Heidelberg has reported significant improvements in its finacials with growth in sales and operating profitability.

The Group’s sales figures between April and June grew 20 per cent year on year to €530m ($859m), attributed to a rise in the number of new machines delivered. Heidelberg significantly improved its operating result (EBITDA) in the first quarter, recording an increase of €20m to €35m.

Dr Ludwin Monz, chief executive at Heidelberg, says, “The positive start to the new financial year gives us cause to be cautiously optimistic as we look forward.

“Provided there is no downturn in the general economic environment, we are confident we will reach the annual targets we have set. We will support our growth by expanding our products and services for digital printing in the label market and launching new, networking-capable wallboxes in the electromobility sector.”

Profitable growth

Despite ongoing global uncertainties, the company believes it has good opportunities for profitable growth in the 2022/23 financial year. The company expects sales figures to grow to around €2.3bn, provided there is no significant downturn in the general economic environment. It also expects profitability to improve further and forecasts further improvement in the EBITDA margin to at least eight per cent for the 2022/23 financial year.

Incoming orders of €607m in the first quarter showed a return to the pre-pandemic level. The two month Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai curbed business in China. In addition, the war in Ukraine led to weaker demand in Eastern Europe. The previous year’s unusually high figure of €652 million came from the China Print trade show in 2021. The order backlog saw a further significant increase of 15 per cent during the first quarter.

Further growth expected

All segments increased their sales during the first quarter. Growth in packaging solutions, at around 28 per cent, proved particularly strong. The Group also recorded slight increases in its incoming orders and sales figures in electromobility. Availability of electronic components was restricted to some extent. Heidelberg expects further growth in this segment to weaken due to promotional schemes coming to an end. Also, it expeects longer delivery times for electric vehicles. Aupply chain bottlenecks on the customer’s side in relation to installation are also an issue.

Marcus A. Wassenberg, chief financial officer at Heidelberg, is confident. He says, “In addition to the recovery of the markets, we are increasingly reaping the benefits of the measures we have taken to boost efficiency within the Group.

“At the start of the new financial year, Heidelberg has again made itself more robust. With growth in sales and profits, e are in a good financial position. We feel confident as we look to the future, in spite of the economic risks.”

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