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Heidelberg Reports Orders Stabilize, Revenue Lower in First Quarter

August 11, 2009
HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—08/11/09—Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is publishing its results for the first quarter of financial year 2009/2010 (April 1 to June 30, 2009). The persisting unfavorable macro-economic climate and customers' continued reluctance to invest have collectively had a significant impact on business during the reporting period.

In the period under review, incoming orders were up on the previous quarter's figure of EUR 474 million at EUR 550 million and thus appear to be stabilizing at a low level. They were 52 percent down on the figure for the same quarter the previous year, which was boosted by the drupa trade show (previous year: EUR 1.151 billion).

As a result of the global slump in demand in the industry, the Heidelberg Group's order backlog as at June 30, 2009 was 53 percent below the previous year's value of EUR 1.298 billion at EUR 616 million.

"Incoming orders stabilized slightly in the first quarter compared with recent months, providing an initial indication that the downturn is leveling out. However, we still need to wait and see how things develop," stated Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

In the first three months of the financial year, the Heidelberg Group generated sales amounting to EUR 514 million. This figure is 22 percent lower than the EUR 657 million achieved in the first quarter of the previous year.

The operating result excluding special items was EUR -63 million in the period under review (previous year: EUR -35 million). The net result in the first quarter was EUR -69 million (previous year: EUR -39 million).

Heidelberg achieved considerable success in limiting the outflow of funds from free cash flow compared to the same quarter the previous year through active control of working capital and savings on investments. As a result, the free cash flow improved to EUR -29 million (previous year: EUR -211 million), largely due to a further cutback in inventory levels.

"Our package of cost-cutting measures is proceeding according to plan," said company CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "In the first three months of the financial year, we achieved a further reduction in personnel costs compared to the previous year, cut inventory levels, lowered research and development expenditure, and cut back significantly on investments. These savings contribute to compensating the impact falling sales are having on the result," he added.

Around half of the 5,000 job cuts announced by Heidelberg have already been achieved or firmly agreed through socially acceptable measures. To make further short-term savings on personnel costs, the company is continuing to make use of short-time work throughout Germany.

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