Heidelberg Reports Incoming Orders Increased in Third Quarter
The Heidelberg Group's order backlog at the end of the third quarter improved slightly to EUR 626 million (previous quarter: EUR 617 million).
Much better earnings
At EUR -13 million, the operating result for the third quarter, excluding special items, was much better than the previous quarter's figure of EUR -65 million. This was due in large part to the slight increase in sales and the growing savings resulting from the package of cost-cutting measures. Following agreement on a reconciliation of interests with employee representatives in October 2009, it was possible to reverse parts of the provisions for the cost-cutting program. This resulted in income of EUR 30 million from special items in the third quarter and produced a positive operating result, including special items, of EUR 17 million for this quarter. The cumulative operating result after nine months, excluding special items, was EUR -141 million (previous year, excluding special items: EUR -45 million).
The net result after three quarters was EUR -158 million (previous year: EUR -119 million).
Positive free cash flow
In the period under review, Heidelberg recorded a positive free cash flow of EUR 3 million. After the first three quarters of the current financial year, the total free cash flow is only slightly negative at EUR -15 million; the cash outflow after nine months in the previous financial year was EUR -277 million.
"Business has improved slightly as expected and we have made greater savings. This has resulted in a much better operating result in the third quarter," stated Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "The positive free cash flow has enabled us to ensure the continued stability of the Group's net debt. We will also continue to optimize the cost structure at Heidelberg," he explained.
On February 9, 2005, Heidelberg issued a convertible bond that runs until 2012 but can be paid back early in February 2010. In the third quarter of financial year 2009/2010, a majority of the convertible bond investors exercised their right to accelerated repayment in accordance with the bond conditions. Repayment in the fourth quarter of the current financial year will be largely refinanced using the loan from the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), which was granted for this purpose as part of the new financing concept.