Heidelberg has announced improved annual results after posting its best Q4 performance for nine years.
A spokesman for Heidelberg confirmed that Q4 2016/17 was Heidelberg’s best Q4 performance since 2008 based on revenue and profit, after sales rose just shy of 20% on the same quarter last year, from €710m (£600m) to €845m, and net profit after tax increased €11m to €46m (31%).
EBITDA increased by 21%, from €70m to €85m, while incoming orders rose 3% (€588m to €604m).
For the full year, the group experienced a 29% rise in net profits after tax, from €28m to €36m, while sales experienced a slight rise, from €2.512bn to €2.524bn. Heidelberg said that the more substantial growth in sales originally targeted for the year did not materialise due to planned acquisitions being postponed until the new reporting year.
The spokesman could not confirm when these acquisitions will go through but said that it had taken a “little bit longer” than Heidelberg had initially expected and that the deals would definitely complete in the next financial year.
The spokesman said: “In general for the whole financial year we have achieved our target. We increased sales moderately, the expected M&A deals will come soon, so we are in line with sales expectation and our other big goal was to increase net profit and this was also achieved.
“So the main message is Heidelberg is back on sustainable profitability. We put this out two to three years ago to get back to sustainable profitability and I think that is proved by the numbers that we have shown today.”
EBITDA excluding special items for the full year slipped slightly, from €189m to €179m, although last year’s figure included a positive non-recurring effect of €19m after the acquisition of PSG Group.
Incoming orders rose 4%, from €2.492bn to €2.593bn, an increase that Heidelberg said had “bucked the industry trend by being significantly up on the previous year’s level.”
Cashflow at the end of the year moved back into the black, a boost of €56m to bring it up to €24m. Net debt fell 10% from €281m to €252m.
Heidelberg’s digital revamp, which officially took place on 1 April 2017, saw it establish two new segments, Heidelberg Digital Technology (HDT) and Heidelberg Digital Business & Services (HDB).
HDT combines sheetfed offset, label printing and post-press while HDB manages Heidelberg’s operations related to services, consumables, remarketed equipment and digital printing technology. More details will be available at Heidelberg’s June press briefing at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site.