Heidelberg releases third-quarter financials

Rainer Hundsdörfer.

Heidelberg has published its financial report on the third quarter of 2019. The OEM said it’s in an advanced planning stage with regard to the extensive package of measures previously announced “to improve profitability and liquidity.” Important cornerstones will be adopted before the end of the current financial year, Heidelberg added, and are expected to show the first positive effects in the new financial year. The measures include streamlining and focusing the organizational structures more strongly on customer needs and more efficient processes, selling additional non-core areas to focus the product portfolio, and restructuring the international production network to significantly reduce the cost base. “We’re gearing Heidelberg on profitable activities and are launching an innovation initiative to expand our technological leadership in our core business,” said CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “This will enable us to consistently adapt to the challenging market conditions, which are currently difficult to predict, not least due to the uncertain economic impact of the coronavirus in China, our largest single market.”

As announced on January 20, 2020, Heidelberg recorded a stable development of sales and incoming orders over the first nine months (April 1 to December 31, 2019) of financial year 2019/2020. While incoming orders totaling € 1,900 million almost reached the previous year’s level of € 1,912 million, incoming orders in the third quarter totalled € 636 million, up from € 606 million in the previous year. Nine-month sales of € 1,690 million were virtually unchanged. In the third quarter, however, sales fell from € 579 million to € 567 million as a result of the reluctance to invest in Europe caused by the economic situation.

Digitization initiatives continue as drupa looms. The goal is and remains to focus the group on customer-centric solutions, and to continue to drive forward the digital transformation. Heidelberg is making further progress in this regard. For example, the company is getting closer to its goal of increasing the share of recurring revenues from subscription offers to around one-third in the medium term. By the end of December, 13% of the order backlog was already based on these kinds of customer projects. When it comes to innovation with a focus on autonomous, fully automatic printing, Heidelberg will be presenting a new generation of products at the drupa 2020 tradeshow in June under the slogan Unfold your Potential. One example is the popular Speedmaster model with new Plate to Unit printing plate logistics, to further improve both cost-effectiveness and competitiveness in offset printing. Initial customer orders in this profitable core business of the group have already been received. Heidelberg added that it’s convinced that the enhanced product portfolio will enable it to further extend its market and technology leadership in future-oriented software-based applications, intelligent user guidance, and autonomous processes of integrated solution systems (i.e. the Smart Print Shop).

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.