11 February 2018 xAnalogue Printing Technologies

Langley begins search for acquisitions to boost Manroland Sheetfed

After turning in a below par performance in 2017, Manroland Sheetfed will seek opportunities to make better use of its Offenbach facilities.

Manroland Sheetfed suffered its most disappointing year under the stewardship of Langley Holdings in 2017, yet still managed a positive contribution to the group’s pretax profits.

The company reported a dip in sales to €286.3 million (€314.8 million) after something of a rollercoaster year in sales terms. It had enjoyed a strong Q1, followed by a weak Q2 and a strong start to Q3 ended slowly, according to chairman Tony Langley.

In his report on the group’s financial performance in 2017, Langley says that the contribution from Manroland Sheetfed was “below par comparing the percentage profit on revenue compared to our other operating divisions”.

There is little room for further savings as production has already been consolidated into the Offenbach factory. It has, however, sublet space in the office block to the police for training and plans to move all administrative functions from the office and showroom area to the factory. Some parts of the vast site are also to be used for data centres in any instance of printed communication giving way to digital information.

More will be needed and Langley says that the company is exploring bolt on acquisitions “to fully utilise the site and take advantage of the world-wide sales and service network.

The printing press business remains the largest operation with the Langley Holdings empire responsible for almost a third of sales. These increased in 2017 to €903.5 million (€900.9 million) while pretax profit was hit by extraordinary to dip to €111.8 million (€122.7 million).

The prospects for improved fortunes in 2018 for Manroland Sheetfed do not rest solely on expanded utilisation of the Offenbach factory. Incoming orders in January made it the best month for business in the six years since Langley bought the company from administrators.

It will have hopes for the latest addition to the portfolio, the Roland 700 Evolution Ultima, announced last week. This continues the development of the Roland 700 B1 platform in a version aimed at carton printers, supporting fast change coating units, inline foiling, with a new design of dampening units, new bearings to reduce vibration and offering all kinds of UV curing. It is operated through a new design touch screen control.

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Tony Langley's interest in competitive yacht racing has led to a tie up between the Gladiator series yachts that Langley sponsors and the UK's bid to win the Admiral's Cup, a sporting trophy that has eluded Great Britain, when next staged in New Zealand in 2021.

It fits the image of the high precision engineering that the privately owned group represents. Manroland Sheetfed is the largest operation single operation in the construction to aerospace group and will become larger should it succeed in making additional acquisitions this year.

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