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Heidelberg Sees drupa as Key Indicator for the Industry

Press release from the issuing company

drupa 2004 HEIDELBERG, Germany--May 5, 2004-- One day before the opening of drupa, the print media industry's most important trade show in Duesseldorf, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG's CEO Bernhard Schreier is rather optimistic regarding the company's expectations of the trade show: "After three years of extremely slow investment activity and a phase of consolidation in the industry, we observe improving conditions, which could lift demand for printing solutions from the current modest level." He believes that the industry has turned the corner, expecting a slightly more stable second half of the year. For Schreier drupa is a key indicator for the industry. He believes that the trade show can add to the industry's accelerating momentum. Whether the currently positive upwards trend proves sustainable or not depends mainly on further economical development. "drupa does not influence the economy, the economy influences drupa," emphasizes Schreier. Heidelberg expects the trade show to generate incoming orders of well over Euro one billion in the current fiscal year's first quarter (March 1st to June 30th, 2004). As the largest exhibitor in Duesseldorf, Heidelberg, will be showing a total of 50 product innovations, in two halls, comprising around 7,800 square meters of exhibition space - roughly 30 percent more innovations than in the year 2000. "Despite the economic slump, we have continued to invest constantly in new products and technology in recent years," states Schreier. The main focus is on solutions along the entire added-value chain, relating to the core business area of sheetfed offset printing, from prepress to postpress. Heidelberg's integrated workflow systems will be at the very heart of all of presentations and will be shown in customer application demonstrations. "Our Prinect workflow system enables an entirely networked printshop and, in combination with the new products, provides the opportunity for customers to reduce their costs by around 30 percent," continues Schreier. This also marks the trend the trade show will set for the industry, he believes: "drupa will show what a powerful, lasting influence the rapid development of digitization is having on processes, including advances in productivity at the man-machine interface." In his eyes, Heidelberg solutions in Prepress, Sheetfed Offset and Finishing, the proven networking potential and the resulting customer benefits will provide the ideal platform for the company to maintain its pole position within the industry. Schreier is convinced that the company can keep its market share of around 45 percent in Sheetfed Offset, and even extend its share in some areas.