The world’s largest offset prees manufacturer has posted its second quarter results, its net result in a major turnaround compared to last year’s debt of -€9m ($13.7m), and saw its operating earnings rise by €11m.

Heidelberg’s positive net result of €9m came as overall sales for the quarter compared to the previous year fell slightly from €599m to €586m. Heidelberg’s order backlog of €765m also soared above last years by 19 per cent fromo its drupa presence.

As a result of its order backlog muscle, EBITDA rose to €44m in the second quarter, up from last year’s €33 million. The total figure for the first half year however took a plunge to €45m from €79m in the first half of 2015. Despite the nose-dive from last year, Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe says the results increase from last quarter is a direct upshot of the group’s long-term strategic realignment.

He says, “The clear improvement in the result during the second quarter shows that our realignment is bearing fruit. In view of the solid order situation, we anticipate that the second half of the year will bring a considerable improvement in sales and the result compared to the first half of the year. The targets for the year as a whole therefore continue to apply.”

Heidelberg says the enduring effect of an impressive drupa and the possibility of strategic acquisitions are set to push the group’s FY2017 results even further. It adds, “The portfolio expansion in rapidly developing markets, possible acquisitions and the drupa industry trade show will substantially affect sales performance in the financial year 2016/2017 and the years ahead.”

“The investment priorities in the areas of digitalisation, digital printing and services are expected to contribute to an average sales growth of up to four percent per year.”

Heidelberg CEO Dr Gerold Linzbach, credited with the strategy that is bringing back profitability to the group, will retire at the end of this week following his stroke 12 months ago.

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