Thanks to a good showing at drupa trade fair, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has made a positive start to financial year 2012/2013 (April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013). Based on preliminary calculations, incoming orders for the first quarter increased to some EUR 890 million (previous year EUR 665 million) - their highest level for four years.
As expected, preliminary sales for the same period were slightly down at around EUR 520 million (previous year EUR 544 million). The lower sales figure compared to both the previous year and the previous quarter is a result of customers' reluctance to invest in the run-up to drupa, the industry trade show that took place in May 2012 in Düsseldorf, and the associated low order backlog at the start of the quarter. In the final quarter of the previous financial year, which ended on March 31, 2012, Heidelberg recorded its highest quarterly sales for three years at EUR 785 million. Thanks to high incoming orders in the first quarter, the preliminary order backlog is now well up on the previous quarter at around EUR 850 million.
As expected, lower profit contributions resulting from the lower sales in the first quarter and the costs of preparing for drupa and launching new products had a negative impact on the preliminary result of operating activities excluding special items. In the first quarter, it was around EUR -58 million (previous year EUR -25 million). The preliminary free cash flow is between EUR -105 million and EUR -115 million, largely due to an increase in inventories resulting from the incoming orders received and the payments made for the FOCUS 2012 efficiency program.
Outlook for current and next financial year unchanged
As a result of the trade show, Heidelberg is expecting sales to show a distinct shift to the second half of the financial year with a corresponding improvement in profit contributions. The company implemented the main measures of the FOCUS 2012 efficiency program before drupa, which means up to a third of the planned annual savings of EUR 180 million will take effect during the current financial year. Heidelberg is still expecting to achieve a clearly positive result of operating activities excluding special items for financial year 2012/2013. In the subsequent year, the cost savings resulting from FOCUS 2012 will take full effect and lead to annual savings of some EUR 180 million. The company is therefore still looking to achieve a result of operating activities excluding special items of around EUR 150 million and a net profit in financial year 2013/2014.
Further details and an explanation of the figures for the first quarter of the financial year will be published on August 8, 2012.
For further information about the company, please visit the press portal of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG at www.heidelberg.com.