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Zeiss to look to the future following a slump in the fiscal year 2008/2009

In the fiscal year 2008/2009 (ended 30th September), the Carl Zeiss Group clearly felt the impact of the global economic crisis, particularly in its industrial business. In contrast, results from the company’s Medical Systems, Microscopy and Consumer Optics/Optronics Groups were more positive. These figures were presented at the company’s Annual Press Conference in Stuttgart.

Revenues and earnings below last year’s level

In the fiscal year 2008/2009, the Carl Zeiss Group generated revenues totalling 2.1 billion euros, 23 per cent less than the previous year (2.7 billion euros). As a result of the slump in demand in industrial business, EbIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes) has dropped to minus 67 million euros (last year: 343 million euros).

Guarantee of employment until September 2010

In order to counteract the repercussions of the global recession, the company reached an agreement with employee representatives on an "overall package to overcome the economic situation", including a guarantee of employment for the German sites of the company until the end of September 2010. This package enabled Carl Zeiss to reduce its manpower costs; in return the company has agreed not to lay off any personnel before 30th September 2010.

Figures of the fiscal year 2008/09

On the balance sheet date, equity totalled more than one billion euros, equating to a ratio of 29 per cent (last year: 33 per cent). In addition, the company had cash and cash equivalents totalling 977 million euros (last year: 950 million euros). After the end of the reporting period this figure amounted to 478 million euros.

In the fiscal year 2008/2009 Carl Zeiss invested 81 million in property, plant and equipment (last year: 118 million euros), primarily in cutting-edge production facilities. In addition, the company implemented modernisations and improved the infrastructure at the company’s headquarters in Oberkochen. This investment figures compared to depreciations totalling 95 million euros (last year: 99 million euros).

14 per cent in R&D

Carl Zeiss maintained its investments in research and development at a high level in the fiscal year 2008/2009. The company invested 284 million euros in its research and development activities; this corresponds to 14 per cent of revenues (last year: 321 million euros; 12 per cent of revenues).

On the balance sheet date, Carl Zeiss had 12,872 employees (last year: 13,060) across the globe, of whom 8,310 (last year: 8,440) worked in Germany.

The revenues of the Semiconductor Technology Group dropped 62 per cent to 386 million euros (last year: 1,018 million euros); the Medical Systems Group, most of which is made up of the publicly listed company Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, reported a stable positive trend, generating revenues of 706 million euros, an increase of seven per cent over the previous year. The revenues of the Microscopy Group rose eight per cent to 365 million euros (last year: 339 million euros).

The Industrial Metrology Group ended fiscal year 2008/2009 with revenues totalling 304 million euros, corresponding to a decrease of 19 per cent (last year: 374 million euros). The Consumer Optics/Optronics Group experienced a stable trend, with the revenues remaining at virtually the same level as last year (minus one per cent) and reached 304 million euros (last year: 309 million euros).

Turnaround expected

According to the company’s press release, Carl Zeiss will continue to feel the impact of the global economic crisis for some time to come, but the company expects a positive outcome. In the first few weeks of the current fiscal year, initial positive signs have become evident, in particular in the Semiconductor Technology Group, which was particularly badly hit by the global economic crisis. “We are seeing a high level of demand from the major chip manufacturers to whom we are able to successfully respond at short notice – thanks, above all, to our flexible employees,” said Dr. Peter Kurz, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG.

The markets for the solutions offered by the Industrial Metrology Group are still subdued. The Medical Systems, Microscopy and Consumer Optics/Optronics Group continue to show a stable, positive trend. Overall, Carl Zeiss predicts a clear turnaround and a positive development of the company for the fiscal year 2009/2010.

Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/zeiss-to-look-to-the-future-following-a-slump-in-the-fiscal-year-2008-2009