Zeiss is doing very well: they just had the most successful year ever in the company’s history

Zeiss released their financial results for the fiscal year 2009/10 and they are doing pretty good:

  • Revenues increase 42 percent to just under three billion euros
  • Key figures above level of record year 2007/08
  • Fiscal year 2009/10 was the most successful year ever in the company’s history
  • Revenues total 2.98 billion euros
  • Incoming orders hit 3.2 billion euro mark for first time
  • EbIT at 423 million euros
  • Carl Zeiss invested EUR 291 million into its research and development activities during the past fiscal year (compared to EUR 284 million from last year)
  • 12,971 employees (compared to 12,872 from last year)
  • The camera and lens group generated revenues of EUR 312 million (compared to EUR 304 million from last year)

Full press release after the break:

STUTTGART/Germany, 02.12.2010.

The Carl Zeiss Group concluded fiscal year 2009/10 with an increase in revenues of 42 percent over the previous year. The high-tech group of companies has reversed the trend of the previous year that was characterized by the global economic crisis and is now on track to renewed growth. The Carl Zeiss Group presented its provisional financial statements during its annual press conference in Stuttgart.

Growth in all key figures
The Carl Zeiss Group generated revenues of EUR 2.98 billion, an increase of 42 percent over the previous year (EUR 2.1 billion). Incoming orders totaled EUR 3.2 billion, 52 percent more than last year's figure (EUR 2.1 billion). “Fiscal year 2009/10 was the most successful year ever in the company’s history. Only one year after the most severe economic crisis for decades, Carl Zeiss is now very well positioned and successful in the competitive arena,” explained Dr. Dieter Kurz, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. "Not only were we able to equal our performance of record year 2007/08, but we also succeeded in achieving our best-ever figures.” All business groups were profitable and have contributed to the good result.”

The company has achieved further growth in all regions of the world. Business outside Germany accounted for 88 percent of total sales (last year: 83 percent).

EbIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes) lay at EUR 423 million (last year: minus EUR 67 million).

The company's earning power is reflected in the gross cash flow, which also lay at a high level. It totaled EUR 506 million (last year: EUR 76 million), equating to 17 percent of revenues (last year: four percent).

The equity ratio increased four percentage points over the previous year to 33 percent (last year: 29 percent), continuing the positive trend of recent years.

Overall, Carl Zeiss has a solid foundation on which to further pursue its long-term growth strategy: on the balance sheet date, the company had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 1.285 billion (last year: EUR 977 million).

Net liquid assets amounted to EUR 884 million (last year: EUR 478 million). “Carl Zeiss’ stable financial base and its high degree of independence from the developments on the financial markets are of special benefit to the company in its investment and portfolio strategy. This is underscored by our acquisition of Carl Zeiss Vision,” says Dr. Michael Kaschke, Member of the Executive Board of Carl Zeiss AG and future President and CEO.

Investments in property, plant and equipment
The company invested a total of EUR 53 million in plant, property and equipment (last year: EUR 80 million). This compared to depreciations totaling EUR 96 million (last year: EUR 95 million).

Investments in research and development total 10 percent of revenues
Carl Zeiss invested EUR 291 million into its research and development activities during the past fiscal year (last year: EUR 284 million). This corresponds to 10 percent of revenues (last year: 14 percent). Carl Zeiss generates half its revenues with products that are less than three years old. During the reporting year the company applied for 294 new patents. Overall, Carl Zeiss holds approximately 4,000 patents around the globe.

Headcount almost unchanged
On the balance sheet date (30 September 2010), 12,971 people worked for the company across the globe (last year: 12,872), including 8,292 (last year: 8,307) in Germany. On the balance sheet date, the Carl Zeiss Group in Germany also had 445 trainees (last year: 451).

Trends in the business groups
The Semiconductor Technology Group benefited from the rapid and clear recovery of the semiconductor market during the fiscal year. Sales revenues rose 207 percent to EUR 1.187 billion (last year: EUR 386 million).

