Heidelberg forecasts return to profit

Heidelberg has released its figures for the third quarter, ending 31 December 2021, which show rising sales and a healthy order backlog.

Rainer Hundsdorfer, CEO of Heidelberg.

The sales numbers are 20 percent higher for the third quarter over the previous year at €582 million, and 21 percent up for the nine months at €1,565 million. The incoming orders are now worth €1.888 million after nine months, €643 million for just the last quarter, which is up 16 percent on the previous quarter from €557 million. The Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation, or EBITDA, is also up in the third quarter, by 36 percent to €57 million, and for the nine months is 21 percent higher than in the previous year at €132 million. Helpfully, Heidelberg has managed to get its net debt under control, down from €127 million to just €6 million.

Heidelberg says that this improvement is largely due to higher volumes and better margins. The company claims to have worked around a general parts shortage by approving alternative components and coordinating closely with suppliers on a day-to-day basis. However, the company notes that “the availability of parts in the struggling supply chain situation and the development of the pandemic situation remain challenging.”

Heidelberg highlights that it has targeted several growth areas, namely packaging printing and its subscriptions business model as well as new technology applications including printed electronics and electromobility. This last includes its highly successful WallBox charging units for electric cars, which have become a market leader in Germany. The company also makes it clear that its becoming even more reliant on China. 

In November Heidelberg announced a strategic partnership with the Munich Re insurance group, which will help it expand its digital usage-based subscription business internationally. The subscription model offers customers a press, service, and consumables package for a usage fee based on the print output.

Heidelberg is now forecasting sales volumes of at least € 2.1 billion for the full year, which is up from its previous estimate of € 2 billion, due to this latest set of figures. It says that the EBITDA margin based on sales is still expected to be between 7 and 7.5 percent. And the company is forecasting to post a modest profit though says that “leverage will remain at a low level” following the losses of recent years.

Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg, commented: “The success of our efforts to transform Heidelberg is becoming ever clearer. Our core business is doing well thanks to our high level of innovation and our focus on customer benefits, and our digital business models are making a key contribution, too. What’s more, the dynamic growth in demand for electromobility solutions continues unabated. In this sector, we are systematically pressing ahead with our expansion outside Germany and, in the future, we will continue the strategic development of our business model through acquisitions and collaboration. Overall, we are well positioned for the future. Moreover, the healthy order backlog creates a sound basis as we look toward the start of financial year 2022/2023.”

Hundsdörfer himself is due to retire and so Heidelberg named a successor back in October. Dr Ludwin Monz will take over as CEO on 1 April 2022.

You can find more information on this company from heidelberg.com.

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