Heidelberg shares spike as it surpasses forecasts

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Heidelberg’s share price jumped by 18.5% in early trading today after the manufacturer said it exceeded its own net sales and operating margin forecasts for the 2020/21 financial year.

Heidelberg’s order intake improved significantly in Q4
Heidelberg’s order intake improved significantly in Q4

According to its unaudited preliminary figures for the year ended 31 March 2021, the business recorded sales of around €1.91bn (£1.66bn), slightly above the forecast range of €1.85bn to €1.9bn.

The company said that due to rising demand, particularly in China, parts of Europe and, in the final quarter, also in the US, incoming orders rose to a level of around €2bn by the end of the financial year.

In Q4 Heidelberg’s order intake improved significantly to €579m, from €462m in the same quarter of the previous year. Its order backlog has therefore increased to a level of €636m, which the manufacturer said provides “a favourable basis for the new financial year”.

The announcement this morning (28 April) resulted in a spike in the company’s share price from €1.24 to €1.47. It stood at €1.39 at the time of writing.

“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 Heidelberg chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer.

“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.”

Heidelberg added that its operating return also exceeded the company’s own forecast due to the positive effects of its transformation programme and the higher sales volume in the final quarter.

Its EBITDA excluding restructuring result of €146m for 2020/21 was up on the €102m recorded a year earlier.

The company’s EBITDA margin of around 7.6%, meanwhile, exceeded its own forecast of around 7%, even though it said the expected income from the sale of land at its Wiesloch site would 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 Heidelberg chief financial officer Marcus Wassenberg.

Heidelberg said that its preliminary result after taxes for the 2020/21 financial year “has improved significantly” and that, due to the strong final quarter, “the loss is expected to be somewhat lower than previously anticipated”.

Heidelberg’s financial statements and annual report for 2020/21 will be published on 9 June 2021.

Last month the company announced that a number of European customers had invested in presses from its Chinese manufacturing site, with export orders from the facility growing to 19% of sales. The business has also recently opened up access to its cloud-based Zaikio procurement platform.

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