Press Release

ZEISS ends successful 2014/15 fiscal year

Increase in competitiveness remains in focus

15 December 2015

  • Revenue grows to EUR 4.5 billion, EBIT reaches EUR 369 million
  • Strong growth in direct businesses, also boosted by currency effects, particularly in Medical Technology and Industrial Metrology
  • Downturn in semiconductor business and further delay in future-oriented EUV technology
  • Cautious outlook for fiscal year 2015/16
Stuttgart, Germany | 15 December 2015 | ZEISS Group
In the past 2014/15 fiscal year (ended 30 September 2015) ZEISS increased both its revenue and earnings: revenue rose to EUR 4.511 billion (last year: EUR 4.287 billion). This corresponds to an increase of five percent. With a figure of EUR 369 million, EBIT was slightly above last year's figure (EUR 360 million). Adjusted for currency and special effects, the EBIT margin amounted to eight percent.
"Fiscal year 2014/15 was a very challenging one for the ZEISS Group in some markets and segments. However, thanks to our broad portfolio, we were able to continue the growth trajectory of the entire Group and were successful overall," says Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. "The business trend was marked by two factors in particular – by the additional tailwind provided by positive currency effects in the dynamic fields of business such as Industrial Metrology, Medical Technology and Microscopy, and by the headwind confronting the semiconductor market," Kaschke continues.

Different trends in the segments

Revenue (in EUR million)




Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology




Research & Quality Technology



+11 %

Medical Technology*



+16 %

Vision Care / Consumer Optics




* Not identical to Carl Zeiss Meditec AG

The business trend at Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) was severely impacted by the downturn in demand on the semiconductor market. The momentum required to boost sales is still lacking due to the continued delay in the introduction of the future-oriented EUV technology. However, the decrease in revenue at SMT was offset by the healthy development of direct business. The Research & Quality Technology segment – which comprises the Industrial Metrology and Microscopy business groups – grew overall: while Microscopy remained below growth expectations, Industrial Metrology benefited from the positive trend on the automotive market, thanks in particular to its broad international footprint. Medical Technology succeeded in expanding its position in the dynamic healthcare market. The Vision Care / Consumer Optics segment posted an increase in revenue attributable in particular to the successful launch of new products and is making a considerable contribution to the added value of ZEISS through an increase in its profitability.

"Despite the good revenue figures for most business segments, we must continue to sharpen our competitiveness if we are to maintain the leading position we already hold in many areas," says Kaschke, putting the earnings trend of the segments into perspective. "This is a challenge facing all areas of the ZEISS Group." To achieve this goal, large-scale programs aimed at increasing competitiveness were continued and accelerated in many areas of the company during fiscal year 2014/15.

Financial highlights

ZEISS generates just under 90 percent of its business outside Germany. In fiscal year 2014/15 ZEISS was particularly successful in the Asia/Pacific (APAC) region with revenue totaling EUR 953 million, corresponding to an increase of 6 percent over the previous year (EUR 830 million) after currency adjustments. Revenue amounted to EUR 390 million (EUR 303 million) in China alone.

For ZEISS, investments in research and development remain the most important lever for strengthening its competitiveness. In fiscal year 2014/15 the company increased its expenditure in this area by 4 percent to EUR 466 million over the previous year (EUR 448 million).

ZEISS invested a total of EUR 160 million in property, plant and equipment during fiscal year 2014/15 (last year: EUR 188 million). This compared to depreciations totaling EUR 150 million (last year: EUR 152 million). As of the reporting date, net liquidity totaled EUR 374 million (30 September 2014: EUR 187 million). "With a continuing high level of investment, our financial base is extremely solid. This also gives us the necessary scope for further investments and acquisitions," explains Thomas Spitzenpfeil, CFO of Carl Zeiss AG.

Free cash flow increased substantially to EUR 477 million (last year: EUR 275 million). The Group's equity amounted to EUR 1,357 million, equating to an equity ratio of 25 percent. "The continuing phase of low interest rates led to a further increase in pension provisions, which meant that not all of the healthy annual income was allocated to equity," explained CFO Thomas Spitzenpfeil.


In fiscal year 2014/15 acquisitions and new hires led to a slight increase in the company's headcount: 24,946 employees were working for ZEISS as of the reporting date (last year: 24,817).

Outlook: ambitious goals for 2015/16

For fiscal year 2015/16, ZEISS anticipates only moderate growth of the global economy. "Fiscal year 2015/16 will be no easier. ZEISS will feel the direct impact of the slowdown in growth now evident in the emerging economies and a further stagnation in the semiconductor market," Kaschke predicts. Nevertheless, for fiscal year 2015/16 the ZEISS Group expects to see a slight increase in both revenue and the EBIT margin.

"Opportunities will result for the Group from the demand for solutions in the fields of healthcare and Industry 4.0," says Kaschke, explaining his growth expectations.

"At the same time, the Group will continue to optimize its productivity and efficiency, invest in innovations and make every effort to consistently sharpen its focus on the needs of its customers."

Press contact Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand, Communications and Public Affairs


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops and distributes semiconductor manufacturing equipment, measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cine lenses, binoculars and planetarium technology. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, and Vision Care  /  Consumer Optics. ZEISS is represented in over 40 countries and operates more than 30 production sites, over 50 sales and service locations and about 25 research and development facilities. In fiscal year 2014/15 the company generated revenue approximating €4.5  billion with around 25,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

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