12 February 2017 Analogue Printing Technologies

Five years on, Manroland Sheetfed is happy as a profit making press manufacturer

Deep restructuring has not just saved the Manroland sheetfed press marque, but provided the platform for success, says owner Tony Langley.

Five years ago, Langley Holdings rescued Manroland’s sheetfed presses business from administration, saving what had been one of the premier litho press manufacturers in the world.

The initial surgery cut deep and five years on Manroland Sheetfed is a very different business. Langley Holdings chairman Tony Langley has looked back on the five years in his report on the group’s 2016 financial performance.

“The business has gone through a deep process of transformation, changing the company’s structure, processes and most importantly its culture. None of the former Manroland AG board were retained and more than half the managing directors of the 40-plus sales and service subsidiaries have been replaced.”

That was for starters. Committees, boards, working groups located at the headquarters have disappeared and in place is a single site, lean manufacturing unit. And while the process eliminated significant numbers, the company has continued to take on apprentices and graduates, improving the age profile of the business, says Langley.

It has shipped around 500 machines in the period, including the Roland 700 Evolution, a press designed in two years. “The Roland 700 Evolution confounded those that said the company had ceased to develop new products,” says Langley. He goes on to assert that the press is the “most technologically advanced printing press in the world today”, something that is much more debatable.

However, the figures do not argue. Manroland Sheetfed now stands on its own feet and generates returns for the group. The initial investment to purchase and reshape the business has been paid back. In 2016, it produced revenues of €314.8 million (€291.9 million) and ends the year with €52.8 million of orders on hand (€79.5 million).

The company, like other press manufacturers, has been dented by the slowdown in the Chinese economy and the virtual disappearance of Brazil as a growing market. However, the slack has been taken up by “remarkably strong performances from the company’s US and Canadian subsidiaries, together with a very solid performance in Germany”. The company ended the year in profit, its fifth profitable year as part of Langley Holdings.

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Tony Langley

Tony Langley

“The Roland 700 Evolution confounded those that said the company had ceased to develop new products,” says Tony Langley.

He goes on to assert that the press is the “most technologically advanced printing press in the world today”, something that is much more debatable.

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