Heidelberg sees drupa as key indicator for the industry

Company expects significant boost from trade show - Incoming orders to exceed Euro one billion in drupa quarter - World leader showcases a total of over 50 innovations in Dusseldorf, including many world premieres

Heidelberg, (PresseBox) - One day before the opening of drupa, the print media industry’s most important trade show in Düsseldorf, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG’s CEO Bernhard Schreier is rather optimistic regarding the company’s expectations of the trade show: “After three years of extremely slow investment activity and a phase of consolidation in the industry, we observe improving conditions, which could lift demand for printing solutions from the current modest level.” He believes that the industry has turned the corner, expecting a slightly more stable second half of the year.

For Schreier drupa is a key indicator for the industry. He believes that the trade show can add to the industry’s accelerating momentum. Whether the currently positive upwards trend proves sustainable or not depends mainly on further economical development. “drupa does not influence the economy, the economy influences drupa,” emphasizes Schreier. Heidelberg expects the trade show to generate incoming orders of well over Euro one billion in the current fiscal year’s first quarter (March 1st to June 30th, 2004).

As the largest exhibitor in Düsseldorf, Heidelberg, will be showing a total of 50 product innovations, in two halls, comprising around 7,800 square meters of exhibition space – roughly 30 percent more innovations than in the year 2000. “Despite the economic slump, we have continued to invest constantly in new products and technology in recent years,” states Schreier. The main focus is on solutions along the entire added-value chain, relating to the core business area of sheetfed offset printing, from prepress to postpress. Heidelberg's integrated workflow systems will be at the very heart of all of presentations and will be shown in customer application demonstrations. “Our Prinect workflow system enables an entirely networked printshop and, in combination with the new products, provides the opportunity for customers to reduce their costs by around 30 percent,” continues Schreier. This also marks the trend the trade show will set for the industry, he believes: “drupa will sh! ow what a powerful, lasting influence the rapid development of digitization is having on processes, including advances in productivity at the man-machine interface.” In his eyes, Heidelberg solutions in Prepress, Sheetfed Offset and Finishing, the proven networking potential and the resulting customer benefits will provide the ideal platform for the company to maintain its pole position within the industry. Schreier is convinced that the company can keep its market share of around 45 percent in Sheetfed Offset, and even extend its share in some areas.

drupa will take place in Düsseldorf from May 6 to May 19, 2004. More than 1,860 exhibitors from 52 countries will demonstrate the latest technology in 17 exhibition halls on approximately 161,000 square meters. Up to 370,000 visitors are expected during the 14-day period.

For further information about Heidelberg, please visit the Internet Press Lounge at www.heidelberg.com.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

Die Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG ist mit rund 24.200 Mitarbeitern in mehr als 170 Ländern weltweit führender Lösungsanbieter für die Printmedien-Industrie. Mit Hauptsitz in Heidelberg, Deutschland, bietet das Unternehmen Produkte von der Druckvorstufe über die unterschiedlichsten Druckverfahren bis hin zur Weiterverarbeitung. So entwickelt und fertigt die Heidelberg Gruppe Software, elektronische Prepress-Produkte, Bogenoffset-, Rollenoffset- und digitale Druckmaschinen sowie Weiterverarbeitungssysteme. Das Unternehmen hat bei weitem das größte Service- und Vertriebsnetz der Branche. Mit 18 internationalen Standorten und 250 Vertriebsniederlassungen werden 240.000 Kunden weltweit optimal betreut. Heidelberg generiert seinen Umsatz zu 85 Prozent durch eigene Vertriebsgesellschaften. Im Geschäftsjahr 2002/2003 erreichte Heidelberg einen Umsatz von rund 4,1 Milliarden Euro.

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