“Heidelberg is once again making a net profit, which was our number one priority,” said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. “Despite the weak sales situation, we have significantly improved our company’s profitability. This impressive achievement lays the foundation for further positive developments at the company.”
Although factors such as exchange rate movements resulted in an expected fall in Group sales from the previous year’s figure of €2.735 billion to €2.43 billion (€2.54 billion after adjustment for exchange rate movements), all result-related KPIs were far better than in the previous financial year. For example, EBITDA excluding special items rose to €143 million in the financial year just closed (previous year: €80 million). This led to an improvement in the EBITDA margin from about 3% to approximately 6%.
“The big improvement in the result after tax to a net profit demonstrates the success of our strategic reorientation, even with difficult underlying conditions. This now puts us in a position to press ahead with reorganizing the company by optimizing our portfolio. Our medium-term target of achieving an EBITDA margin of at least 8% remains unchanged,” added Linzbach.
The cash flow and free cash flow were both positive in the year under review. Reducing working capital has compensated for payments totaling some € 95 million for the Focus efficiency program and produced a positive free cash flow of around €20 million. This reduced the net financial debt at the end of the financial year to approx. € 240 million (previous year: €261 million).
“Not only have we impressively achieved all our results targets, but our asset and net working capital management program has also brought further successes in terms of the cash flow and free cash flow and thus reducing our debts,” said Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe. “At the end of the financial year, we have thus achieved our goal of reducing the leverage (net debt divided by EBITDA) to less than two for the first time in many years.”
As of March 31, 2014, the Heidelberg Group had a global workforce of 12,539 plus 502 trainees (previous year: 13,694 plus 521 trainees).