Zeiss reports record revenue and earnings

Zeiss reported record revenue and earnings at their 2017 annual press conference:

  • Double-digit revenue growth to EUR 5.348 billion
  • EBIT increases to EUR 770 million
  • Positive contribution from all segments
  • Growth with leading-edge EUV technology
  • ZEISS continues to focus on innovation, global investments and expansion

From the press release:

In the past 2016/17 fiscal year (ended 30 September 2017), ZEISS increased both its revenue and earnings to a record level: revenue rose by 10 percent to EUR 5.348 billion (prior year: EUR 4.881 billion). At EUR 770 million, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were significantly above the already high level of the previous year (615 million). The EBIT margin has increased to over 14 percent. Order intake grew by a healthy 12 percent and is now at EUR 5.625 billion, underscoring the growth ambitions of the technology company.

"All four segments – Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology – are either at or above their target returns and have made a positive contribution to the most successful fiscal year in the history of ZEISS," said Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke, President & CEO of Carl Zeiss AG, at the annual press conference in Stuttgart. "This development was not and is not just a matter of course. Rather, it is the result of the tremendous efforts made by all employees and partners over a long period of time. The consistent implementation of the strategic Agenda has now made a real impact and significantly increased competitiveness. Thanks to investments in cutting-edge Innovation and Customer Centers, global partnerships and strategic expansions, we have focused entirely on the needs of our customers," said Kaschke, explaining the company's strategy.

Revenue in € million
2016/17 2015/16 Change
Research & Quality Technology 1,538 1,466 +5%
Medical Technology* 1,427 1,290 +11%
Vision Care/Consumer Products 1,108 1,089 +2%
Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology 1,212 972 +25%

Read more at zeiss.com.

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  • raziel28

    Middle class is dying…
    In the future, there will be only “premium” brands.

    • Thom Hogan

      Opens up a new market for “stealth cameras,” as the upper 1% will need to hide their conspicuous consumption. Now announcing the Nikon D Zero, the camera no one else can see…

      • Allan


  • sickheadache

    In today’s market..this means Zeiss sold 4 cameras and 20 lenses. Lol.

    • C. Ryan

      5.348 billion Euros in revenue. “4 cameras and 20 lenses” do you realize how stupid that statement is?

      • sickheadache

        I guess you don’t get…lol…laugh out loud.

        • fjfjjj

          “Lol” is the sentence terminator of the 21st century. It doesn’t mean anything.

  • Luboš

    could you imagine if they would make AF lenses? 🙂 in Nikon mount?

    • Vit

      Nikon(and canon) are not going to let non-Japanise brands to make AF lenses for their mounts. I mean it is OFFICIAL decision.

      • Thom Hogan

        Which is a stupid decision, as it enables Sony as a competitor (and Fujifilm). The Japanese don’t understand ecosystems particularly well. Most of the Japanese companies are still in the 80’s when it comes to that, attempting to create proprietary systems and protect them from others.

        Even Apple makes that mistake from time to time. The original iPhone was a closed, proprietary system with no third-party apps, and no real ability to make officially recognized accessories. Had Apple stuck with that approach, the iPhone wouldn’t be the success it is today as the open Android approach would have obliterated it.

        • Vit

          I guess there is also a cultural aspect, and pilitical. And both this spheres are nothing but retrogradish.

        • Nakayamahanzaemon

          Wrong, again. I’m a bit tired of correcting your false idea, but I’ll try.

          The reason why Sony has emerged as a competitor is not because Canon or Nikon doesn’t allow others to use their AF mechanism. There is no causal relationship between them. Sony’s E-mount is an open system, but no makers have adopted it so far.

          By the way, Sony’s share in the APS-C mirrorless market is actually DECLINING.

          • Thom Hogan

            And you would be wrong about the E-mount. The E-mount is not an Open system available to anyone. It is available to lens makers under license. That’s still better than Nikon/Canon, and it’s the reason why we have so many lens players making Sony E-mount lenses: it’s easier to make a lens when you don’t have to reverse engineer mount information (and in Nikon’s case, mount information changes slightly with almost every camera for some reason).

            Perception is everything. Nikon is now perceived as a full frame only maker due to their lens decisions. And they’re perceived outside of Japan as being proprietary to the point of trying to make third-party lenses fail. Not what the Western world wants in a “system.”

            And I’m well aware that Sony’s share in APS-C mirrorless is declining. Sony’s “everything go upscale” approach has decided impacts. In essence, they’re letting Canon price under them. Price Elasticity of Demand is still relevant, even in a mature market.

      • RodneyKilo

        Serious question:
        How can Nikon and Canon stop them?
        There have been third party brands manufacturing lenses for a long long time. What permission is needed?

        • Zos Xavius

          they can’t stop them. all the patents for their mounts have long expired now.

        • Vit

          They can easily. You can’t make a t-shirt and put a Nike logo on it(legally I mean). There is some law that non-Japanese companies can not make af lenses for canonikon. Zeiss stated “Due to international licences, it is not possible at the moment for companies outside Japan to offer AF lenses with EF or F mounts”. It is easy to google.

          • RodneyKilo

            It’s just a mechanical coupling. With some readily understood electrical coupling.

            A connection is not a brand or trademark, such as a Nike swoosh.

            I am not saying there are not strange, non-competitive anti-consumer laws in some countries. But even so, Japan is just one market, what’s to stop competition in all the other countries?

            What does Europe or North America care if Zeiss manufactures lenses for Canons and Nikons?

            What’s strange is Kyocera, a Japanese company, manufactured lenses branded as Zeiss for its Contax SLRs.

            Maybe there is a licensing issue for some firmware or proprietary protocols, dunno. But even then, why license based solely on nationality? What would stop those other countries from denying business from Japan for the same reason?

            Not denying this may well be the case, but it seems very strange and oddly nationalistic when they expect to sell their cameras in a global consumer market.

  • Les

    The secret to Zeiss’s success is that photographic lenses are a tiny part of their business. It’s so tiny in that it doesn’t even warrant its own division.

    Photographic lenses are a few levels down the org chart, underneath the much more profitable eyeglass lens division.

    • Zos Xavius

      same story with fuji, though their imaging department is a bit bigger i would imagine. and of course, fuji still produces film. but on the larger scale, photography now currently makes up a small part of fuji’s revenue. I would imagine it is the same for olympus as well since they are a leading medical imaging manufacturer.

  • Oz Baz

    It looks like Zeiss’s decision to cease making cameras in 1972 continues to be the correct one

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