Strong Q4 sees Heidelberg exceed year forecast
According to preliminary figures, Heidelberg has exceeded its own forecast in terms of net sales and operating margin for the financial year 2020/21 just ended.
Thanks to a strong final quarter, sales of around €1.91bn were slightly above the forecast range of €1.85bn to €1.9bn. Due to rising demand, particularly in China, parts of Europe and, in the final quarter, also in the US, incoming orders rose to a high level of around €2bn by the end of the financial year.
At €146m, EBITDA, excluding restructuring, in financial year 2020/2021 was almost 50 per cent higher than in the previous year’s €102m.
In the fourth quarter (Jan-March), the order intake improved significantly to €579m, from €462m in the same quarter of the previous year. The order backlog increased to a level of €636m, providing, says the company, “a favourable basis for the new financial year.”
"With a strong final spurt, we have been able to continue our recovery in business volume since the Corona-induced low in the summer," said Rainer Hundsdörfer, Heidelberg CEO. "The upturn in the regions makes us confident that we will be able to continue our upward trend in net sales and margin in the future."
As a result of the positive effects realised under the transformation programme, and the higher sales volume in the final quarter, the operating return exceeded the company’s own forecast.
The EBITDA margin of around 7.6 per cent exceeded the company's own forecast of around 7 per cent, even though the expected income from the sale of land at the Wiesloch site will only be recognised in the new financial year.
"The consistent and rapid implementation of our transformation programme has stabilised Heidelberg during the pandemic and, with the tailwind of the market recovery setting in, provides the foundation for profitable growth," said Marcus Wassenberg, the company's CFO.
As expected, the preliminary result after taxes in financial year 2020/21 has improved significantly year-on-year. Due to the favourable final quarter, the loss is expected to be somewhat lower than previously anticipated. Thanks in particular to the sharp reduction in net working capital and income from asset management in the reporting period, free cash flow for the financial year as a whole will be clearly positive, and net financial debt will be kept at a low level.
The company will publish its financial statements and annual report for financial year 2020/21 on June 9.