In terms of profitability the picture is also turning for the better. Having been profitable every quarter since the end of 2012, Komori has clearly adjusted fastest to the smaller market for printing equipment.
Heidelberg reported a black zero in March '14 but continued restructuring in 2014, resulting in a net loss despite improved operating income. But it is a first in a number of years that Heidelberg achieved a positive operating result in the first quarter of this fiscal year. With increasing orders and backlog, profitability for the year should not need to depend on a blow-out fourth quarter.
KBA continued the same "weak first fiscal quarter" pattern, even though the company has a different fiscal year than HD. While the second quarter was positive, the year-to-date operating results are still in the red. After much debate the company is now reporting its web and special press results separately, confirming its diminished role in a much smaller web offset market. The Special business segment includes KBA's envied security printing business (as well as flexible packaging and metal decorating) , but reported a modest EBIT of Euro 3.6 million on sales of Euro 170 million. Maybe an indication that Komori's efforts to become a serious competitor is paying off. Komori reported a security press order in each of the last four years.
With all the gloom and doom in the world the new order development is positive. Of course, the exposure to the Chinese market is risk that everybody is certainly aware of.