The Medical Systems and Microscopy Groups also reported a positive trend during the 2008/09 crisis year. In the past fiscal year they were able to record renewed growth that was clearly above the respective market average.

With revenues of EUR 754 million, the Medical Systems Group, most of which is made up of the publicly listed company Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, recorded a successful fiscal year. Revenues increased seven percent over the previous year (EUR 706 million).

The Microscopy Group generated revenues of EUR 397 million (last year: EUR 365 million), corresponding to a growth of nine percent.

During fiscal year 2009/10, the Industrial Metrology Group generated revenues of EUR 292 million, still four percent less than last year’s figure (EUR 304 million) – chiefly due to the late recovery of the automotive industry, which did not begin until spring 2010.

The businesses with camera and cine lenses, binoculars and spotting scopes, planetariums and optoelectronic systems from the Carl Zeiss Group is the domain of the Consumer Optics/Optronics Group. During fiscal year 2009/10, this business group generated revenues of EUR 312 million (last year: EUR 304 million), an increase of three percent over the year before.

Eyeglass lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss Vision concluded the fiscal year with revenues totaling EUR 881 million (last year: EUR 879 million). In fiscal year 2009/10 the business of the Carl Zeiss Vision Group is valued at equity in the financial statements of the Carl Zeiss Group in accordance with the latter’s 50 percent interest in the company. On the balance sheet date the Carl Zeiss Vision Group had a global workforce of 11,586 employees (FTEs), including 1,052 in Germany.

Effective 1 October 2010, Carl Zeiss acquired the voting rights held by private equity company EQT and therefore now has 100 percent control of the world's second largest eyeglass lens manufacturer. Consequently, from fiscal year 2010/11 onward, Carl Zeiss Vision will be integrated into the Carl Zeiss Group in the form of the “Vision Care” business group and, like the other five business groups, will operate as an independent entity. “This is the biggest single investment in the company’s history and is a very good addition to our portfolio,” said Dr. Kurz. “The transaction offers benefits to the Carl Zeiss Group as a whole because, within the Carl Zeiss portfolio, the eyeglass sector will deliver stable contributions largely independent of market cycles and a positive operating result.”

New leadership
President and Chief Executive Officer of Carl Zeiss AG, Dr. Dieter Kurz, will leave the Executive Board at the end of 2010 as planned. He has been a Member of the Executive Board since 1999 and President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG since 2001. The Supervisory Board has appointed Dr. Michael Kaschke to the position of President and CEO, effective 1 January 2011. Dr. Kaschke has been a Member of the Executive Board since 2000, was responsible for finance and will continue to oversee the Medical Systems and Microscopy Groups in the future. Thomas Spitzenpfeil has been a new Member of the Board since 1 October 2010. Most recently, he was a Member of the Board of the Austrian company Zumtobel AG. Spitzenpfeil has assumed responsibility for finance at Carl Zeiss and the Consumer Optics/Optronics Groups. Together with Dr. Hermann Gerlinger, who has been a Member of the Executive Board and responsible for the Semiconductor Technology Group and production since 2006, Dr. Michael Kaschke and Thomas Spitzenpfeil will form the Executive Board of Carl Zeiss AG from 2011.

Carl Zeiss is gearing up for global structural change and the volatility of the markets. “The company is excellently poised for the future,” said Kurz. “Carl Zeiss has a broad, well-matched portfolio and a strong balance sheet. The business groups are expanding their leading market positions. During fiscal year 2010/11 we successfully overcame the impact of the global economic crisis on the company. Carl Zeiss is prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Carl Zeiss assumes that the market uncertainty will remain. “Nevertheless, we expect a stable development of all business groups and therefore a further contribution to corporate value enhancement,” said Dr. Michael Kaschke. “We are focusing on our innovative power and strong brand, our broad portfolio and the international and flexible footprint of the Carl Zeiss Group."

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