– starts new financial year with high order volume and improved operating profitability.
Heidelberg has made a positive start to financial year 2021/22 (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022). Thanks to a broad market recovery in virtually all regions and growing successes from the Group’s transformation strategy, the company has been able to deliver the promised improvements in sales and operating profitability in the first quarter. Sales for the quarter increased by around a third compared with the equivalent period of the previous year, from € 330 million to € 441 million. EBITDA, which was influenced in the equivalent quarter of the previous year by high earnings of € 73 million from the reorganization of retirement provision and the widespread use of short-time working, improved substantially on an operational level to € 15 million. Thus, despite clearly reduced sales, the figure for the period under review even exceeded the pre-crisis level recorded in FY 2019/20 (€ 11 million).
“As demonstrated by our encouraging initial quarter of financial year 2021/22, Heidelberg is really delivering! Buoyed by the global economic recovery and the notable improvement in operating profitability, we are also very optimistic about meeting the targets announced for the year as a whole,” reports Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.
Confidence regarding financial year 2020/21 as a whole is being fueled by a broad market recovery that, along with orders from the successful trade show in China, has led to incoming orders of € 652 million – an increase of some 89 percent compared with the equivalent quarter of the previous year. Given the marked uptick in demand – especially for innovative new products such as the Speedmaster CX 104 universal press – Heidelberg is convinced it can continue building on the company’s market-leading position in China, the world’s number one growth market.
Based on solid economic development, Heidelberg is expecting the profitable upward trend to continue in subsequent years, too. This is due to the company’s implementation of realignment measures, the focus on its profitable core business, and the expansion of growth areas. Cost savings of some € 140 million are predicted during financial year 2021/22 as a whole. The potential for sustained growth and increases in value is based primarily on opportunities in packaging printing, digital business models, business in China, and new technology applications. Heidelberg aims to double its Wallbox capacities in the e-mobility sector this year to meet the dynamic growth in customer demand. With third production line being taken into operation – despite the sums being invested in this expansion – the company’s e-mobility business is already turning a profit.
“The enormous efforts we have made to transform the company are now bearing fruit. Thanks to the expected improvements in our operating result, the significant free cash flow potential, and a historically low level of debt, we are very confident in financial terms, too, that we can realize our huge opportunities for the future. It’s many years since Heidelberg was last in this situation,” adds the company’s CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg.
Heidelberg recorded sales of around € 441 million for the first quarter of FY 2021/22, which was far better than in the equivalent period of the previous year (€ 330 million).
Incoming orders climb by close to 90 percent (compared with the equivalent period of the previous year), from € 346 million to € 652 million. This has increased the order backlog to € 840 million.
EBITDA amounted to € 15 million (equivalent quarter of previous year: € 40 million) and the EBITDA margin was 3.5 percent.
The company even improved on EBITDA as recorded in the corresponding quarter of financial year 2019/20, i.e. prior to the coronavirus pandemic (€ 11 million, including the effects of restructuring), despite a lower sales figure than in that year.
Despite the continuing uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Heidelberg is standing by its targets for financial year 2021/22. The company is anticipating an increase in sales to at least € 2 billion (previous year: € 1,913 million).