In the first nine months (April 1 to December 31) of financial year 2019/20, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG recorded stable development in total sales and incoming orders. However, the persistently difficult market environment led to a decline in sales and operating profit in the third quarter.
At €1,900m after nine months, order intake was on a par with the previous year (€1,912m). At €636m, incoming orders in the third quarter were up on the previous year’s figure of €606m. Order volumes increased in China and the USA in particular, while business in Germany and other parts of Europe remains weak. At €1,690m after nine months of the fiscal year, sales were still at the previous year’s level (€1,693m). However, sales in the third quarter of the current fiscal year were lower than expected at €567m due to the reluctance to invest in Germany, Great Britain and the rest of Central Europe as a result of the economic situation and were below the previous year’s figure of €579m.
EBITDA excluding the restructuring result was €47m in the third quarter (October 1 to December 31, 2019), compared with €39m in the prior-year quarter. The third quarter of the current fiscal year includes a positive one-time gain of around €25m from the sale of Hi-Tech Coatings. The lower volume, pressure on margins in the trading business with consumables and regional shifts with a less favourable product mix had a particularly negative impact. At the same time, high upfront investments in the area of digital printing still faced insufficient sales. The cost-cutting measures already initiated were not yet able to compensate for this development.
The development in the third quarter and the expectation of a continued low propensity to invest in key European markets means that even in the traditionally strong fourth quarter of the current financial year, sales and earnings are expected to be down on the previous year, with implications for the annual forecast. The Management Board now expects full-year sales to be slightly below the previous year’s level of around €2.490bn. EBITDA excluding the restructuring result and the one-off income from the sale of Hi-Tech Coatings is expected to be in a range of 5.5 to 6.0% of sales (previously 6.5 to 7.0%) due to the lower sales expectation, declining trade margins and the unfavorable region and product mix. Earnings after tax will accordingly be slightly negative.