Heidelberg’s preliminary figures for the past financial year 2023/2024, show the company has hit achieved its own forecast. This, said Heidelberg, means the company are well prepared for the upcoming drupa trade fair.

The company explained, despite challenging economic and geopolitical conditions as well as cost pressure on materials, energy and personnel, it kept sales stable at around €2.4 billion (previous year: €2.435 billion) 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, said Heidelberg, 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.

Heidelberg CEO Dr Ludwin Monz, commented, ‘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.’

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 2023/2024 financial year, the measures initiated at an early stage successfully compensated for the considerable negative impact on earnings from declining production volumes and rising costs, so is claimed. Measures to specifically optimise net working capital also had a positive impact on free cash flow, added Heidelberg.

Tania von der Goltz, CFO of Heidelberg, said, ‘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 characterised 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.’

Heidelberg added that Incoming orders were also solid in the past 2023/2024 financial year. Although this was around 6 percent down on the previous year, it developed better than the industry average. After a weaker third quarter (€508 million), the situation improved 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, explained the company.

Heidelberg is preparing for drupa trade with technological innovations that support print shops with their biggest challenges. Automation and digitalisation of the value chain as well as solutions for more resource-efficient production, stated the company, are the focus. 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, explained Heidelberg.