Heidelberg Reports Positive Operating Result for First Time in Two Years
The operating result improved significantly due to higher profit contributions and the savings made during the financial year. The result of operating activities excluding special items rose to EUR 4 million at the end of the financial year (previous year: EUR -130 million). Special items in the financial year just closed totaled EUR 2 million. This resulted in a result of operating activities including special items of EUR 6 million.
At EUR -149 million, the financial result was once again below the previous year's figure of EUR -127 million. This was caused by high financing costs, and by the one-off expenditure associated with the repayment of financial liabilities and the restructuring of financing. The capital increase and the early repayment of financial liabilities helped to compensate.
Due to the financial result still having a very negative impact on the result before taxes, the company recorded an annual loss of EUR -129 (previous year: EUR -229 million). A proposal will therefore be put to the Annual General Meeting not to pay a dividend for the year under review.
The free cash flow was much better than expected. Despite high restructuring costs in the year under review, it reached EUR 75 million and was thus EUR 137 million better than the previous year's figure of EUR -62 million. The greatly reduced annual loss and the successful management of net working capital played a major part in this improvement.
Thanks to the capital increase and the much reduced annual loss, Heidelberg achieved a equity ratio of 32.9 percent in relation to the balance sheet total at the end of the reporting period. On the balance sheet date of the previous year, the equity ratio was only 20.1 percent. At the same time, the net financial debt fell by just under two-thirds, from EUR 695 million in the previous year to EUR 247 million.