In addition, the series production of digital presses for packaging and label printing (Primefire and Labelfire), which also started in financial year 2017/2018, will have an increasingly positive impact on sales. Heidelberg is thus on course to meet the medium-term targets communicated in the summer of 2017. These include an increase in Group sales to around €3 billion, an operating result (EBITDA) of €250 to €300 million, and a net profit after taxes of more than €100 million.
“Heidelberg made excellent progress with its digital transformation in 2017/2018. Both our new subscription model and the new digital presses are in high demand. Given that this will be reflected in the company’s sales and result to an ever greater extent in the years ahead following the current start-up phase, our medium-term targets will be increasingly within our grasp,” CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said.
Based on provisional figures that have yet to be audited, Heidelberg has achieved the targets it set itself with Group sales of €2,420 million. Despite the negative currency effects in the period under review, incoming orders were at a very encouraging level for a post-drupa year at €2,588 million (previous year: €2,593 million). The demand in the final quarter of the year was substantially up on the figure for the same quarter of the previous year – €676 million compared to €603 million – among other things due to the full order volume of subscription contracts being taken into account. This contributed to a significant increase in the order backlog at the end of the financial year.
EBITDA excluding the restructuring result totaled €172 million in the reporting period (previous year: €179 million). This meant the resulting EBITDA margin of 7.1% (previous year: 7.1%) was within the expected range.
As expected, the free cash flow was slightly negative at €-8 million (previous year: €24 million) in the period under review due to acquisitions and investments associated with the construction of the new innovation center in Wiesloch. The net financial debt fell to €236 million in the reporting period (March 31, 2017: €252 million) and the leverage remained well below the target value of 2 at 1.4.