In contrast to such other specialized branches as textile printing presses, fittings, and ventilation technology, which in some cases surpassed their pre-economic crisis levels, according to the specialist association printing and paper technology of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the printing and paper technology sector is now only at the beginning of an upswing. According to the VDMA, although our industry has overcome the global economic crisis, so far it has only realized modest growth. In calendar year 2010, incoming orders were on the rise for the first time in over two years. Underlying this development was the slow recovery in our industry’s traditionally strong markets in Europe and North America.
The heidelberg group’s incoming orders and sales, which totaled, respectively, € 2,757 million and € 2,629 million, surpassed the previous year’s figures by 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively. As expected, after adjusting for exchange rate effects the growth figures were a moderate 10 and 8 percent, respectively. All regions generated growth – which in some respects was considerable. Because the trade shows ExpoPrint in Brazil and IPEX in the UK generated a considerable number of orders during the first quarter, we posted an overall higher volume of incoming orders during the first half of the year than in the second half. Since the considerable vigor in the newly industrializing countries favored strong growth of the print media industry, the share of sales accounted for by the newly industrializing countries increased further – from 42 percent the previous year to 45 percent through the end of the financial year. Contributing to this development, in addition to Brazil, was in particular the very high rate of growth seen in China. That country’s share of sales is now 16 percent! The strongest market until now, Germany, reached 15 percent.