The ZEISS Group continued its growth trajectory, with revenue and earnings reaching new heights in fiscal year 2018/19, which ended 30 September 2019. Revenue grew by 11 percent, reaching 6.428 billion euros (previous year: 5.817 billion euros). Adjusted for currency and acquisition effects (like-for-like), revenue rose by 8 percent. At 1.063 billion euros, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were significantly higher than the previous year (772 million euros). Incoming orders increased by 9 percent, reaching 6.575 billion euros for the first time.
“All ZEISS segments have developed extremely well. This is quite remarkable, especially in the midst of an uncertain economic climate and profound structural change in different industries,” says President & CEO, Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke. “ZEISS has consistently prepared for these scenarios and is well-positioned for the future as well as resilient thanks to its corporate strategy, the ZEISS Agenda 2020. Moreover, as a global technology leader, ZEISS is on its way in many segments and areas to becoming a shaper in its markets.”
In 2018/19, the ZEISS Group saw robust growth in all four of its business segments.
Business Segment Development
|Revenue (in € million)|
|Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology||1,634||1,531||+7 %|
|Industrial Quality & Research||1,742||1,549||+12 %|
|Medical Technology*||1,760||1,546||+14 %|
The business area of measuring technology and quality assurance (Industrial Quality & Research segment) was impacted by the weak development in the automotive market. However, it was able to generate additional growth with surface measurement and digitalization solutions by acquiring GOM GmbH. Measuring technology and quality assurance also benefited from automotive carbody solutions and service along with continued healthy growth in APAC and Germany. The microscopy business has stabilized and exceeded expectations.
In 2018/19, the ZEISS Group generated approximately 90 percent of its revenue outside Germany. With a revenue increase of 15 percent (like-for-like), the dynamic national economies in the APAC region in particular continued to drive this positive trend. In the EMEA region, ZEISS was able to further grow with an 8 percent increase in revenue (like-for-like). In the Americas region, revenue of 1.347 billion euros was 2 percent higher than last year’s figure (like-for-like). Here, ZEISS has not yet fully leveraged the potential for growth.
The 10 percent increase in expenditures for research and development is a particularly strong indicator of the company’s innovation strategy: In fiscal year 2018/19, these expenditures totaled 705 million euros (2017/18: 642 million euros). Support for this strategy came from substantial investments in property, plant and equipment, which also increased significantly to 437 million euros (2017/18: 244 million euros) during the reporting period.
“ZEISS’ targeted innovation strategy, combined with substantial expenditures and investments, is a cornerstone of the accelerated growth,” says Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Christian Müller.
The acquisitions concluded during the fiscal year included GOM GmbH, a leading supplier of hardware and software for automated 3D coordinate measuring technology headquartered in Braunschweig, Germany. In October 2019, it was announced that ZEISS would invest in Senorics GmbH and enter into a technology partnership with this sensor solutions start-up from Dresden, Germany. At the end of November 2019, the complete acquisition of SAXONIA Systems AG was announced. ZEISS had already acquired a 25 percent stake in the software specialist from Dresden back in 2018. “As part of our cooperations and acquisitions, we are always on the lookout for partners with whom we can expand our technology and software expertise,” says Kaschke. “This enables us to focus on opening up new fields of technology and drive strategically important digital projects within the ZEISS Group.”
Economic growth slowed down even more this year, and a further slump in current growth is expected for next year. The risks in global trade continue to increase, and there is no sign of de-escalation, which would require reducing trade barriers: “While the current number of incoming orders is reason to be optimistic, we do not presume that ZEISS, for all its strengths, can remain completely unaffected by economic fluctuations. That is why we are working specifically on strengthening our ability to adapt and our resilience,” says Kaschke. “The goal for fiscal year 2019/20 is to once again increase revenue and continue to achieve a high EBIT margin of over 10 percent – a challenging goal in light of the economic downturn and the need to maintain our significant R&D expenditures.”
For more information: www.zeiss.com