Heidelberg has cited the Japanese earthquake disaster and the liquidity shortage in China as contributing factors for the manufacturer's sales falling "slightly short" of expectations during the first quarter of its financial year.

Sales came in at €544m ($770m), which were in-line with the previous year's results after €19m of exchange rate effects were taken into account but still fell short of expectations.

The manufacturer said that although the situations in Japan and China, growth areas for the business, would only having a temporary effect on its business development, it would push some sales into the following quarters.

Preliminary incoming orders during the first quarter amounted to €665m, which were in-line with company expectations and up on the €637m recorded the previous quarter.

Heidelberg has set its annual medium term sales targets at €3bn and predicts that next year's Drupa show will have a positive effect on sales.

The manufacturer will release a detailed run down of its first quarter results on 9 August 2011.