In a press release dated 27 April 2021, Heidelberg says according to preliminary figures (unaudited), it has exceeded its own forecast in terms of net sales and operating margin for the financial year 2020-2021 just ended (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021). The final figures will be made public along with its annual report on 9 June 2021. However, on 28 April Heidelberg’s shares spurted in the day to € 1.47 and were hovering around € 1.42 in the late afternoon on the German DAX. This represents a recovery of sorts from the low share price of Heidelberg in the past financial year which sank to Euro .51 cents on 6 November 2020.
Thanks to a strong final quarter, sales of around € 1.913 billion were slightly above the forecast range of € 1.85 billion to € 1.90 billion. Due to rising demand particularly in China, parts of Europe, and, in the final quarter, also in the US, incoming orders rose to a high level of around € 2.0 billion by the end of the financial year. In the fourth quarter alone, the order intake improved significantly to € 579 million, from € 462 million in the same quarter of the previous year. The order backlog thus increased to a level of € 636 million, providing a favorable basis for the new financial year.
Heidelberg volumes recover in summer
“With a strong final spurt, we have been able to continue our recovery in business volume since the Corona-induced low in the summer,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, Heidelberg’s CEO. “The upturn in the regions makes us confident that we will be able to continue our upward trend in net sales and margin in the future.”
As a result of the positive effects realized under the transformation program and the higher sales volume in the final quarter, the operating return exceeded the company’s own forecast. At € 146 million, EBITDA excluding restructuring result in FY 2020-21 was significantly higher than in the previous year (€ 102 million). The EBITDA margin of around 7.6% exceeded the company’s own forecast of around 7%, even though the expected income from the sale of land at the Wiesloch site will only be recognized in the new financial year.
“The consistent and rapid implementation of our transformation program has stabilized Heidelberg during the pandemic and, with the tailwind of the market recovery setting in, provides the foundation for profitable growth,” said Marcus A. Wassenberg, the company’s CFO.
According to the press release, as expected, the preliminary result after taxes in the financial year 2020/21 has improved significantly year-on-year. Due to the favorable final quarter, the loss is expected to be somewhat lower than previously anticipated. Thanks in particular to the sharp reduction in net working capital and income from asset management in the reporting period, free cash flow for the financial year as a whole will be clearly positive, and net financial debt will be kept at a low level.