- Sales in fiscal year 2021/22 up 14% to €2.183 billion
- Order intake up more than 23% to 2.454 billion euros
- Highest backlog in over 10 years at around €900m
- Significantly improved EBITDA margin of 7.3%
- Net income after tax amounted to 33 million euros
- Positive free cash flow of €88 million – fully reduced net financial debt
According to preliminary (unaudited) calculations, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) made its own revenue and EBITDA margin forecasts for the past financial year 2021/22 (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022) and returned to profitability. At 2.183 billion euros, sales increased by around 14% compared to the previous year, thus achieving the target of at least 2.1 billion euros. The reference period showed a clear recovery compared to the previous year, which had been particularly affected by the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. The significant improvement in the investment climate was reflected in particular by the increase in orders received of more than 450 million euros over one year to 2.454 billion euros.
Commercial printing and packaging printing saw significant year-on-year growth in the past financial year, with the increase in commercial printing being stronger due to a period of particularly weak comparison. Demand recovered for almost all products and in all regions, with investments in new presses being the main driver. As of March 31, 2022, the order book amounted to approximately 900 million euros, the highest level for more than 10 years (previous year: 636 million euros).
Strong commercial development in the e-mobility segment
In percentage terms, the still young business unit experienced the strongest growth in the electromobility market. Demand for electric vehicle charging stations, known as wall-boxes, has risen sharply, with sales increasing by more than 120% to around 50 million euros in the last fiscal year. Despite increased investment in growth, the operating margin increased significantly compared to the previous year. Having started as a supplier to the automotive industry, HEIDELBERG is now one of the leading suppliers in this sector, with more than 165,000 units sold.
“In a difficult environment, we made progress in all key business areas, both in terms of sales and profits,” said Dr. Ludwin Monz, Chairman of the Board of Management of HEIDELBERG. “The strong backlog resulting from the notable market recovery in the prior year provides a good basis for new year sales. However, the effects of the war in Ukraine present us, like most other businesses, with challenges. We have to deal with economic uncertainty and the significant increase in the prices of raw materials and energy. Monz, who took over as CEO on April 1, 2022, adds of HEIDELBERG’s further development: “HEIDELBERG has been extremely successful in emerging from the trough of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work on strengthening our core business in the printing industry. This will free us to expand into new markets at the same time.”
The positive evolution of sales and a marked improvement in profitability also had a strong impact on the evolution of results. EBITDA increased to EUR 160 million during the year (prior year: EUR 95 million). In addition to operational improvements, asset management revenues, including the sale of docufy (around €22 million) and a building in the UK (around €26 million), also contributed positively. Adjusted for the comparable effects of the previous year, the underlying operational improvement in EBITDA alone amounts to more than 100 million euros. The EBITDA margin to sales was approximately 7.3%, well above the prior year figure of 5.0% and within the target corridor.
“Over the past few years, we have significantly reduced our cost base, made free cash flow positive and completely eliminated net financial debt. It benefits us today in these uncertain times,” said Marcus A. Wassenberg, the company’s chief financial officer. “However, we must not rest on our laurels and must continue to work to increase our profitability.”
As expected, the preliminary net result after tax improved significantly year-on-year to reach 33 million euros in the financial year 2021/22 (previous year: -43 million euros). Mainly due to the sharp reduction in net working capital and proceeds from asset disposals during the reporting period, free cash flow for the full year was clearly positive at EUR 88 million.