Web to go in Heidelberg restructure

Despite the restructure costing an estimated €400m, Heidelberg sees significantly improved profitability and cash flow after the re-alignment.

Heidelberg has been in close discussions with Goss International with the view to divest its activities in research, development and production of web offset presses for some months now. Heidelberg says that negotiations with potential partners for its Web Systems business are continuing, which include close cooperation for the installed base and future customer care.

In the Digital division, Heidelberg has come to the realisation that it must adapt capacities and will refocus its activities. The Management Board will present an appropriate solution by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Postpress division will become a separate entity, focusing entirely on the requirements of the postpress equipment market.

All this allows Heidelberg to concentrate its resources on sheetfed offset printing and all its related value chain, including prepress, press, postpress and workflow management. Heidelberg’s worldwide sales and service network will continue to offer competent support and consulting for Heidelberg’s own products and products from first class partners to all its customers.

Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg CEO, says, “Heidelberg will continue to provide products for premium quality print results. Our target markets will mainly be commercial printers, focusing on short and medium print runs, as well as packaging and label printing.”

As a consequence of all these changes, Heidelberg will adapt its organisational structure. The divisional structure will be streamlined to a leaner functional organization, leading to a further reduction of the workforce by up to 1000 employees worldwide.

Within the Board, Schreier will additionally be responsible for the worldwide sales and services network, as well as for R&D and operations. Dr. Klaus Spiegel will assume responsibility for the entire product portfolio and marketing, and Dr. Herbert Meyer will remain CFO.

Wolfgang Pfizenmaier (56) and Holger Reichardt (49) will resign from the Management Board in mutual and friendly agreement with the Supervisory Board.

The new focus will influence the coming year-end financials. While sales and operating profit targets for the financial year remain unchanged, additional one-time-costs of up to 400 million Euro will arise for restructuring and, to a greater part, book losses in connection with the planned divestment of Web Systems and the repositioning of Digital and Postpress.

Meyer says, “Overall, the new focus will significantly improve our profitability and cash flow in the short and medium term, and thus enables us to achieve the financial targets we have set for the company”.

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