Heidelberg makes first HY profit since 2008

Heidelberg makes first HY profit since 2008
German giant focusing on its €3bn target for 2022 as it eases into the black

Heidelberg’s half year results has seen the company achieving a half year net profit after taxes for the first time in 10 years, with its net result after taxes improving by $28m, to deliver a profit coming in at €300,000, compared with a $27.5m loss for the same period last year.

The result is the first half year in the black since the 2007/2008 tax year, the last before the onslaught of the GFC.

Heidelberg achieved Group sales of $1.05bn, virtually unchanged since last year’s $1.07bn, as it pursues its digital policy.

Its group sales came in at €1.05bn, down from the previous year’s result of €1.07bn. Its EBITDA grew from €45m to €60m, the EBITDA margin reaches 8.2 per cent in second quarter.

Heidelberg says as expected, incoming orders in the post-drupa year of €1.23bn were below the previous year’s figure of €1.4bn. The order backlog is at €630m compared to the €765m in the previous year.

However the company says its second half results may be impacted by adverse exchange rate fluctuations in Asia, a struggling market for its remarketed presses, and the ongoing reluctance of printers in the US to invest in presses.

In the second quarter just reported, Heidelberg says it made further progress in its future-oriented strategic issues such as technology leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence. This was achieved through, among other things, market successes with innovative digital presses, establishing new business models, and enhancing efficiency by adapting leadership structures.

During the 2016-2017 Heidelberg AGM, the company announced it would be aiming for group sales around €3bn by 2022, up by 20 per cent from the current €2.5bn.

[Related: Heidelberg sales grow, orders drop]

Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg says, “The process of converting our company into a state-of-the-art digital technology group is progressing well.

“With the launch of new subscription models for our customers and our portfolio of innovative products for the eMobility growth sector, we’re moving into new territory that offers enormous potential for growth. Heidelberg will be setting new standards when it comes to technologies of the future, digitization, and efficiency. The necessary cultural shift has only just begun.”

Dirk Kaliebe, CFO at Heidelberg says, “Heidelberg is on a very sound financial footing, with financing secured for the long term. This will enable us to independently fund the strategic measures and the growth we are aiming for. Systematically harnessing the potential from the efficiency program will also secure our medium-term profitability targets.”

Demand for digitally printed packaging and labels continue unabated. Heidelberg says it is well placed in this sector thanks to digital label presses from Gallus. This was underlined by the numerous orders for the new Gallus Labelfire at the Labelexpo trade show in Brussels at the end of September.

Heidelberg says it is leading the way in developing the industrial digital printing market, and aims to build on this position. The period under review also saw shipment of the first industrial digital packaging printing press, Primefire. Further customer installations will be following shortly and customer interest is continuing to grow. Series production for these digital printing systems is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2018.

In the second quarter, Heidelberg also began the pilot phase for launching new business models. This involves offering customers a full package of machinery, services, consumables, and software in a subscription model.

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