drupa orders rescue Heidelberg revenue

Global press supplier Heidelberg booked a €77m sales slump in first quarter revenue for 2016/17, revealing its saving grace was mammoth drupa orders topping €804m.

In its results statement, Heidelberg attributed a highly successful tradeshow to its earnings, posting over €100m worth of additional orders compared to the same period last year.

“Thanks to a good showing at drupa, Heidelberg has made a solid start to the new financial year. The high level of incoming orders at the trade show is particularly strong evidence of this,” says chief executive Gerold Linzbach.

[Related: Heidelberg CEO to step down next year]

Thanks to restrained pre-drupa activity Heidelberg booked a net result of €-37m for the quarter, down further from last year’s €-4m. Its net debt also sits at €263m, an improvement on last quarter’s €281m.

The costs of exhibiting at the enormous tradeshow set Heidelberg back €10m, and the company also paid more inwages due to new agreements.

The German supplier also says the global launch of its driverless presses sparked considerable customer interest at drupa, its flagship press Speedmaster XL 106, whihc it says was the most sold machine at the show.

“Through the concept of autonomous printing, Heidelberg is also leveraging the opportunities presented by digitisation and sparking a paradigm shift in industrial print production with sheetfed offset presses,” the results statement reads.

“Investments made by customers confirm the industry shift towards greater automation and productivity, and towards software-based integration.”

[Related: Heidelberg aims for driverless presses]

It also revealed the sale of its 1000th Versafire digital press at the show, and says the number of digital solutions sold at drupa alone matched the total for the whole financial year of 2014/2015.

Heidelberg asserts its strategic realignment is set to boost group sales by up to 4 per cent per year, and foresees growth in the label and digital market – both due to its collection of Fire branded digital presses.

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