Gallus Group, the Switzerland based manufacturer of narrow web label presses and folding carton machinery, reports a sales decline of 16.8 percent for 2010, from CHF 214 million ($233 million) in 2009 to CHF 178 million ($194 million) last year.
“The economic recovery that began at the end of 2009 boosted demand for label printing presses,” says Gallus CEO Klaus Bachstein. “Nevertheless, there were still regional differences: The demand came primarily from emerging nations, while in many industrialized countries there was still a very noticeable reluctance to invest. On the other hand, the consumer behavior that underpins the label printing press business was back up to pre-crisis levels in many countries.”
In 2009, Gallus launched the ECS 340, a departure from its traditional stable of high end presses. The ECS 340 is a lower-priced label press aimed at the commodity label printing market, and Bachstein says it has made a strong contribution to the company’s bottom line.
Recovery in the folding carton business, he notes, was a major contributor to the sales decline last year. “The folding carton business served by Gallus Stanz- und Druckmaschinen was still suffering greatly in 2010 from the reluctance of folding carton manufacturers to invest, and the volume of business was significantly down from 2009.” Bachstein adds, however, that orders received in the second half of the year, along with positive movement thus far in 2011, indicate a change in the trend and the hope of a much better year.