Successful Conclusion to the First Three Quarters of the Year by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has reported a
successful conclusion to the first nine months of the current
financial year 1998/99. With sales of 5.334 billion D-Mark (4.805
billion D-Mark in the previous year), the world market leader in
print systems increased sales to the end of the third quarter (1
April 1998 to 31 December 1998) by 11 percent on the same
period in the previous year.
With after-tax profits of 344 million D-Mark (312 million
D-Mark in the previous year), the Heidelberg Group improved profits
by 10.3 percent on the same period in the 1997/98 financial
year. "Given this increase, we are expecting a positive
overall performance for the 98/99 financial year", says
Chairman of the Managing Board, Hartmut Mehdorn.
The Heidelberg Group received orders during the first three
quarters of the financial year valued at 4.855 billion D-Mark. This
is almost 12 percent below the comparable figure for the
previous year (5.495 billion D-Mark). The nine-month figures show a
marked economic slowdown in Great Britain, and definite caution in
new investments in Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region. The
takeover of the former EAC sales companies and the acquisition of
the Stahl Group will not be reflected in the Heidelberg Group
accounts until the end of the financial year (31 March 1999).
With the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office and the
US authorities, the takeover of Stahl was completed on 30 December
The marked growth in consolidated sales, up 529 million
D-Mark on the previous year, can be attributed to nearly all sales
regions with the exception of Asia and Latin America. With an
increase of some 400 million D-Mark, Heidelberg's Central
Europe region performed particularly well. The main source of
growth lay in sales of sheetfed products in Germany and France.
The Eastern Europe region doubled its sales, with marked
improvements in the performance of the sales companies in Austria
and - despite the economic crisis in Russia - in the Eastern
European companies. In the NAFTA region (USA, Canada, Mexico),
Heidelberg's main area of sales growth was the web offset
sector. Sales of equipment were also good in the sheetfed and
prepress segments. As a result of Group representations dealing
directly with Heidelberg customers, sales in the Middle East/Africa
region doubled on the previous year.
With the acquisition of the Stahl Group, Heidelberg has paved
the way for the full integration of the folders,
gatherer-stitchers, book-sewing machines and thread-sealing
machines produced by Stahl, Brehmer and Baumfolder, into the
product portfolio of the Finishing Business Unit.
The pleasing development in sales of finishing products can
be mainly attributed to the sales regions in the USA and Germany.
In the web sector, performance in the field of
commercial/publication products continues to be very positive.
During the current financial year, the Heidelberg workforce
has grown by 1,330 to 19,245 (deadline 31 December). This excludes
the recently acquired EAC sales companies and the employees of the
Stahl Group. The increase is largely due to the inclusion of the
new sales companies in France, Brazil and Mexico, as well as the
Eastern European sales companies in Estonia and Poland.
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