Heidelberg has posted a first-half profit for the first time in a decade.
The world’s largest manufacturer of printing equipment announced details of new products and initiatives to increase future profitability at alongside its results for the six months to 30 September.
Sales slipped slightly on the prior year, which was boosted by Drupa orders, and the group also took an €18m hit due to negative exchange rate differences.
For the six-month period sales were €1.054bn (2016: €1.072bn), while incoming orders were down 12.4% at €1.234bn. Order backlog was a “solid” €630m compared to the Drupa-inflated €765m of the prior year.
For the first time since its 2007/08 results the group also posted a net profit after tax. It reversed the prior year’s €27.7m loss and posted a net profit of €271k. Chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer, who joined the business a year ago, said his plans to transform Heidelberg into a “state-of-the-art digital technology group” were “progressing well”.
“We’re moving into new territory that offers enormous potential for growth,” he said.
As part of the organisational revamp instigated by Hundsdörfer, which aims to save €50m over five years through operational excellence, the group is also planning to create a less hierarchical management structure. A transformation project in this area is underway.