We can look back over a record year: our revenue rose by nine percent to 5.8 billion euros (previous year: 5.3 billion euros) and the earnings of the ZEISS Group also achieved a new record high with 772 million euros (previous year: 770 million euros).
I am particularly delighted that all ZEISS segments and regions helped us achieve such an exceptional result. Particularly noteworthy is the positive development of the two segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology and Medical Technology. However, the Industrial Quality & Research and Consumer Markets segments also held their ground in their hotly contested markets. We owe this success first and foremost to our employees. On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I would like to thank them all for their dedication.
While the ZEISS Group achieved very dynamic growth on a global scale in Asia in particular, and in many parts of America, there is increasing uncertainty as regards the economic outlook. For this reason, we are bolstering the resilience of the ZEISS Group and taking measures to combat the repercussions of increasing protectionism as well as other negative effects on the global economy. The most important measures include a long-term investment strategy that is based on our balanced portfolio, our international footprint and our global value creation.
The modernization of our sites in Jena (Germany), Dublin (USA) and Guangzhou (China), as well as the expansion of our presence at new centers for high-tech and digital topics, such as the ones in Karlsruhe, Munich, Shanghai (China) and Bangalore (India), are all key milestones. We have also made sizeable investments at our headquarters in Oberkochen.
Above-average spending on research and development, and thus the targeted creation of additional highly innovative workspaces in Germany and across the globe, ensure ZEISS’ innovation and future readiness. Our acquisitions during the reporting year play a major role here. They include Guardus, a software provider for production analysis and control, our majority stake in Bosello High Technology, a solutions provider for industrial X-ray machines, and the takeover of IanTECH, Inc, a specialist in micro-invasive cataract surgery. That’s the only way we can defend our title as technology leader and make progress in key growth areas such as digitalization, healthcare and miniaturization.
Our positive development in the past fiscal year confirms that we are on the right track with the ZEISS Agenda 2020. Our goal is still to continue expanding our leading market position through innovative high-tech products and solutions, as well as expand our consistent alignment to the success of our customers and our strong brand. This is essential if we want to stay on track given the increasingly challenging economic situation.
On behalf of my colleagues on the Executive Board and our employees, I would like to thank all of our customers and business partners for placing their trust in us.
Oberkochen, December 2018
Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
President and Chief Executive Officer