Andy Tribute: I'm here at Heidelberg today for the Heidelberg Print Ipex Press Conference and I've had the opportunity to interview Bernhard Schreier, the Chairman of the Management Board of Heildelberg Drunkmashinen. We followed with a discussion with Bernhard and his opinions of what's happening in the marketplace and some view of Ipex.
Bernhard, can I ask you what is the situation in the offset market at the moment, please? How are you doing in terms of how the VLF press has had a big impact in terms of changing the business and what is the general impact of the market? How well is offset doing at the present time?
Bernhard Schreier: In terms of technology, Offset is still the major equipment to supply the graphic arts industry with high-quality printed matter. We are, today, in a situation that we see a tendency that large format offset is increasing. That means the tendency is going from mid-size format into large format into very large format. And this is the development we supported and we created with our very large format presses in new generations.
Andy Tribute: And this is not just in packaging? This is in other markets, in the overall offset market?
Bernhard Schreier: It goes into commercial print, it goes into packaging printing, it goes even into publishing printing. The presses we have sold and since we presented our very large format press last year -- two years ago now, we have already 2010 -- at Drupa, we have sold now 30 presses. This is a major achievement. We think we have about 30 percent of the market over this time and we sell it half/half. Half to packaging printers, half to commercial printers. New applications show up: web-to-print is using a very large format, but also customers who had commercial print before only in mid format -- mid-size format are going into very large format.
Andy Tribute: And in terms of sales, what is happening in sales? Have the sales of offset presses stabilized? Are they picking up again? What is the situation?
Bernhard Schreier: It has stabilized now. When we think about how the volume of printing units we have sold over the years, we see very clearly that on our mid-size formats, on the 50x70, 70x100 format, we had a peak of volume in 2007. From this peak we sold last year about half, but this is now stabilizing and increasing again. When I look on the 35x50 presses, which comes then to what does digital do to that business, we sold the peak at 2001. So already many years ago and if I look at the volume of last year comparing this to 2001 we only sold one-third of 2001. Partly 35x50 is taking over, also by digital presses who cover the very short-run spectrum and this gives us also an opportunity for the future and this is why we decided also to supply in the future digital presses to our customers, especially to compensate the 35x50 shortfall.
Andy Tribute: Do you anticipate making an announcement on that in the near future as to what you're doing in that space?
Bernhard Schreier: No. Not yet. We are in the terms of evaluating who might be potential partners. We have given us the year 2010 to have careful prepared discussion and decision process and therefore it still will take some time until we come to a conclusion but 2010 definitely the conclusion and decision will be made.
Andy Tribute: You have recently made an announcement as have Kamori that you're not going to be exhibiting at Graph Expo this year. Is this a change in strategy from Heidelberg in terms of tradeshows, or is this just a situation compare -- talking about one tradeshow being Graph Expo this year?
Bernhard Schreier: No, we are carefully evaluating right now on how our tradeshow policy will be in the future. In what kind of countries we are appearing how and it depends also on how our presentation is in various countries. For example, in the United States we have a very well equipped print media showroom where we can show to the customers what they could see also at Graph Expo and in times of where business is not as active as it is we have to see on how and where we put our resources. And the decision is clearly made if our customers want to see Heidelberg equipment this year in North America they can visit our showroom and we will even expand it to have even more products there and that does not mean that this is the same decision for other places in the world. We have to look on how that works this year and then we will decide next year on Graph Expo and we will decide also on other tradeshows. The only fixed tradeshow today is drupa 2012. This is what we have to find; this is where we will be and we will be at Ipex and Ipex will be a major event for us.
Andy Tribute: So this was not a budget situation? It was simply looking at the best way of getting to your customers and how to get the best returns on what you're doing?
Bernhard Schreier: But it's both. It's both. It's always a budget decision, how much do you spend and how much can you get out of it and therefore the decision this year, in the current situation, is made like this.
Andy Tribute: Bernhard thank you very much indeed. I hope we may be able to do a follow-up to this interview at Ipex.
Bernhard Schreier: It was a pleasure.
Andy Tribute: Thank you.