Our management philosophy includes the recognition and realistic measurement
of risks as early as possible. This approach makes it possible for us to
systematically cope or make appropriate preparation. Moreover, opportunities
are also recorded and systematically made use of as early as possible. Detailed
information concerning our risk and opportunity management can be found
in chapter ›Management, Control, and Value Management‹ in the 2006/2007 Annual Report.
We continue to expect Heidelberg’s overall risk to have declined modestly
this financial year. We had viewed the uncertainties surrounding the customs
provisions in China as our greatest risk – a risk that no longer exists now that the situation has been clarified. We view the unfavorable exchange rate structures
and resulting competitive pressures as our greatest risk at present. The
advantage accruing to Japanese competitors might be enhanced by a further
weakening of the US dollar, with a corresponding negative impact on market
prices. The print media industry is in general highly susceptible to cyclical
fluctuations, which are then reflected in our customers’ propensity to invest.
Medium-term business prospects remained favorable. However, the financial
market crisis raised fears of recession, primarily with respect to the North
American economy. This results in an overall increase in uncertainties.
Although our considerable regional diversification reduces our dependency
on individual markets, a global economic slowdown would nevertheless
have an impact on Heidelberg as well. However, we have additionally consistently
enhanced our flexibility in recent years. Our reduction in structural
costs lessens our susceptibility to fluctuations in customer orders. There are
currently no recognizable risks that could threaten the existence of the
Besides risks, there are also opportunities that would favor our business.
A change in exchange rates in favor of suppliers from the European region
caused by a strengthening of the US dollar would have a favorable impact on
our business development. We would also benefit from the global economy
developing more vigorously than has so far been projected. We will present
our new package printing products at drupa 2008. There is an opportunity
here that the new products will be more quickly accepted by the market than
we assume in our planning.