German press manufacturer Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has started off its 2018/2019 financial year with steady growth in net sales and overall results. High demand for Heidelberg’s newly established subscription model and the launch of the Primefire digital production press “are demonstrating the potential the digital transformation offers the company,” the OEM pointed out. Incoming orders, for example, improved in the first quarter (April 1 to June 30) by 6% to €665 million (the previous year’s figure of €629 million benefited from the Print China tradeshow). Order backlog grew by 18%to €714 million (previous year was €603 million), partly due to subscription contracts, particularly in terms of lifecycle business (i.e. services and consumables).
The first quarter brought in the first revenues raised from subscription contracts, which generated recurrent sales over a term “that usually lasts five years.” However, Heidelberg also recorded growth in traditional business during the first quarter of 2018, with sales rising by 9% in total to €541 million, despite negative currency effects. Had exchange rates remained similar, revenues would have risen by around 11%, said the company.
“The strong customer demand for our new subscription portfolio and digital packaging printing presses has exceeded our expectations,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “Heidelberg is driving digitization in the entire industry. The establishment of the new business models is proceeding to plan, and will at first make a relatively modest contribution to net sales and results – albeit one that will increase significantly in the medium term,” he added.