New Heidelberg raises profile – high demand for new digital products and innovative business models

•Digital transformation bearing fruit – subscription model attracting considerable interest, with further growth in demand for innovative digital packaging and label presses
•New Heidelberg Digital Unit to significantly expand e-commerce business
•Operating result on target after nine months •Incoming orders for third quarter 16 percent up on previous year
•Group sales match previous year’s level at €1,657 million despite negative exchange-rate effects
•Operating result (EBITDA) improves once again to €105 million
•Clearly positive net result after taxes excluding non-recurring tax effect due to U.S. tax reform

•Sights still set on operating targets for financial year 2017/2018 as a whole – even more confidence in medium-term outlook

After nine months of financial year 2017/2018 (April 1 to December 31, 2017), the digital transformation initiated at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is increasingly taking shape. Among other things, initial agreements have been signed under the new subscription model whereby customers are ensured a performance product comprising press, services, consumables, and software over a period of several years. The successful market launch of this new business model is a further important step toward achieving the future growth targets. The demand for innovative digital presses remains high, with a recent significant increase in incoming orders in virtually all regions. What’s more, the Heidelberg Digital Unit provides a new competence center for digital marketing and e-commerce. Among other things, this is intended to triple e-commerce sales in the years ahead to some €300 million. Furthermore, series production of the Heidelberg Assistant has started, initially in four countries. This will provide customers with digital support throughout the life cycle of their products.

Operationally speaking, Heidelberg is on course to achieve its annual targets for financial year 2017/2018. At €1,657 million, Group sales were a little down on the previous year’s figure of €1,680 million but slightly up on the comparative period if negative exchange-rate effects from Asia and the U.S. amounting to some €39 million are not taken into consideration. Driven by the above-mentioned high demand for digital product and business models, incoming orders developed encouragingly in the third quarter of the financial year, increasing by more than 16 percent from €582 million to €678 million. Virtually all regions that are of relevance for Heidelberg recorded improvements, especially Europe and the U.S. The order backlog of €693 million at December 31, 2017 was at a very good level for a post-drupa year.

“Heidelberg is systematically transforming into a modern digital technology company. The considerable customer demand for our new digital solutions is just what we were hoping for. This applies to the subscription models setting a new trend in our sector, our e-commerce offerings of the new Digital Unit, and our industrial digital presses for packaging and labels. Our medium-term target of using technological leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence to generate sales of some €3 billion and a net profit after taxes in excess of €100 million is increasingly within our grasp,” commented Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.
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