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Heidelberg Sales and Service Unit in UK celebrates 30th anniversary

Press release from the issuing company

January 13, 2005 -- Heidelberg UK celebrates this month its 30th anniversary as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. It was the first sales and service unit but the group’s distribution network now extends to 250 branch offices in 170 countries, employing 5,400 sales and service specialists. Bernhard Schreier, chief executive officer of Heidelberg worldwide, came to the UK to celebrate the event at Stationers’ Hall in the company of Wolfgang Gorth and George Clarke, the former and current managing director of the UK operation respectively. He also made presentations at the company’s Brentford headquarters to the ten staff who have been with Heidelberg UK since the start. Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Ltd was formed on 7 January 1975. The UK represented 8% of the output of the German factories and was the fifth largest market in the world. Heidelberg had just launched a new four-colour 11,000sph 72V litho offset press at Print 74 in Chicago and by then 75% of sales in the UK were from litho, the remainder still letterpress Platens and Cylinders. The new wholly-owned subsidiary had 243 staff and a patchwork of depots through the UK and Ireland. Today the Heidelberg UK is fourth in the global league table with a turnover of nearly £160m and a staff of 427. It operates out of Brentford, Tamworth and Leeds servicing the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland and highlands and islands. Its technology is now a well-defined portfolio, constantly evolving and improving in quality, productivity and cost per copy even with very low runs. It offers the very best sheetfed offset printing presses with the prepress and postpress products to turn these into holistic production solutions, married together with open Prinect JDF-based workflows. Mr Schreier says: “I extend my sincere appreciation to the team at Heidelberg UK for having done a great job over the years, keeping our customers in the UK satisfied and ahead of their competitors. During the 30 years that HUK has been an SSU, and without adjusting for inflation, they have achieved sales of over £3.2 billion in equipment, parts and service. That is not bad for a firstborn!” George Clarke, managing director, says: “The first 30 years have given us a solid foundation which is due to the vision and enterprise of both management and staff. We will build on that in the future. Today’s market demands an intelligent approach to sales and business. Printing is more complex and Heidelberg is increasingly expected to help customers define their needs and find technological solutions. In selling added value the company has to continue to offer solid advice, superb systems, good implementation and strong support services. We are well placed to do just that and we will.”