalization at Koenig & Bauer, coordinates and supports the development, implementation and market launch of digital products and services – from the seed idea through to market launch.

“We are focusing on our customers, supporting them with digital solutions wherever they can become even more profitable,” says Wagner.

Together with its global customers, Koenig & Bauer not only exerts a major influence on the world of printing and packaging, but also has a responsibility for the sustainable structuring of production processes. The three components of the energy management product – the automated collection of measurement data, the visualization of the results and the definition of measures on this basis, combined with professional energy consulting – enable more efficient production to be achieved.

“In a turbulent economic environment, Koenig & Bauer demonstrated in the third quarter that it is on track for profitable growth and can manage all challenges well,” explains Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO of the company.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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