According to preliminary figures, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) recorded higher sales in financial year 2012/2013 (April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013) than in the previous year thanks to the expected strong fourth quarter. In line with the company's own forecasts, the operating result excluding special items improved significantly.
Preliminary Group sales after 12 months were up 5 percent on the previous year's figure (EUR 2.596 billion) at EUR 2.735 billion. Despite a number of countervailing effects, the growth in volume combined with the savings made by the Focus 2012 efficiency program improved the preliminary result of operating activities (EBIT) excluding special items to EUR 28 million (previous year: EUR 3 million). Special items associated with Focus 2012 totaled EUR 65 million in the financial year just closed. Due to special items and the negative financial result, preliminary calculations indicate that the net loss will be around EUR -110 million (previous year: EUR -230 million). Preliminary incoming orders in the period under review increased to EUR 2.822 billion (previous year: EUR 2.555 billion). The preliminary free cash flow was around EUR -20 million (previous year: EUR +10 million) and thus only slightly negative despite the high one-time payments for Focus 2012.
"By meeting our forecast for the year, we have reached a key milestone on our way to profitability," said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. "Focus 2012 lays the foundation for us to start making a profit again from financial year 2013/2014 onwards. By means of optimized structures we have also made a start on adapting the company more effectively to the market segments in which we operate and thus increase future profit contributions," he added.
The fourth quarter of the financial year just closed was, as expected, the strongest in terms of preliminary key figures. For example, sales for the period January to March 2013 rose to EUR 830 million (previous year: EUR 785 million). The result of operating activities excluding special items for the quarter under review improved from EUR 22 million in the previous year to EUR 60 million. Negative special items amounted to EUR 41 million in the fourth quarter alone - mainly due to provisions for stepping up specific measures as part of Focus 2012. Incoming orders in the fourth quarter were up on the previous year's level (EUR 580 million) at EUR 620 million. The free cash flow in Q4 was clearly positive at around EUR 70 million (previous year: EUR 33 million). This reduced the net financial debt at the end of the financial year from EUR 325 million in the previous quarter to around EUR 260 million.
"Our Focus 2012 efficiency program is being implemented as planned. Given the changed market conditions, we have intensified a number of measures to secure our future profitability targets," said Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "Heidelberg has a sound financial footing and benefits from a stable liquidity framework. The strong free cash flow in the final quarter has reduced the net financial debt to a low level."
As of March 31, 2013, the Heidelberg Group had a workforce of 14,215 (previous year: 15,414).
Heidelberg will be publishing its complete, certified consolidated annual financial statements on June 13, 2013.