Due to the conversion of securities into cash and cash equivalents and inflows from the aforementioned portfolio measures and improvements in net working capital, free cash flow was improved in the period under review by EUR 63 million to EUR -10 million. A positive figure of EUR 42 million was achieved in the third quarter. Following the comprehensive debt relief measures, net financial debt is EUR 127 million and thus EUR 262 million below the comparable figure from the previous year. Against this backdrop, leverage (the ratio of net financial debt to EBITDA excluding restructuring result from the last four quarters) dropped to just 1.0 (previous year: 1.9). Despite the slightly positive net profit after taxes, the further significant reduction in actuarial interest rates for the valuation of pension obligations in Germany meant that the equity ratio as per IFRS dropped to 2.6 percent, which Heidelberg considers to be unsatisfactory. However, the parent company still has a solid equity ratio of around 26 percent in its financial statement prepared on the basis of German commercial law.
Forecast raised for profitability in financial year 2020/21 as a whole
Given the recent noticeable improvement in the order situation in many regions, increasing savings as part of the transformation program, and the income generated from asset management and accounting measures, Heidelberg is clearly raising its forecast for the EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result for financial year 2020/21 as a whole. Despite the anticipated COVID 19-related decline in sales of around EUR 450 million to EUR 500 million compared with the previous year (EUR 2,349 million), the Company now expects a significant improvement in the EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result to around 7 percent. Previously the Company had targeted an EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result of at least the same level as the previous year (4.3 percent). The outlook is being adjusted despite the fact that the planned sale of the Gallus Group will not be completed. In financial year 2020 / 2021, Heidelberg continues to expect a significantly improved, but once again negative, after-tax result as against the previous year, and a rise in leverage starting from a low level.
The 2020/21 nine-month report, image material, and further information about the company are available in the Investor Relations and Press Lounge of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG at www.heidelberg.com [http://www.heidelberg.com/].
Heidelberg IR now on Twitter:
Link to the IR Twitter channel: https://twitter.com/Heidelberg_IR [https://twitter.com/Heidelberg_IR] On Twitter under the name: @Heidelberg_IR
Further information:Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Corporate Communications Thomas FichtlPhone: +49 6222 82-67123Fax: +49 6222 82-67129E-mail: Thomas.Fichtl@heidelberg.com[mailto:Thomas.Fichtl@heidelberg.com]
Investor Relations Robin Karpp Phone: +49 6222 82-67120 Fax: +49 6222 82-99 67120 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org[mailto:email@example.com]
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions and estimations by the Management Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Aktiengesellschaft. Even though the Management Board is of the opinion that those assumptions and estimations are realistic, the actual future development and results may deviate substantially from these forward-looking statements due to various factors, such as changes in the macro-economic situation, in the exchange rates, in the interest rates, and in the print media industry. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Aktiengesellschaft gives no warranty and does not assume liability for any damages in case the future development and the projected results do not correspond with the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.