According to preliminary calculations, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) generated sales of EUR 544 million in the first quarter of financial year 2011/12 (previous year: EUR 563 million). They are in line with last year's results after adjusting for exchange rate effects of EUR 19 million but they fall slightly short of the company's expectations. Among other things, this is due to sales being shifted into the next quarters as a result of the earthquake disaster in Japan and delays resulting from the extended liquidity shortage in the Chinese banking system. Given the continued robust demand and the persistently strong economic growth in this market, however, the effect on Heidelberg's business development will likely be only temporary.
Preliminary incoming orders in the first quarter amounted to EUR 665 million - or EUR 690 million adjusted for exchange rate effects - and were in line with expectations (previous year: EUR 786 million; previous quarter: EUR 637 million). The higher order intake in the same quarter of the previous year was largely due to additional orders generated from the IPEX trade show held during that reporting period.
The preliminary order backlog increased to EUR 718 million quarter-on-quarter.
As expected, the first quarter result of operating activities excluding special items will continue to improve year-on-year thanks to consistent cost management.
Heidelberg confirms medium-term forecast
The global economic and market risks are still high and have generally increased. Macroeconomic momentum could suffer from the worsening debt crisis in some European countries and the high US government debt. Still, assuming a stable development of overall economic conditions and of the industry, Heidelberg continues to strive for a balanced pre-tax result on the basis of a higher operating result and lower financing expenses during the current financial year 2011/2012.
Heidelberg's annual sales target in the medium term, which the company intends to achieve within the next two or three years, has been set at over EUR 3 billion. Assuming that the economic environment will continue to be generally stable, Heidelberg expects to gradually approach this target during the current and next financial year. Due to drupa 2012 and the ongoing upswing in the print media industry, the increase in sales in the next year should be greater than in the current financial year.
Heidelberg will release additional information and explanations on this financial year's first quarter results on August 9, 2011.
For further information about the company: