Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG It is moving forward steadily, six months into the 2023/2024 financial year. This is the result of a slight improvement in sales in the key EMEA region thanks to the growth in the packaging segment. After adjustment for exchange rate movements, the technology company achieved sales of 1.092 million euros in the first half (from April 1 to September 30, 2023), which was equal to the previous year (1.120 million euros). Incoming orders after six months amounted to 1.184 million euros after adjustment for exchange rate movements, which was also equivalent to the previous year's level (1.229 million euros). The adjusted performance of the result (EBITDA) improved compared to the same period of the previous year, with a half-year figure amounting to 101 million euros (previous year's adjusted result: 92 million euros). The corresponding adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 9,2 percent (previous year: 8,2 percent).
New technologies related to the growing packaging sector have been successfully launched on the market. Packaging and label printing is experiencing structural growth due to booming global demand for packaged products. Thus, the market launch of new Heidelberger technologies for this segment, such as the Boardmaster.
The press Boardmaster Designed for high productivity in packaging printing, it has also generated new sales. In parallel with this, incoming orders for the Packaging Solutions segment saw a significant increase of around 16 percent in the first half. “Given the stable growth of the Packaging sector, we continue to continually expand our portfolio,” says Dr. Ludwin Monz, CEO of Heidelberger.
In addition to the effects associated with the combination of products and countries, price adjustments have contributed to offsetting higher personnel, materials and energy costs with a positive effect. The net result after taxes for the half-year remained clearly positive at 33 million euros. Compared to the previous year (44 million euros), the increase in tax expenditure, increased interest costs related to pensions and the lack of positive special items had an impact that positively influenced the result.
In terms of operating cash flow, it has improved compared to the same period of the previous year. Cash generated from operating activities (operating cash flow) improved substantially, particularly due to rigorous management of inventories and accounts receivable (working capital). Despite this positive evolution, free cash flow reaches -28 million euros after six months, this figure being lower than the previous year's level (-13 million euros), which included special items worth around 52 million euros. euros. “The free Cashflow situation currently underscores the need to leverage further value momentum from our cash flow creation program to spur growth in more lucrative segments such as the digital printing sector,” says the CFO. Tania von der Goltz. In the analysis phase of the current program, Heidelberger still plans to achieve a positive free cash flow at the end of the financial year. The semi-annual figures for the 2023/2024 fiscal year confirm the forecasts that remain as published on June 14, 2023.
Assuming that the global economy does not experience weaker growth than that predicted by economic research institutions, the company still expects sales in the second quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year that will equal the previous year's figure (2.435 million euros ). Adjusted EBITDA is also expected to remain at the prior year's margin level (7,2 percent).
Photo: The Boardmaster press for high productivity.