Global orders help Krones achieve good first quarter

Related tags Krones Industry

Krones, the market leader for beverage filling and packaging
machinery, has reported increased order bookings, sales revenues
and profits for the first quarter of 2004 despite gloomy prognoses
for the German economy. This bodes well for the sector as a whole.

The group has achieved economic stability through diversifying its operations and expanding globally. Three large orders - one from the American brewing group Anheuser Busch, one from Danone for bottling Evian water, and one from Beer Thai in Thailand (one of the biggest orders in Krones' history) - exemplify a perceptible uptrend.

As corporate investment levels began gradually to recover, Krones experienced buoyant demand for its machines, lines and services during the first three months of the ongoing business year. Order bookings rose by eight per cent on a like-for-like basis to reach €406 million (preceding year: €376 m).

Sales revenues in the Krones Group during 2004's first quarter, at €388 million, were 6 per cent up on he preceding year's figure (€367 m). Against the background of a significantly worse price situation than in the previous year, profits after taxes were three per cent up at €16.3 million.

The positive business outlook and the prospect of the AGM's approving the conversion of Krones' preference shares into ordinary shares had already boosted the prices of the shares traded on the MDAX, up by a substantial 25 per cent since the beginning of 2004 to reach their highest level for many years.

Krones has maintained its market position through keeping track of the trends that are shaping the food production sector. For example, with food manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic obliged by law to keep detailed records of the supply chain, Syskron, the IT subsidiary within the Krones group, has developed a range of software products to help manufacturers achieve traceability.

The technology has been designed to enable a production line to run as efficiently as possible. The tracking and tracing system establishes complete-coverage batch tracking from the production line and the dispatch department all the way to the customer.

In addition to traceability, the software gives manufacturers the opportunity to identify means of increasing efficiency resulting in cost savings. By recording all data relevant to the process, the line's owner can obtain the basic data required for proactively designing and optimising the production process involved.

The Krones Group, headquartered in Neutraubling/Upper Palatinate, plans, develops and manufactures machines and complete lines for bottling, canning and packaging operations in the beverage, food, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. It has plants in Neutraubling, Nittenau, Flensburg, Freising and Rosenheim.

Besides Krones​, the group comprises the production subsidiaries Steinecker (brewing technology), Sander Hansen (pasteurisers), Syskron (process automation) and Kosme (machines for the lower speed range) plus more than 40 companies abroad. The group's turnover was €1.4 billion in 2003.

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