Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG of Germany released a financial update for its first half of 2017/18, April 1 to September 30, 2017, stating profitability improved significantly. The company’s operations resulted in a half-year net profit after taxes of €+0.3 million for the first time since financial year 2007/08.
“The process of converting our company into a state-of-the-art digital technology group is progressing well,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “With the launch of new subscription models for our customers and our portfolio of innovative products for the eMobility growth sector, we’re moving into new territory that offers enormous potential for growth. Heidelberg will be setting new standards when it comes to technologies of the future, digitization, and efficiency. The necessary cultural shift has only just begun.”
In terms of its shift toward digitally printed packaging and labels, Heidelberg explains it is well positioned in this sector based on its digital label presses from Gallus. This was underlined by what the company describes as numerous orders for the new Gallus Labelfire at the Labelexpo trade show in Brussels at the end of September.
The period under review also saw shipment of its industrial digital packaging printing press, Primefire. Series production for these digital printing systems is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2018. The company states it is already fully booked in this area for two years.
In the second quarter, Heidelberg also began the pilot phase for launching new business models. This involves offering customers a full package of machinery, services, consumables, and software in a subscription model.
In the last few weeks, Heidelberg explains additional successful steps have been taken for new product offerings that are intended to generate around €50 million in additional sales over the next few years.
Heidelberg Industry boasts substantial expertise in control and power electronics for industrial and eMobility applications. After establishing itself as a supplier over a number of years, the company is now marketing high-performance wallboxes and intelligent charging cables for electric vehicles under its own name. In conjunction with Berlin-based technology startup Big Rep, a large-format 3D printing solution has also been developed that has been in series production since October.
In operational terms, the figures for the first half of financial year 2017/18 were as planned. Despite negative exchange rate effects of €18 million and the systematic reduction of trading activities with remarketed equipment, sales after six months were €1,054 million, almost the same as the previous year’s level of €1,072 million.
As expected by the company, incoming orders in the post-drupa year of €1,234 million were below the previous year’s figure (H1 2016/17: €1,408 million). The order backlog was a solid €630 million compared to the €765 million at September 30, 2016, which was boosted by drupa.
Profitability rose significantly on the previous year’s figures. EBITDA excluding restructuring result was up from €45 million to €60 million after two quarters, with the EBITDA margin reaching 8.2 percent in the second quarter, following 7.5 percent in the same period of the previous year.
“Heidelberg is on a very sound financial footing, with financing secured for the long term. This will enable us to independently fund the strategic measures and the growth we are aiming for,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO at Heidelberg. “Systematically harnessing the potential from the efficiency program will also secure our medium-term profitability targets.”
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