ZEISS Revenue Increased 11% in Previous Fiscal Year to $7.2 Billion

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The ZEISS Group saw revenue grow by 11% in fiscal year 2018-2019, reaching €6.43 billion ($7.18 billion USD; previous year: €5.82 billion). Zeiss’ fiscal year 2018-2019 ended Sept. 30, 2019. Adjusted for currency and acquisition effects, revenue rose by 8%. ZEISS’ earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) exceeded €1 billion for the first time, with €1.06 billion at an EBIT margin of 17%. Incoming orders increased by 9%, reaching €6.58 billion.

In fiscal year 2018-2019, the ZEISS Group saw growth in all four of its market segments. The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment grew 7% to €1.63 billion and achieved record revenue in part due to the market launch of extreme ultraviolet lithography technology. The Industrial Quality & Research segment was affected by the weak development on the automotive market; however, it was able to generate additional growth with surface measurement and digitalization solutions by acquiring GOM GmbH, a German industrial metrology manufacturer. The segment grew 12% to €1.74 billion. The Medical Technology segment grew 14% to €1.76 billion thanks to new innovations; the Asia-Pacific region in particular enjoyed strong growth in this segment. Revenue for the Consumer Markets segment came in at €1.2 billion, up 9%; above-market growth was seen in emerging markets, but in the Consumer Products business unit, the SLR photography lens business still faces increased pressure — the range of SLR cameras in particular is shrinking.

In fiscal year 2018-2019, the ZEISS Group generated approximately 90% of its revenue outside of Germany. With a revenue increase of 15%, the dynamic national economies in Asia-Pacific in particular continued to drive this positive trend. In the Europe, Middle East, Africa region, ZEISS was able to further grow, with an 8% increase in revenue. In the Americas region, revenue of €1.35 billion was 2% higher than the previous year.

ZEISS increased research expenditures by 10%, calling it a strong indicator of the company's innovation strategy. In fiscal year 2018-2019, these expenditures totaled €705 million. Support for this strategy came from substantial investments in property, plants, and equipment, which increased to €437 million during the reporting period as compared to depreciations totaling €234 million.

“ZEISS’ targeted innovation strategy, combined with substantial expenditures and investments, is a cornerstone of the accelerated growth,” said Christian Müller, ZEISS' chief financial officer. On the path to becoming carbon-neutral, the company decided to switch to a CO2-neutral energy supply in Germany by 2022. “We are making a real difference by implementing a great number of concrete measures to reduce CO2 emissions and protect the climate,” said Müller.

Net liquidity totaled €1.55 million on Sept. 30, lower than the previous year of €2.12 million. ZEISS said this was primarily due to acquisitions, including the complete acquisition of SAXONIA Systems AG. 

Free cash flow amounted to €806 million, while equity rose by 6% to €3.99 million.

A proposal was made at the Annual General Meeting of Carl Zeiss AG to pay a dividend of €75 million to the Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the oldest private foundations in Germany.

As of Sept. 30, 2019, ZEISS had a global workforce of 31,260, with 17,950 employees outside  of Germany. The number of worldwide employees grew by 7%. The headcount increase occurred primarily in Germany, which added 1243 new employees. 

Economic growth slowed in 2019, and the company expects a further slump in growth in 2020. “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,” said Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Zeiss Group. “That is why we are working specifically on strengthening our ability to adapt, and our resilience.” 

Kaschke said the company’s goal for fiscal year 2019-2020 is to increase revenue and achieve a high EBIT margin of over 10%.

Published: December 2019
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