After years of steady growth, the corona pandemic slowed the Zeiss optics company in the past fiscal year. Sales fell in the 2019/2020 financial year by two percent to 6.3 billion euros, as CEO Karl Lamprecht said on Thursday at a digital press conference in Oberkochen (Ostalbkreis). This ended a ten-year series of increasing sales. The profit fell by 132 million euros to 616 million euros.
Only one division with a clear plus
Not all corporate divisions were affected to the same extent by the corona pandemic. In the area of semiconductor manufacturing optics, sales rose by 12 percent, while the other divisions of the group recorded sales losses of between 6 and 9 percent. The consequences of the pandemic were felt most strongly in the Consumer Markets division. Due to store closures, sales of eyeglass lenses, for example, were 9 percent below the previous year’s figure.
Lamprecht was convinced, however, that Zeiss’s growth path will continue unabated in the medium and long term and that the group will emerge stronger from the crisis. The company’s broad portfolio and global positioning helped the company during the pandemic. The group generated around 90 percent of sales abroad. In the past fiscal year, China replaced the USA as the largest sales market for the first time.
Despite the Corona crisis, the number of employees rose by 3 percent to 32,200, of which around 13,000 work in Germany. The Oberkochen-based group also expects the corona pandemic to have an impact in the coming financial year and is again assuming a slight increase in sales.