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HEIDELBERG Achieves FY 2023-24 Targets, All Set for drupa

Technology giant Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HEIDELBERG) is well prepared for the upcoming drupa 2024 trade fair (May 28 to June 7). This is shown by the preliminary figures for the previous financial year 2023-2024, with which the company has achieved its own forecast.

Despite challenging economic and geopolitical conditions as well as cost pressure on materials, energy, and personnel, HEIDELBERG succeeded in keeping sales stable at around €2.4 billion (€2.435 billion in the year-earlier period) and the adjusted EBITDA margin at 7.2%. Free cash flow reached around €50 million, whereby no special items, such as from the sale of non-operating assets, were included in the reporting year. This means that the highest free cash flow in over 10 years was achieved in the past financial year if the free cash flows of previous years had been adjusted for the special items contained therein. These figures underline the successful implementation of the value creation program, which has further improved the company’s financial resilience.

CEO Dr. Ludwin Monz says, “We were able to achieve our financial year targets in a difficult economic environment. HEIDELBERG’s financial performance was solid. Our value creation program is an important building block in positioning HEIDELBERG for the future.”

Speedmaster XL 106
Speedmaster XL 106

Value creation program: more financial leeway for further development of the company

As part of the value creation program, HEIDELBERG has identified more than 250 measures to increase productivity and strengthen the financial base, which are being implemented on an ongoing basis. In the financial year 2023-2024, the measures initiated at an early stage successfully compensated for the considerable negative impact on earnings from declining production volumes and rising costs. Measures to specifically optimize net working capital also had a positive impact on free cash flow.

CFO Tania von der Goltz comments, “The resilient development of profitability and free cash flow are proof of our financial discipline and our ability to deliver reliable results even in a difficult environment. In a financial year that was characterized by a decline in orders across the industry, we achieved our targets and met our forecasts thanks to the value creation program we initiated at an early stage.”

Incoming orders were also solid in the last 2023-2024 financial year. Although this was around 6% down on the previous year, it developed better than the industry average thanks to HEIDELBERG’s good market position. After a weaker third quarter (€508 million), the situation improved significantly in the fourth quarter with incoming orders of just under €600 million. This positive development was driven by strong business in Asia, particularly in China.

HEIDELBERG StackStar C operation safety zone
HEIDELBERG StackStar C operation safety zone

Innovations at drupa 2024

HEIDELBERG is preparing for a successful show at drupa 2024 with technological innovations that support print shops with their biggest challenges. Automation and digitalization of the value chain as well as solutions for more resource-efficient production are the focus in both of the company’s segments. Innovative products in the field of offset, digital, and flexo printing, supplemented by collaborative robotics for the post-processing of print products, will demonstrate the company’s forward-looking orientation at the upcoming trade fair.

The new HEIDELBERG Speedmaster XL 106 of the Peak Performance generation will be unveiled at drupa 2024. The Speedmaster XL 106 is future oriented and even more powerful with cloud functions. Other state-of-the-art features include an even more intelligent software and a fully automated printing plate logistics for high productivity with fewer staff. Parallel makeready processes increase productivity in packaging, commercial, and label printing.

Another standout display will be the StackStar C, HEIDELBERG’s new coexistant and flexible robot for automatic stacking in print finishing. Designed for short and medium runs, StackStar C reduces operator workload and ensures consistent performance. The robot integrates seamlessly with Stahlfolder folders and third-party systems for unmatched versatility.

Broad customer base, global sales & service as strengths

HEIDELBERG will rely even more heavily on its broad and established customer base as well as its globally organized and industry-leading sales and service for the future success of the company in order to profitably shape growth ambitions in new market segments.

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