The news came as Heidelberg announced it results for the fist six months of the financial year 2005/06 (April 1 to September 30, 2005), in which sales and orders were up.
Sales for the second quarter were up 12 per cent at €1.53bn and incoming orders rose 14 per cent to €874m, the order backlog as at September 30, 2005 sitting at €1.2bn.
Heidelberg CEO, Bernhard Schreier, says the good results are a result of the recovery of the print media industry which continued during the first six months of our financial year. “Sales and incoming orders at Heidelberg were up on the previous year’s figures in virtually every region and we believe that the same will be true for the second half of the financial year,” says Schreier.
The Heidelberg Group recorded an operating result of €71m in the period under review, the second quarter alone bringing an operating profit of €64m. The net profit for the first six months of the year was €33m, compared to the previous year, including discontinuing operations, which was minus €59m.
Heidelberg CFO Dr Herbert Meyer says the improvement in the operating result for the first six months shows that Heidelberg is on the right track to further improving its profitability. “The lower personnel expenses at the German sites resulting from the agreement to safeguard the company’s future also had an effect for the first time,” he says. “Nonetheless, exchange rate movements and developments in raw material and energy prices still present a risk which could have a negative effect on results for the financial year as a whole."
In the Press Division (offset printing), sales rose by 12 per cent to €1.33bn in the first six months, and incoming orders in the
period under review amounted to €1.55bn.
In the Postpress Division (finishing), half-yearly sales amounted to €174m and incoming orders totalled €178m.
Sales were up in virtually all regions, except Eastern Europe, which is likely to be a result of a sales boom at last year’s drupa.
The company expects to see moderate growth in sales for the current financial year 2005/2006 on a comparable basis. During the current financial year, Heidelberg is planning to improve on both the result of operating activities for financial year 2004/2005 of €167m and the net profit of €61m.