Koenig & Bauer unveils Performance 2024 efficiency program for future growth

To reinforce its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of press and post-press equipment and solutions for packaging, industrial printing and security printing applications, and to boost the earning power of the Koenig & Bauer Group, the Management Board has been working intensively on developing and expanding its “Performance 2024” efficiency program over the past several months. This also includes plans to achieve annual cost savings expected to amount to over €100 million and then continue increasing until 2024 – while maintaining and accelerating all innovation, processes and product developments. The non-recurring costs in the mid two-digit million Euro range that this makes necessary, will be recorded in the group results for the business year 2020 as expenditures realized as a provision, said the Group.

Board members responsible for “Performance 2024” explain to employees the measures that will enable the company to continue to develop even in a tense global economic situation. From left are: Michael Ulverich, COO; Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO; and Dr. Andreas Pleßke, Segment Board Member.

The principal market segments addressed by Koenig & Bauer, such as the expanding areas of packaging and industrial printing, will remain fundamentally intact. This is clearly demonstrated, said the OEM, by the high levels of capacity utilization currently reported by printers of packaging for food products, beverages and pharmaceuticals, as well as the booming online trade. Even so, said the Group, customers are still postponing new investments due to all the uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The primary objective of the four-year, multi-faceted program is to strengthen the company’s competitiveness for the long term. A range of measures aims to ensure further development of the Koenig & Bauer product range in accordance with market needs, to continue with the digitalization of processes, and, at the same time, to achieve reductions in manufacturing costs. “Koenig & Bauer continues to focus on end-to-end system solutions and optimization of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the customer,” the OEM emphasized.  “The investments in digital print and direct post-printing on corrugated board are being pursued with vigour, as is the joint venture with the Durst Group. So too are new developments for security printing, currently in the pipeline. Koenig & Bauer stands by its current product portfolio and will continue to work on consistently expanding it. The further digitalization of the services it offers is another area in which particular attention is being directed.”

Alongside increased efficiency, the Performance 2024 Program also aims to scale group activities, as the current global economic situation (and still widely applicable travel restrictions and worsening Covid-19 developments) suggest there’ll only be moderate turnover growth in the next few years, while a short-term return to pre-crisis levels is not anticipated. The Supervisory Board was closely involved in the evaluation process and approved the program after detailed deliberation and extensive discussions during the board meeting held September 28, 2020. Upon conclusion of the program, turnover at the Koenig & Bauer Group is expected to reach about €1.3 billion. On the earnings side, the Management Board hopes that implementation of the approved cost and structural adaptations will help maintain a return on sales totaling at least 7% over the medium term, while reducing working capital requirements to an average level of 25% of annual turnover.

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