OBERKOCHEN, Germany—The Zeiss Group (CZMWY) has reported the results of the first half of fiscal year 2023/24. The group generated revenue totaling €5.304 million for the period ended March 31, 2024, which is an increase of 10 percent compared with the comparable period the previous year. All four Zeiss segments contributed to the company's growth, Zeiss noted. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) totaled €739 million, compared with €-178 million in the prior-year period. Expenditures on research and development remained at 15 percent of revenue, according to the company.

Dr. Karl Lamprecht, president and CEO of Zeiss, said, “Despite the challenging market environment, we were able to maintain double-digit revenue growth in the first half of fiscal year 2023/24. Our consistently high expenditure on research and development, as well as the investments in the company's transformation and our global infrastructure, are central elements of our sustainable growth strategy. They ensure the future viability and positive development of the company.”

Other key highlights from the financial report included the following:

  • The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment achieved another significant increase in revenue in the first half of the year. The market is expected to improve further in the second half of the calendar year. To accommodate the high order intake and customer demand, the segment is driving its capacity expansion and the planned investments for the further development of existing technologies and the introduction of new ones.

  • All direct-to-market segments achieved higher revenue than in the prior-year period. The Medical Technology segment continued to show increased revenue in the first half of the year; both strategic business units, Microsurgery and Ophthalmology, contributed to this. The Industrial Quality & Research (IQR) segment also had a successful start to the first half of 2023/24. The two strategic business units, Industrial Quality Solutions and Research Microscopy Solutions, contributed to this. The Consumer Markets segment generated stable revenue in the first two quarters of the fiscal year.

  • The APAC and EMEA regions drove the revenue growth in the direct-to-market segments in the first half of the year. At the half year, the Americas region showed a decline in revenue as compared to the same period last year. This development is due in particular to the U.S. market.

  • Order intake among the direct-to-market segments was slightly below the high level of the previous year. Large order backlogs compensated for this slowdown. Consumer confidence appears to be recovering, indicating stable growth prospects in the medium term.

  • Expenditure on research and development was 15 percent of revenue (€807 million) in the first half of 2023/24. The company's equity increased to €8.051 million, compared with €7.846 million as of September 30, 2023, and the equity ratio was 53 percent. Investments in property, plant and equipment came to €734 million.

  • At the end of the first half year, Zeiss employed 44,558 employees worldwide, as of March 31, 2024. In the past 12 months, the Zeiss Group added 3,299 new employees globally, an increase of 8 percent.
Stefan Müller, chief financial officer of Carl Zeiss AG, said, “The half-year figures show that Zeiss is enjoying a stable and financially sound position, even in challenging market conditions. Given our significant investments in digitalization, in transformative initiatives and in the expansion of infrastructure, we can accept temporary fluctuations in the results and will continue to pursue the growth trajectory of the Zeiss Group.”

Lamprecht said, “Despite a slowdown in order intake dynamics in recent months, we expect that the fiscal year will continue to be positive given the order backlog, which remains high, and the signs of recovery.”