“Exceeding Print” corporate strategy – focus on existing strengths
The resolute continuation of the P24x initiatives will be gradually transferred to the new group strategy. Koenig & Bauer is driving forward its transformation from a traditional mechanical engineering company into an agile technology group by focusing on its existing strengths of sustainability, modularity and digitisation. The path that the company has already embarked on is leading it to greater digitisation and modularity, resulting in additional economic success in its core markets, especially packaging printing. Printing processes are using less material and energy, thus becoming more sustainable. In addition, Koenig & Bauer is driving forward its agenda for sustainability as the greatest challenge facing the packaging industry in the future and setting itself further committed goals in this area.
As Pleßke adds, “Aware as we are of our responsibility, we have chosen a sustainable corrugated cardboard box for our first “Annual Report Summary” under the motto “This box was once a newspaper”. In response to the growing transparency and digitalisation requirements, we have divided the report into two modules. You can view the full report complete with all figures and data via your mobile device by scanning the corresponding QR code or by going to annualreport.koenig-bauer.com and ordering a copy if necessary.”
As the name suggests, “Exceeding Print” goes beyond “printing” and describes Koenig & Bauer’s future activities. The business models for packaging printing are evolving at high speed and the company assumes that many of its future customers currently do not yet even exist. Koenig & Bauer will be developing solutions to address the numerous new requirements. More than ever before, customers’ purchasing decisions are being guided by efforts to optimise their total cost of process. In this way, Koenig & Bauer sees itself as the trusted advisor for its customers and a pioneer of change and innovation in the printing industry.
Due to current uncertainties, forecasting for 2022 remains challenging
2022 will be another year of transformation in view of the currently unforeseeable consequences of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus as a result, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the protracted supply chain constraints. Accordingly, Koenig & Bauer anticipates a slight year-on-year increase in Group revenue and the operating EBIT margin in 2022. At the date on which the consolidated financial statements were completed, a reliable assessment of the full impact of the aforementioned risks was not possible due to the prevailing uncertainties, meaning that no forecast for 2022 was possible.
The first few months of 2022 continue to be dominated worldwide by the Covid-19 pandemic, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, protracted delivery shortfalls and the related increase in the cost of materials, reduced transport capacity and higher energy costs. As a consequence of this and due to the relatively muted conditions in the sector during the fourth quarter of 2021, industry association VDMA has scaled back its previous full-year forecast for 2022 for real production growth in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector from 7% to 4%.
Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO of Koenig & Bauer AG: “As soon as the situation permits, we will endeavour to provide a reliable and detailed 2022 forecast. Despite all the adversities, we as a team proved last year that we do an excellent job and not only achieved our goals for 2021, but also slightly exceeded them. We are being buoyed by our good order situation – including in those areas that were previously more exposed to our customers’ spending restraint due to the uncertainties resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic – as well as the good progress we are achieving with our efficiency programme. Even though the procurement situation will continue to pose major challenges for us in 2022 and the increase in raw material and energy prices will also result in higher material costs this year, we are firmly convinced that we will achieve our goals for 2022 and beyond.”