Heidelberg’s transformation strategy results in Q1 sales up by a third

Heidelberg has reported high order volumes and improved operating profitability with the company’s Q1 sales up by around a third and incoming orders up by nearly 90 per cent.

Attributing its success to a broad market recovery in all regions and growth from the group’s transformation strategy, Heidelberg said it has delivered on promised improvements in sales and operating profitability in the first quarter.

It added that confidence is being fuelled by a broad market recovery that, along with orders from the successful trade show in China, has led to incoming orders of €652 million – an increase of 89 per cent compared with the equivalent quarter of the previous year.

Given the marked uptick in demand – especially for innovative new products such as the Speedmaster CX 104 universal press – Heidelberg said it is convinced it can continue building on the company’s position in China, its number one growth market.

“As demonstrated by our encouraging initial quarter of financial year 2021/22 [April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022], Heidelberg is really delivering. Buoyed by the global economic recovery and the notable improvement in operating profitability, we are also very optimistic about meeting the targets announced for the year as a whole,” Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said.

Its EBITDA amounted to €15 million (equivalent quarter of previous year: € 40 million) and the EBITDA margin was 3.5 per cent.

Heidelberg said there was a significant improvement in the quality of earnings compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

In view of the positive development of orders and the encouraging operating result trends in the first quarter – and despite the continuing uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic – Heidelberg said it is standing by its targets for financial year 2021/22.

The company said it is anticipating an increase in sales to at least €2 billion from €1.9 million the previous year.

Based on current projects focusing on its profitable core business, Heidelberg is also expecting further earnings from asset management in financial year 2021/22.

Heidelberg also added that its new Print Solutions and Packaging Solutions segments are set to generate moderate margin growth thanks to the encouraging market dynamics and the market initiatives that have been introduced.

As for its new Technology Solutions segment, it said that the business will still make a slightly negative contribution to the result due to investments in the growth of the business areas in this segment.

“Following significant losses in previous years, Heidelberg is expecting a slightly positive net result after taxes in FY 2021/22 – despite the fact that sales are still predicted to be significantly below pre-crisis levels. Leverage is set to remain at the low level of financial year 2020/21,” it said.

“As for the operating break-even point measured in terms of EBIT, which was between €2.1 billion and €2.2 billion prior to the pandemic, a lasting reduction to around €1.9 billion is expected by financial year 2022/23.”Heidelberg has announced a start to its new financial year with high order volumes and improved operating profitability as its Q1 sales was up by around a third and incoming orders by nearly 90 per cent.

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