Based on preliminary calculations, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) generated incoming orders of EUR 668 million and sales of EUR 636 million in the second quarter of financial year 2011/12 (July 1 to September 30, 2011). As a result, preliminary incoming orders were slightly higher than in the same quarter of the previous year (EUR 650 million). As expected, preliminary sales were higher than in the previous quarter and match the previous year's level (EUR 633 million). The preliminary operating result (EBIT) excluding special items for the second quarter is slightly positive at EUR 5 million, an improvement on the same quarter of the previous year (EUR -6 million). Preliminary free cash flow is EUR -12 million (previous year: EUR 6 million).
"Business development in the past quarter was in line with our expectations," said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO at Heidelberg. "We achieved a positive operating result in the second quarter. Thanks to consistent asset management, free cash flow exceeded expectations."
Heidelberg now anticipates that economic uncertainties will have a dampening effect on investment behavior in the sector during the second half of the financial year. Due to the turbulence on the capital markets and the weaker macro-economic situation, uncertainty about future economic developments increased significantly again compared to the first quarter of 2011/12. According to the VDMA (German Engineering Federation), incoming orders have fallen right across the printing and paper technology sector. In the period June to August 2011, they were ten percent down on the same three months of the previous year. The order situation at Heidelberg continues to vary from region to region and is influenced, on the one hand, by the ongoing economic uncertainties in the U.S., Japan, and the Mediterranean countries and, on the other hand, by positive development in China and South America.