A record year for ZEISS

The ZEISS Group closed the financial year 2020/21 (end of reporting period: September 30, 2021) on an excellent note: its turnover increased by 20% to 7.529 billion euros (previous year: 6.297 billion euros). ‘euros). Over 90% of this amount was generated in markets outside of Germany. Profit before interest and taxes (EBIT) also reached a new high, reaching 1.479 billion euros (previous year: 922 million euros). The EBIT margin was 20%. Incoming orders increased to 8.974 billion euros (previous year: 6.814 billion euros).

“2021 is a very special year for ZEISS. 175 years ago, Carl Zeiss laid the foundation for a company that has become a technology leader and has proven time and time again that it can push the limits of what is technically feasible. We are of course particularly delighted to have achieved record results again in our anniversary year, ”said Dr Karl Lamprecht, President and CEO of ZEISS. “While there is certainly room for improvement in a number of areas, double-digit growth in all four ZEISS segments demonstrates that we are on the right track with our balanced portfolio and ZEISS program. More than 35,000 employees, a high capacity for innovation, as well as perfectly aligned segments and all regions are contributing to this growth. “

Segment development

The activities of the four segments of ZEISS have developed very well during the last financial year.

The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment achieved another record result in the last fiscal year. There has been a high and sustained demand for innovative Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems and Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems. Chips produced using EUV technology are deployed in the latest smartphones. The next generation of UVV, High-NA EUV, will produce even better and more energy efficient chips at a lower cost.

The Industrial Quality & Research segment benefited from the stabilization of the market. The microscopy solutions business continued to develop well and recorded double-digit growth. Higher demand was recorded in life sciences and electronics. The activity of industrial quality assurance solutions recovered. Significant investments in alternative drive technologies for the automotive industry offer new growth potential for ZEISS: microscopy and quality assurance solutions are increasingly deployed in battery research and insurance quality for the production of batteries.

The Medical Technology segment recorded a significant increase in turnover despite a tight situation in its supply chain. The segment benefited from strong growth in recurring revenues such as consumables, implants and ophthalmology services. Microsurgery sales also continued to recover. At the end of the year, innovations were unveiled for cataract surgery, refractive laser surgery and for digitization.

The consumer market segment has recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and generated net growth. In ophthalmology, innovations related in particular to lenses of the ZEISS brand, as well as digital products and services and the increase in purchasing power in emerging countries, all contributed to this growth. The logistics and reliability of deliveries will remain difficult. Innovations for nature viewing and hunting, and the expansion of strategic partnerships for mobile photography, have helped the company offset declining demand for cameras and interchangeable lenses.

Key figures

Free cash flow amounted to 1.125 billion euros (previous year: 518 million euros). The company’s equity increased by 28% to € 5.494 billion (September 30, 2020: € 4.287 billion) compared to fiscal year 2019/20, which equates to the company’s equity of 52 % (previous year: 47%).

Research and development expenses increased further and amounted to 943 million euros, or around 13% of sales (previous year: 812 million euros). This has been done primarily through the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment development roadmap as well as in the areas of digitalization and product innovation.

Investments in property, plant and equipment increased to 756 million euros during the period under review (previous year: 484 million euros), against depreciation totaling 263 million euros (previous year: 256 million euros) .

At the end of the financial year on September 30, 2021, net liquidity stood at 2.120 billion euros.

Net sales growth was achieved in the Americas and APAC regions in particular. Growth was also recorded in the EMEA region. The overall structure of ZEISS therefore once again contributed to stability.

“To continue to impress our customers with our innovations, we are making significant investments in research and development and have taken significant steps in the name of sustainability,” said Dr Christian Müller, CFO of Carl Zeiss AG. “Sustainability is an integral part of our ZEISS 2025 strategic program. Five different working groups focus on topics such as green infrastructure, green business models and social engagement with the aim of achieving results from both large-scale and sustainable, ”said Müller. “This is because ZEISS aims to operate carbon neutral in its own businesses around the world by 2025.”

ZEISS’s focused innovation strategy, combined with substantial research and development spending and other investments, is the cornerstone of the company’s accelerated growth. This also includes the targeted expansion of infrastructure, for example at the headquarters in Oberkochen, the ZEISS high-tech site construction project in Jena and the new ZEISS Innovation Center in Dublin (California, USA).

ZEISS’s new collaborations and acquisitions over the past fiscal year include its partnership with global technology player vivo in the field of mobile imaging, which was announced in December. This partnership focuses on a jointly developed camera system.

In addition, ZEISS acquired a majority stake in arivis AG in order to expand its offering in the field of microscopy with innovative 3D and Big Data software solutions. This is how the company is strengthening its software skills and its position in the market for 3D visualization and analysis technologies.

ZEISS recently announced its acquisition of Capture 3D, a leading US company that distributes solutions for 3D optical metrology. With the completion of this transaction, Capture 3D is now part of the Industrial Quality and Research segment of ZEISS.

At the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2021), ZEISS had a global workforce of 35,375 employees (previous year: 32,201 employees). The workforce increased by 10% compared to September 30, 2020. The ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment experienced the strongest growth and hired more than 800 new people.

Outlook

ZEISS is closely monitoring the uncertainty created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the risks resulting from bottlenecks in the supply chain. However, ZEISS’s strategy is aligned with long-term megatrends such as digitization, demographic change and new mobility trends. The very good results obtained during the year show that all ZEISS segments are able to sustain their successful growth trajectories over the long term. ZEISS therefore expects a moderate increase in its turnover for the financial year 2021/22, with an EBIT return that remains significant
more than 10%.


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