News › ZEISS • Suc­cess­ful Start to Fis­cal Year

Half-year reve­nue reaches 3.4 bil­lion euros (+6% com­pa­red to prior year) – EBIT at 591 mil­lion euros (+136 mil­lion euros vs. prior year)

  • Posi­tive deve­lo­p­ment across all ZEISS segments
  • ZEISS Group suc­cess­fully navi­ga­tes pan­de­mic thanks to broad port­fo­lio and glo­bal structure
  • In par­ti­cu­lar, Medi­cal Tech­no­logy and Con­su­mer Mar­kets seg­ments cur­r­ently the big­gest con­tri­bu­tors to growth
  • High invest­ments in Rese­arch & Deve­lo­p­ment con­ti­nue as 12% of reve­nue dedi­ca­ted to this area

The ZEISS Group had a suc­cess­ful end to the first six mon­ths of fis­cal year 2020/21 (ended 31 March 2021). It saw its reve­nue rise by 6 per­cent (adjus­ted for cur­rency fluc­tua­tions, by 9 per­cent) to 3.406 bil­lion euros (pre­vious year: 3.213 bil­lion euros). Around 90% of this sum was gene­ra­ted in mar­kets out­side Ger­many. At 591 mil­lion euros, ear­nings before inte­rest and tax (EBIT) were signi­fi­cantly hig­her than in the pre­vious year (455 mil­lion euros). The EBIT mar­gin was 17%. Inco­m­ing orders incre­a­sed to 4.200 bil­lion euros (prior year: 3.601 bil­lion euros).

»Thanks to our broad port­fo­lio, glo­bal struc­ture and the excep­tio­nal dedi­ca­tion of our employees, we have suc­cess­fully navi­ga­ted through the COVID-19 pan­de­mic,« said Dr. Karl Lam­precht, ZEISS Pre­si­dent and CEO. »This has allo­wed us to get off to a good start in the first half of the new fis­cal year. Our glo­bal invest­ment stra­tegy and high expen­dit­ure on rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment over many years are now paying off. We will be con­ti­nuing to make these investments.«

Seg­ment development

  Reve­nue (in mil­lion euros)
  1st six mon­ths of 2020/21 1st six mon­ths of 2019/20 Dif­fe­rence
(adjus­ted for cur­rency effects)
Semi­con­duc­tor Manu­fac­tu­ring Technology 913 904 +1% (+1%)
Indus­trial Qua­lity & Research 853 865 -1% (+2%)
Medi­cal Technology* 920 834 +10% (+16%)
Con­su­mer Markets 681 576 +18% (+24%)

*Not iden­ti­cal to the Carl Zeiss Medi­tec Group

In gene­ral, busi­ness at ZEISS‹ four seg­ments has deve­lo­ped well over the past fis­cal year.

ZEISS is con­ti­nuing to see growth in the semi­con­duc­tor mar­ket. The Semi­con­duc­tor Manu­fac­tu­ring Tech­no­logy seg­ment has been able to expand its high reve­nue in the cur­rent fis­cal year com­pa­red to the dis­pro­por­tio­na­tely strong equi­va­lent period in the pre­vious year. Due to the high demand for the inno­va­tive extreme ultra­vio­let (EUV) litho­gra­phy sys­tems and deep ultra­vio­let (DUV) litho­gra­phy sys­tems, ZEISS has every rea­son to be opti­mistic about the second half of the year. Glo­bal trends such as 5G, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, the Inter­net of Things and high-per­for­mance com­pu­ting solu­ti­ons, are the major dri­vers fue­ling this high demand.

The Indus­trial Qua­lity & Rese­arch seg­ment repor­ted sta­ble deve­lo­p­ment for the first six mon­ths of this fis­cal year: the indus­trial metro­logy busi­ness is slowly reco­vering from the impact of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic. The gene­ral struc­tu­ral and tech­no­logy trans­for­ma­tion con­ti­nues to pose a chal­lenge, par­ti­cu­larly in the auto­mo­bile indus­try. Adjus­ted for cur­rency fluc­tua­tions, the micro­scopy solu­ti­ons busi­ness achie­ved two-digit growth. Growth oppor­tu­nities for both busi­ness areas at the seg­ment come in the form of e‑mobility: micro­scopy and qua­lity assurance solu­ti­ons are deployed in bat­tery rese­arch and in qua­lity assurance for bat­tery production.

In the first six mon­ths of the year, the Medi­cal Tech­no­logy seg­ment achie­ved clear reve­nue growth once again. The impact of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic is ebbing away, allowing the seg­ment to boost its growth rate back up to its pre-pan­de­mic level. Major con­tri­bu­ti­ons to growth came from retur­ning reve­nues from con­sum­a­bles, implants and ser­vices ren­de­red. Mean­while, sales and mar­ke­ting costs were com­pa­ra­tively low given the con­ti­nued limi­ta­ti­ons impo­sed by the pandemic.

The Con­su­mer Mar­kets seg­ment has cer­tainly reco­ve­red from the impact of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic, con­clu­ding the first six mon­ths of the year with a very good reve­nue, and ear­ning mar­ket shares as well. Des­pite fur­ther regio­nal lock­down-indu­ced limi­ta­ti­ons in the eye­glass lens mar­ket, the out­look for the second half of the fis­cal year remains posi­tive. The pan­de­mic has meant that the con­di­ti­ons for logistics and deli­very relia­bi­lity will remain challenging.

Key figu­res

Free cash flow amoun­ted to 609 mil­lion euros (first six mon­ths of 2019/20: 180 mil­lion euros). The company’s equity rose by 13 per­cent as com­pa­red to fis­cal year 2019/20, tota­ling 4,840 mil­lion euros (30 Sep­tem­ber 2020: 4,287 mil­lion euros).

