Chronicling the Past, Predicting the Future

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—Similar to expectations for the overall economy, sales for Heidelberg in the United States are expected to slow, but still grow, this year.

That was the forecast provided by Marcel Kiessling, president and CEO of Heidelberg Americas, during the parent company’s 10th annual year-end press conference held here recently.

With sales growth of 15.2 percent in fiscal year 2006, followed by 13.4 percent in fiscal 2007, he predicts Heidelberg’s U.S. sales growth to be approximately 5 percent in the current year.

These gains can be partly attributed to Heidelberg’s success in the 40˝ sheetfed press market with its Speedmaster XL 105 model. Of the 2,500 XL 105 printing press units shipped worldwide, 500 of those units have been installed in the North American market, according to Kiessling.

Also contributing to Heidelberg’s growth have been strong sales of Suprasetter thermal platesetters, Prinect workflow solutions and finishing equipment targeted toward package printers.

“Services, spare parts and supplies contribute 23 percent of total Heidelberg sales in the Americas,” he reported.

With all Heidelberg consumables now branded under the Saphira name, Kiessling noted that online consumables sales in the U.S. have reached $3 million per month, which will help stabilize the company’s revenue stream during economic cycles in the future.

Saving the first showing of Heidelberg’s two new very-large-format (VLF) sheetfed press models for a pre-Drupa international press conference planned for early March, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen CEO Bernhard Schreier did comment on overall trends he foresees for the upcoming Drupa 2008 exhibition. “Whereas Drupa 2000 was described as the Digital Drupa, Drupa 2004 as the JDF Drupa, maybe this one will be the Drupa of Services…the Drupa of Customer Value,” he said. Schreier also indicated that packaging will be one of the show’s highlights.

Dr. Jürgen Rautert, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen board member for products and technology, concluded the press event with a report on his company’s global efforts to achieve sustainability. Along with pointing out ways Heidelberg continues to reduce the environmental impact throughout its manufacturing processes, he also highlighted some of the company’s more recent environmentally friendly technology developments.

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