Heidelberg boss plans digital revamp, more M&A

By Jo Francis, Thursday 09 February 2017

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Heidelberg’s new chief executive plans to revamp the manufacturer’s organisational structure to align it with “the digital future” and also has a number of potential acquisitions in his sights.


Hundsdörfer: acquisitions are on the cards

Rainer Hundsdörfer, who joined the company last November, announced plans to realign Heidelberg’s structure to accelerate the company’s digital transformation alongside its Q3 results.

“We are getting the company fit for the digital future,” he said. “To do that, we will develop and roll out our own innovative business ideas. However, we will also be strengthening our position in this area through acquisitions.”

Heidelberg is understood to be close to completion on two or three acquisitions in the digital business space.

The future structure will include two new divisions: one to develop, manufacture and supply digital technologies; and another to market the products.

A spokesman explained that the focus was on digital technologies and business processes overall, and not just digital printing. “It means looking at the whole process including software, workflow and applications and also includes the offset technology, which is managed digitally,” he said.

The plans will involve realigning Heidelberg’s internal processes and its customer offering, and could also result in the company promoting its knowledge and know-how into other high-tech manufacturing areas outside of print.

Further details of Hundsdörfer’s plans are likely to be announced at the firm’s year-end briefing in June.

In the three months to 31 December sales were up 3.75% on the previous quarter at €608m (£517m) but down 5% year-on-year, due to a high order backlog for complex presses with long lead times following Drupa.

The order backlog for the first nine months of the financial year jumped from €586m in 2015/16 to €739m.

EBITDA excluding special items increased from €40m to €49m in Q3, although the bottom line loss for the first nine months of the year increased from €7m to €10m. However, Heidelberg said it expected to ship the Drupa orders in Q4, with a resulting boost to profits.

The prior year figures were also boosted by a €19m gain from the acquisition of PSG, while this year the firm has absorbed €10m of Drupa costs.

“We are on the right course to achieve sustainable profitability,” Hundsdörfer stated.


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