Heidelberg Reports Preliminary Figures In Line with Forecast Declines
The upward trend that was already apparent within the financial year as a whole continued in the fourth quarter (January 1 to March 31, 2010). "We recorded a further increase in our sales volume of around 24 percent on the previous quarter and, for the first time since the economic and financial crisis started, we achieved a positive operating result excluding special items," said the company's CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "The level of incoming orders in the fourth quarter of around EUR 680 million underlines the fact that our business volume has stabilized amid a slight improvement in economic conditions. Compared to the previous year, the free cash flow has considerably improved over the year as a whole thanks in part to successful working capital management."
However, the sales mix and non-recurring costs resulting from factors such as statutory partial retirement had a temporary negative impact on the operating result. The cost cutting measures have successfully been realized also in the fourth quarter of the financial year.
At EUR 678 million, preliminary incoming orders in the fourth quarter were up on the level of the previous quarter (EUR 609 million) and well above the figure for the same quarter of the previous year (EUR 474 million). Preliminary sales rose to EUR 715 million (previous quarter: EUR 578 million). The preliminary operating result excluding special items improved, rising to EUR 11 million from EUR -13 million in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter alone, special items amounted to EUR 48 million. The preliminary free cash flow was EUR -46 million (previous quarter: EUR 3 million). In the financial year as a whole the preliminary free cash flow improved to EUR -62 million compared to the previous year (previous year: EUR -201 million).
Employee numbers fell by a further 1,524 in the fourth quarter of 2009/10. As of March 31, 2010, the Heidelberg Group thus had a workforce of 16,496 worldwide (previous year: 18,926).