Another Record Year for ZEISS

The ZEISS Group is continuing its growth trajectory. In fiscal year 2017/18 (ended on 30 September 2018), the company achieved record-breaking revenue and earnings: revenue increased by nine percent to EUR 5.817 billion (previous year: EUR 5.348 billion). After currency adjustments, revenue rose by 12 percent. With earnings, it was possible to fully compensate for the unfavorable currency effects. Thus, at EUR 772 million, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were slightly higher than the previous year (EUR 770 million). The EBIT margin was 13 percent. Order intake increased by seven percent, totaling EUR 6.046 billion.

“All ZEISS segments and regions contributed to this outstanding result. Our innovative products for the semiconductor industry and medical technology in particular ensured significantly greater, above-market growth dynamics,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke, President & CEO of ZEISS. “We have a strong, future-proof portfolio and impress our customers with leading high-tech solutions, a comprehensive service offering and a strong brand.”

Segment Development

Revenue (in € million)
2017/18 2016/17 Change
Industrial Quality & Research 1,549 1,538 +1% (+2%)
Medical Technology* 1,546 1,427 +8% (+14%)
Consumer Markets 1,106 1,108 ±0% (+5%)
Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology 1,531 1,212 +26% (+27%)

All four segments made positive contributions to the ZEISS Group’s earnings, but the development dynamics varied: the Industrial Quality & Research segment, comprising metrology and microscopy solutions, continued to benefit from the stable demand for measuring technology in the automotive sector. This, in turn, compensated for the weaker development in the microscopy business.

Key figures

In 2017/18, the ZEISS Group generated approximately 90 percent of its revenue outside Germany. Once again, the dynamically developing economies in the APAC region in particular contributed to this positive development. Direct business in China has grown by 21 percent, superseding Germany as the company’s second-largest sales market after the US. ZEISS was able to continue growing in the EMEA region with a four-percent increase in revenue. Posting five-percent growth, the optics company again enjoyed positive gains in the Americas region.

The acquisitions completed during the previous fiscal year included Bosello High Technology, a solutions provider for industrial X-ray systems, and Guardus, a software provider for production analysis and control.

The number of employees worldwide increased by nine percent. Due to the personnel requirements at Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, the headcount increase occurred primarily in Germany, with over 700 new employees hired. On 30 September 2018, ZEISS had a global workforce of around 30,000 employees. As in previous years, employees shared in the company’s success.

“The positive development in fiscal year 2017/18 confirms that we are on the right track with our corporate strategy, the ZEISS Agenda 2020. This agenda focuses on our customers’ success as well as on market-shaping innovations, investments and improving our competitiveness,” says Kaschke, summing up the fiscal year.

Outlook: “Our sights are set on 6 billion in revenue”

Currently, economic growth is slowing in developed and emerging economies, while additional trade barriers increase the risks of global trade. With its corporate strategy, the ZEISS Agenda 2020, ZEISS is well-equipped to respond to these events and continue the company’s dynamic growth trajectory: “Even if, in light of the economic forecast, momentum in the segments and regions will vary, we anticipate continued organic growth overall with a stable EBIT margin. With our consistent focus on innovations, investments and expansion, we have our sights set squarely on our goal of achieving six billion in revenue,” says Kaschke, looking ahead to fiscal year 2018/19. “The growth drivers are the company’s high-tech solutions, which will play an important role in all key future trends – from digitalization and Smart Production to health care in an aging society.”

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