HEIDELBERG, Germany, November 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- - OperatingResult (EBITDA)ExcludingSpecialItemsIncreasedFrom €33Million to €44Million- PositiveNetResult of €9Million (PreviousYear: €-9Million)- Sales in Q2 at €586Million Significantly up on Q1, butStillSlightlyBelow thePreviousYear- OrderBacklog of €765MillionApproximatelyOneFifthHigherThanPreviousYear- Outlook: SightsStillSetFirmly on theTargets for theYear During the second quarter ( July 1 to September 30, 2016) of financial year 2016/2017, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) significantly increased its operating result compared to the previous year, as previously envisaged, and also achieved a clearly positive net result after taxes. After the first six months, the result was still below the previous year's figures due to sales and the costs associated with the drupa trade show. However, as a result of drupa, incoming orders (up around 6 percent) and the order backlog (up 19 percent) were increased significantly. The Group has thus created a sound basis on which to achieve its targets for the year as a whole. "The clear improvement in the result during the second quarter shows that our realignment is bearing fruit. In view of the solid order situation, we anticipate that the second half of the year will bring a considerable improvement in sales and the result compared to the first half of the year. The targets for the year as a whole therefore continue to apply," said Dirk Kaliebe, the company's CFO. Heidelberg turns around itsnetresult after taxes in the quarter underreview to generate €9 million As announced, sales and the result in the second quarter were much better than in the previous quarter of the current financial year. Net sales thus rose by €100 million compared to the first quarter to €586 million (previous year: €599 million). Total sales up to the half-year point were €1.072 billion (previous year: €1.162 billion). Thanks to strong demand at drupa, incomingorders for the first six months were up around 6 percent on the previous year's figure (€1.323 billion) at €1.408 billion, while the order backlog at €765 million was even some 19 percent higher (previous year €644 million). As a result, Heidelberg has a good starting base for achieving the anticipated significant sales growth in the second half of the year. Both EBITDA and EBIT in the quarter under review were up on the figures for the previous year. After six months, these key indicators were still down on the previous year's figures due to sales and a positive non-recurring effect of €19 million from the initial consolidation of PSG in the previous year as well as trade show costs of approximately €10 million. As a result, EBITDA excluding special items rose to €44 million in the second quarter (previous year: €33 million). The total figure for the first half year was €45 million (previous year: €79 million). At €-3 million, special items were lower in the quarter under review than in the previous year (€-6 million). The total figure up to the half-year point was €-6 million (previous year: €-22 million). Compared to the previous year, the financial result improved both in the second quarter and in the first half year. As a result, a positive net result after taxes of €9 million was achieved (previous year: €-9 million). Looking at the half-year figures, the result was €-28 million compared to €-14 million for the same period of the previous year. At €-7 million, free cashflow in the second quarter was slightly negative, but balanced out over the first six months taken as a whole (previous year: €-30 million). Compared to the financial year-end on March 31, 2016, the equity of the Heidelberg Group dropped to €126 million as at September 30, 2016. This was due primarily to the considerable reduction in the discount rate for pensions in Germany. Consequently, the equity ratio on the balance sheet date was around 6 percent. The net financial debt was €276 million ( March 31, 2016: €281 million), and the leverage remains below the target value of 2 at 1.8. Outlook: Sights still set firmly on the targets for the year Thanks to solid incoming orders and the increase in the order backlog, Heidelberg has its sights set firmly on its year-end targets for 2016/2017. The portfolio expansion in rapidly developing markets, possible acquisitions and the drupa industry trade show will substantially affect sales performance in the financial year 2016/2017 and the years ahead. The investment priorities in the areas of digitalization, digital printing and services are expected to contribute to an average sales growth of up to 4 percent per year.