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Heidelberg preliminary financial statement 2003/2004 better than expected

Press release from the issuing company

April 19, 2004 -- Substantial key data of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG’s (Heidelberg) preliminary year-end results for FY 2003/04 (April 1st through March 31st) are higher than the company expected. Heidelberg’s preliminary sales volume reached € 3,661 mill., which is roughly 11% below previous year’s sales volume (€ 4,130 mill.). Adjusted to eliminate currency effects, the decrease in sales amounted to 6%. At € 20 mill., the preliminary operating result (previous year € 102 mill.) exceeded the forecasted break-even. Cost-cutting and efficiency improvement measures have thus shown their effects earlier than planned. Despite high one-time disbursements for efficiency improvement and restructuring, the free cash flow was positive and therefore much better than forecasted (€ -100 mill.). Due to high one-time costs, the preliminary result after taxes levelled out at € -690 mill., which was in the expected range (previous year € -138 mill.). Altogether, the reporting year by the Heidelberg Group was burdened by restructuring costs and expenses connected to discontinued business activities, amounting to € 565 mill. The discontinued business activities concerned are Digital and Web Systems. This affected the individual Heidelberg AG financial statement in form of depreciations on financial assets and financial receivables, amounting to € 1.2 bill., which are already accrued in the group closing. Heidelberg’s 4th quarter order intake totalled at € 1.0 bill. – in light of the coming trade fair drupa (May 2004) and the resulting low-key order intake, this can be seen as a satisfactory level. Further details will be disclosed with the preliminary figures on May 3rd, 2004. The entire year-end financial statement for the year closing on March 31st, 2004, as well as the transition to Heidelberg’s new segment reporting structure, will be introduced at the year-end press and analysts’ conference on June 8th, 2004.