Press manufacturer Heidelberg – no longer in the newspaper space but still a contributor to the industry – is on a roll this week, not least because of a massive order.
Deciding to replace almost all its machinery, Dutch book publisher and printer Wilco favoured the German sheetfed market-leader with an order for 11 of its latest presses, amounting to a total of 61 printing units. Four variants of the top-selling Speedmaster XL 106 8P – for eight-colour perfector – are involved, some with LED UV technology.
While strong book sales contributed to the order, Heidelberg’s healthy production status is due to growth in packaging printing, business in China, and the wallboxes it makes for EV owners to charge their vehicles.
The company is forecasting a rise in 2021/22 sales to at least two billion Euros (A$3.15 billion), an EBITDA margin increase from five to between six and seven per cent, and a “slightly positive” net result after taxes. With the break-even threshold set to decrease to around 1.9 billion Euros the following year, FY2022 is also expected to see a return to “profitable growth” despite continuing uncertainties from the pandemic.
Regarding the duration and scope of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in financial year 2021/2022, the company is therefore expecting sales to climb from € 1,913 million to at least € 2 billion. Chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer says that’s because of the “comprehensive transformation” Heidelberg initiated before the coronavirus hit, making the company leaner and more efficient.
Pictured: Heidelberg offset assembly in Wiesloch-Walldorf