Heidelberg views drupa as trend barometer for printing industry

(PresseBox) ( Heidelberg, )
- Company underlines credentials as world market leader in sheetfed offset
- First ever comprehensive packaging printing showcase at a trade show
- Service and consumables business set to grow

With one day to go before the start of drupa, the print media industry's most important trade show, the CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), Bernhard Schreier, sees the event in Dusseldorf as a trend barometer for the printing industry. "Our customers will become even more competitive in future thanks to the new solutions and technologies we are presenting. It isn't unusual for their productivity to improve by as much as 40 percent with our help," he stated. According to the CEO, however, the readiness of the industry as a whole to invest depends on a number of underlying conditions - not least the economic climate. Schreier stressed it would be easier after the trade show to gage how the world's printers assessed their situation, but said he was optimistic that Heidelberg - as the largest exhibitor at drupa - would underline its leading position in sheetfed offset.

Schreier listed three main growth areas for Heidelberg to focus on in future with a view to lessening the company's dependence on world economic cycles. "Our objective is to further increase our share of a packaging printing market that is less sensitive to changing economic climates, both benefiting from its growth and winning market share from other manufacturers," he revealed. The CEO went on to explain that this was why Heidelberg was, for the first, time using the Dusseldorf event to exhibit products and integrated solutions specifically for this market segment, which incorporates prepress, press, postpress, and the associated software components.

Schreier also indicated that the world market leader for services and consumables was looking to achieve further growth. "Our sales in this segment will increase from the current level of around 700 million euros to more than one billion euros over the next three years," he stated, adding that the strategy was to combine internal growth with small-scale acquisitions such as that of coating manufacturer Hi-Tech Coatings last week. According to the CEO, the total market volume for services and consumables amounts to around 25 billion euros and attractive margins are also being achieved in specialist applications.

Schreier stressed that there were still opportunities for Heidelberg in emerging markets. He revealed that the industry was enjoying double-digit growth in some regions, above all in Eastern Europe but also in parts of India and China. The CEO added that Heidelberg was looking to take continued advantage of this growth and further expand capacity at the plant in Qingpu, near Shanghai. "In the medium term, emerging markets will account for over 40 percent of total sales at Heidelberg," he stated.

Heidelberg presentation spread over two halls at drupa

Heidelberg will be showcasing a wide range of products and services for all aspects of sheetfed offset at drupa 2008. The world market leader will be using a display area of over 7,800 square meters (around 84,000 square feet) in Halls 1 and 2 of drupa to demonstrate a diverse range of print jobs from all relevant segments. From prepress and press to postpress, every single stage is integrated using the various modules of the Prinect workflow software. This extensive range of options enables Heidelberg customers to respond effectively to the competitive pressures in this sector.

The motto for the Heidelberg trade show presentation is "HEI Performance" and "HEI Value". Visitors to drupa will be able to see for themselves the powerful solutions that create real added value for applications. During the trade show, the entire Heidelberg machine and software portfolio will be further enhanced by a comprehensive range of service offerings, consultancy, and various tours.

drupa will be taking place in Dusseldorf from May 29 through June 11, 2008. No fewer than 1,971 exhibitors from 52 countries will be showcasing their latest technological developments in 17 exhibition halls covering an area of approximately 175,000 square meters (around 1,885,000 square feet). Up to 400,000 visitors are expected during the 14-day period.
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