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Despite the major uncertainties impacting the business environment, the world’s biggest press manufacturer Heidelberg is expecting its return to profit to continue in the current financial year.

New man at the top: Heidelberg CEO Ludwin Monz
Optimistic: Heidelberg CEO Dr Ludwin Monz

It says sales are set to rise to around €2.3bn in 2022/23, up from €2.18bn this year. It has a “healthy” order backlog of €900m, 45 per cent more than this time last year – primarily due to growth in the company’s core business of B1 and B2 offset presses. The Group’s order backlog is the highest in ten years.

However, it has warned that “sharp” cost increases in its inputs, with material, energy, logistics, and staffing costs all rising, are likely to lead to “price adjustments” for its products.

It expects to achieve an EBITDA margin of at least 8 per cent and further improvement in net result after taxes has been targeted. The projections come off the back of sales that rose by 14 per cent to €2.18bn, and an EBITDA margin increase to 7.3 per cent in the year just gone.

The Group says it is benefiting from growth initiatives focusing on the profitable core markets of packaging printing, digital business models, and the e-mobility sector, which is enjoying dynamic growth. Sales of electric vehicle charging stations (wallboxes) climbed by 120 per cent to some €50m in the previous financial year, and the company is expecting further double-digit growth in the current year. 

New CEO Dr Ludwin Monz said, “Over the past financial year, Heidelberg has further strengthened its resilience by significantly improving its sales and results. Financially speaking, the Group is in a better position than for quite some time. In financial year 2022/23, too, we are looking to benefit from this, from the successful growth initiatives focusing on the core markets and our digital business models, and also from our e-mobility success story. That makes us optimistic about being able to counteract the very challenging circumstances, including the huge price increases. We will be keeping a very close eye on the markets so that we can take any necessary countermeasures.”

In financial year 2021/22 “significant” growth was achieved in both commercial and packaging printing, with increasing demand for virtually all products and in all regions. Customer investments in new equipment were the main driving force in this regard. Incoming orders increased by more than €450m to €2.45bn, which reflected this improved investment climate

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