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Successful implementation of transformation strengthens Heidelberg in times of COVID-19

By systematically and swiftly implementing its transformation, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has further strengthened its position in the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year (April 1 to September 30, 2020). With a number of measures adopted as part of the transformation program launched this March to boost profitability, enhance competitiveness, and secure the company’s future, Heidelberg has been able to more than compensate for the negative effect on earnings caused by a significant drop in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, Heidelberg once again achieved a positive EBITDA excluding restructuring result in the second quarter of the current financial year, recording € 97 million in the first six months – a significant increase from the previous year (€ 69 million). The EBITDA margin for the half-year was 12 percent, compared with 6.2 percent in the same period of the previous year. At the same time, the net financial debt was successfully reduced from € 416 million in the previous year to € 157 million.

In terms of sales and incoming orders, the gap compared to the previous year shrank in the second quarter of the current financial year. While sales after the first quarter were at –34 percent, this figure was only –24 percent in the period from July to September; incoming orders, meanwhile, improved from –44 percent to –20 percent. There was a positive development in demand in a number of markets, above all in the key single market China, where, compared with the previous year, the level of incoming orders increased from around –50 percent in the first quarter to around –8 percent in the second. This trend and the planned additional steps to optimize the company’s assets and portfolio and reduce staff costs provide reason to be optimistic that Heidelberg will reach its announced targets in the year as a whole and continue to achieve sustainably profitable growth in the years that follow.

“Our transformation is proving successful. We are delivering on our promise. By the end of the half-year, we had drastically reduced our debt and made significant improvements regarding our liquidity and results– despite the huge challenges our or-ganization has faced owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides enhancing our financial stability, we are strategically positioning ourselves to meet our customers’ needs with an innovative, needs-based product and service portfolio, with our aim being to further boost incoming orders and sales. We will continue to benefit from this when the markets recover, as demonstrated by China,” says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg.