The ZEISS Group achieved significant growth across all segments despite challenging geopolitical and economic conditions. Revenue rose by 16% to 8.8 billion euros, surpassing over 8 billion euros for the first time (prior year: 7.5 billion euros) in fiscal year 2021/22 (end of reporting period: 30 September 2022). Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) also achieved a new peak, reaching 1.6 billion euros (prior year: 1.5 billion euros). The ZEISS Group increased orders significantly by 19% to a new record level of 10.7 billion euros (prior year: 9.0 billion euros).
"The past year was certainly very difficult and challenging in many places due to the geopolitical conditions. Nevertheless, we can look back on another successful fiscal year with a high degree of economic satisfaction," said Dr. Karl Lamprecht, President and CEO of ZEISS. "For the first time in our history our annual revenue has exceeded the threshold of 8 billion euros. All four ZEISS segments and more than 38,000 employees have contributed to this. We are growing and at the same time investing in the future worldwide. The success shows that we are on the right track with our strategy focused on megatrends."
The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment achieved record-breaking revenue. The high demand for manufacturing equipment for semiconductor production and, in particular, for deep ultraviolet (DUV) and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems continued in fiscal year 2021/22. EUV lithography is the key technology for the semiconductor industry to enable the further miniaturization of microchips. In the future, the next EUV generation, High-NA EUV, will enable the production of more powerful and more energy-efficient chips at lower costs.
The Industrial Quality & Research segment was in a position to significantly increase revenue. The high investments by the automotive industry in alternative drive technologies in particular contributed to this within the field of industrial quality assurance. Demand for optical metrology and software products also developed positively. Microscopy systems for research and science business continued to develop positively compared to the previous year and grew in all regions during the reporting period. Demand increased in the area of X-ray microscopes and in the areas of light and electron microscopy as well as in the service business.
The ZEISS Medical Technology segment also achieved a significant increase in revenue. Positive development of the product mix with a high proportion of consumables and recurring sales, strong demand in the instrument business and the high order intake are contributing to a positive trend in this business despite strained supply chains. Investments in future technologies through acquisitions, shareholdings and partnerships are further progressing.
Revenue in the Consumer Markets segment also increased year-on-year in fiscal year 2021/22. The Vision Care strategic business unit generated growth in all regions - particularly with ZEISS brand lenses, innovations and digital products. With innovations and greater market penetration, revenue for nature observation and hunting optics are also developing positively. With the resumption of the cine lens business in the reporting period, business with film lenses also grew compared to the previous year.
Group equity rose by 30.6% to 7.173 billion euros in comparison with fiscal year end 2020/21 (prior year: 5.494 billion euros), corresponding to an equity ratio of 55% (prior year: 52%).
The ZEISS Group continues on its dynamic growth trajectory and is banking on innovative strength for the future. The expenditure for research and development was increased and amounted to 1,151 million euros at around 13% of revenue (prior year: 943 million euros). At R&D departments across the ZEISS Group, more than 5,200 employees are working on further expanding the company's innovative strength. This is reflected in the number of patents which totaled around 10,500 worldwide as of the reporting date.
Significant revenue growth was generated in the APAC region (+22%), while the Americas and EMEA regions also recorded sales growth. Thus, all regions continue to be on a good growth track and have again contributed to the positive development of ZEISS.
"One of the factors behind our success is our focused investment strategy. The continuing high level of expenditure on research and development, which amounts to 13% of revenue, is our investment in the future - at 1,151 million euros, it has reached a new high," said Dr. Christian Müller, CFO of Carl Zeiss AG. "Sustainability plays a major role for us. A commitment to the common good and to finding solutions for key societal issues are part and parcel of our ethos,” added Müller.
In addition to the high expenditure on research and development, ZEISS is making targeted investments in the expansion of infrastructure, not only at its main site in Oberkochen but also in Jena, Wetzlar, Dresden and at other sites in Germany and worldwide, e.g. in India. The company is thus accommodating the accelerated growth. The targeted expansion of infrastructure will safeguard the long-term competitive and innovative edge through research, production and development capacities.
ZEISS had a global workforce of 38,770 employees (prior year: 35,375 employees) at the reporting date of 30 September 2022. Headcount thus increased by 10% as compared to 30 September 2021.
The macroeconomic environment continues to be characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, with a strong impact on the global economic cycles. "We are monitoring developments and the associated risks very closely and are preparing ourselves as much as possible to be able to respond to new situations and challenges quickly and effectively. We continue to assess the ZEISS Group's business development for fiscal year 2022/23 as positive," Lamprecht concluded.