Heidelberg has confirmed its first half figures with EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) increased from €31 million to €53 million. However, group sales fell from last year’s first half figure of €1,097 million to €996 million, largely due to a particular decline in new machine sales in China.
Meanwhile, Heidelberg has also provided an update on its current restructuring progress. The company claims to have completed the realignment of its postpress business as planned and on schedule. At the end of October, Heidelberg signed a cooperation agreement with Masterwork Machinery Co., Ltd in China covering postpress packaging equipment. Under this agreement, Masterwork will develop and manufacture future products and solutions for this market segment, while Heidelberg will handle marketing and service outside China and Japan. The two companies have also agreed to consider joint production of components in China.
Negotiations with employee representatives regarding a reduction in the workforce at the Ludwigsburg site have been completed and agreement has been reached on the closure of the Leipzig site. The aim is to place postpress on a profitable footing by focusing on competitive products and to improve the result by approximately €30 million from the next financial year onward by adapting the business model.
As for sheetfed offset presses, Heidelberg assumes that demand will fluctuate and is to develop its presses with greater modularisation and standardisation for economies of scale.
Heidelberg has taken over the Belgian consumables supplier BluePrint Products NV as part of its plan to expand into the profitable and less cyclical consumables business.
Gerold Linzbach, Heidelberg CEO, commented: “The goal of our active portfolio management is for our service- and consumables-based business, which benefits from high margins and is less cyclical, to account for a share of Group sales of more than 50 percent.