Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) made further progress in operational and strategic development in the first half of 2017/18 (April 1 to September 30, 2017). Thus profitability improved significantly, resulting in a half-year net profit after taxes of €+0.3 million for the first time since financial year 2007/08.
In the second quarter, the company made further progress in its future-oriented strategic issues such as technology leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence. This was achieved through, among other things, market successes with innovative digital presses, establishing new business models, and enhancing efficiency by adapting leadership structures.
“The process of converting our company into a state-of-the-art digital technology group is progressing well,” says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg, and continues:
“With the launch of new subscription models for our customers and our portfolio of innovative products for the eMobility growth sector, we’re moving into new territory that offers enormous potential for growth. Heidelberg will be setting new standards when it comes to technologies of the future, digitization, and efficiency. The necessary cultural shift has only just begun.”
Growth potential thanks to new business models
Demand for digitally printed packaging and labels continue unabated. Heidelberg is extremely well placed in this sector thanks to digital label presses from Gallus. This was underlined by the numerous orders for the new Gallus Labelfire at the Labelexpo trade show in Brussels at the end of September.
Heidelberg is leading the way in developing the industrial digital printing market, and aims to build on this position. The period under review also saw shipment of the first industrial digital packaging printing press, Primefire. Further customer installations will be following shortly and customer interest is continuing to grow. Series production for these digital printing systems is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2018.
The company is already fully booked in this area for two years. The IAA in September 2017 also showcased the diverse range of options for implementing customer-specific design requirements in automotive interiors by using the innovative digital printing technology from the Omnifire press series. 3D vehicle parts such as ventilation nozzles, dashboards, light alloy rims etc. can be individually designed and finished to make them stand out from the crowd.
In the second quarter, Heidelberg also began the pilot phase for launching new business models. This involves offering customers a full package of machinery, services, consumables, and software in a subscription model.
In the last few weeks, additional successful steps have been taken for new product offerings that are intended to generate around €50 million in additional sales over the next few years. Heidelberg Industry boasts substantial expertise in control and power electronics for industrial and eMobility applications.
After establishing itself as a supplier over a number of years, the company is now marketing high-performance wallboxes and intelligent charging cables for electric vehicles under its own name. In conjunction with Berlin-based technology startup Big Rep, an innovative large-format 3D printing solution has also been developed that has been in series production since October.