Heidelberg restructuring continues amid China slowdown

Heidelberg has released its figures for the third quarter of its 2014/2015 financial year. Heidelberg insists that its restructuring is still on course, and that it is still hopeful of reaching its goal of 8 percent margin by next year.

The restructuring has seen Heidelberg outsource much of its postpress portfolio and reorganise its offset press activities with new sales mainly coming from emerging economies whhile the established Western markets are mainly handling servicing and consumables. Heidelberg has also taken steps to develop its digital offerings further, buying Gallus and developing a digital label press with Fujifilm. CEO Gerold Linzbach commented: “The main focal point in the current financial year is to realign the portfolio so as to place Heidelberg on a sustainably profitable footing.”

However, a slowdown in the Chinese market has affected these plans so that sales after nine months amounted to € 1.552 billion, which is below the previous year’s figure of € 1.685 billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EDITDA, were € 80 million, up from € 67 million in the previous year. However, there were restructuring costs of € –55 million in this quarter alone – compared with € –72 million for the whole of the nine months. As a result, the net result before taxes in the period under review dropped to € –92 million (previous year: € –32 million) and the net result after taxes fell to € –95 million (previous year: € –40 million). But Heidelberg’s net debt is falling, down to € 250 million for the third quarter from € 272 million for the previous quarter.

Heidelberg has said that sales in financial year 2014/2015 are expected to be down around 5 percent year-on-year on the whole, mainly due to the slowdown in China and the ongoing restructuring.

Meanwhile, Lone Fønss Schrøder (54) has resigned from Heidelberg’s Supervisory Board. She has been replaced by Kirsten Lange (48) from Voith Hydro’s Management Board, where she was in charge of Business Development.





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