ZEISS‹ expen­dit­ure on rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment tota­led around 12 per­cent of reve­nue in the first half of fis­cal year 2020/21. This amoun­ted to 425 mil­lion euros of reve­nue (first six mon­ths of 2019/20: 398 mil­lion euros),
Invest­ments in pro­perty, plant and equip­ment amoun­ted to 264 mil­lion euros in the repor­ting period (first six mon­ths of 2019/20: 215 mil­lion euros), as com­pa­red to depre­cia­ti­ons tota­ling EUR 127 mil­lion (first six mon­ths of 2019/20: 123 mil­lion euros).

At the end of the repor­ting period on 31 March 2021, net liqui­dity tota­led 1,829 mil­lion euros.

In the Ame­ri­cas and APAC regi­ons, dis­tinct reve­nue growth has been achie­ved, adjus­ted for cur­rency fluc­tua­tions. Slight growth was also repor­ted in the EMEA region.

»Growth at the ZEISS Group is based on for­ward-loo­king decisi­ons and a little pati­ence, « says Dr. Chris­tian Mül­ler, Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer of Carl Zeiss AG. »While our size­able invest­ments in rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment do not always immedia­tely pay off, a little pati­ence cou­pled with inno­va­tive ideas allow us to shape the mar­ket. ZEISS‹ invest­ment stra­tegy, i.e. invest­ments in tech­no­logy, infra­st­ruc­ture and our stra­te­gic pre­sence in the world’s high-tech hubs, also inclu­des the ZEISS Inno­va­tion Cen­ter that was ope­ned this year in Dub­lin, Cali­for­nia. This allows us to bols­ter the links bet­ween sci­ence and busi­ness, thus ope­ning up new mar­ke­ting oppor­tu­nities in the digi­tal arena.«

ZEISS does not shy away from its respon­si­bi­lity toward ensu­ring sus­taina­bi­lity. »Our goal is to embed sus­taina­bi­lity throughout the com­pany, ren­de­ring it mea­sura­ble and deve­lo­ping it fur­ther,« says Mül­ler. »ZEISS aims to ope­rate in a car­bon-neu­tral way in its own acti­vi­ties world­wide by 2025. This sup­ple­ments the company’s exis­ting goal of swit­ching to green power by 2022.«

ZEISS‹ new part­ners­hips and acqui­si­ti­ons in the first half of the fis­cal year include the part­ners­hip with glo­bal tech­no­logy player vivo in the area of mobile ima­ging, which was announ­ced in Decem­ber. As part of this stra­te­gic col­la­bo­ra­tion, the two com­pa­nies are working on pro­jects such as deve­lo­ping ima­ging sys­tems for vivo’s smart­pho­nes. Fur­ther­more, in order to expand its offe­ring in micro­scopy with inno­va­tive 3D and big data soft­ware solu­ti­ons, back in Decem­ber ZEISS acqui­red a majo­rity stake in ari­vis AG. This is how the com­pany is bols­te­ring its soft­ware skills and mar­ket posi­tion in the field of 3D visua­liz­a­tion and ana­ly­sis technology.

At the end of the first six mon­ths of the cur­rent fis­cal year (31 March 2021), ZEISS had a glo­bal work­force of 34,434 employees. Its head­count thus incre­a­sed by more than 8% as com­pa­red to 31 March 2020. This also reflects the seg­ments‹ growth tra­jec­tory. For instance, in the first half of the fis­cal year the Semi­con­duc­tor Manu­fac­tu­ring Tech­no­logy seg­ment hired over 450 new people. And 300 fur­ther new posi­ti­ons will help the seg­ment to con­ti­nue gro­wing in the second half of the fis­cal year.


Moreo­ver, the glo­bal eco­nomy will face con­si­derable chal­len­ges due to the COVID-19 pan­de­mic. Howe­ver, the cur­rent eco­no­mic trends offer a posi­tive out­look. ZEISS the­re­fore expects to see a rise in reve­nue for fis­cal year 2020/21. »While the impact of the glo­bal pan­de­mic does raise some doubts, we remain opti­mistic as regards the second half of the fis­cal year,« says Lamprecht.

2021 is also a spe­cial year for ZEISS, as it will be cele­bra­ting its 175th anni­ver­s­ary, to honor the day in Novem­ber 1846 when Carl Zeiss estab­lis­hed the com­pany in Jena.


ZEISS is an inter­na­tio­nally lea­ding tech­no­logy com­pany in the optics and optoelec­tro­nics indus­try. In the pre­vious fis­cal year, the ZEISS Group gene­ra­ted annual reve­nue tota­ling more than 6.3 bil­lion euros in its four seg­ments Indus­trial Qua­lity & Rese­arch, Medi­cal Tech­no­logy, Con­su­mer Mar­kets and Semi­con­duc­tor Manu­fac­tu­ring Tech­no­logy (updated: 30 Sep­tem­ber 2020).

For its cus­to­mers, ZEISS deve­lops, pro­du­ces and dis­tri­bu­tes highly inno­va­tive solu­ti­ons for indus­trial metro­logy and qua­lity assurance, micro­scopy solu­ti­ons for the life sci­en­ces and mate­ri­als rese­arch, as well as medi­cal tech­no­logy solu­ti­ons for dia­gnostics and tre­at­ment in oph­thal­mo­logy and micro­sur­gery. The name ZEISS is also syn­ony­mous with the world’s lea­ding litho­gra­phy optics, which are used by the chip indus­try to manu­fac­ture semi­con­duc­tor com­pon­ents. There is glo­bal demand for trend­set­ting ZEISS brand pro­ducts such as eye­glass len­ses, camera len­ses and binoculars.

With a port­fo­lio ali­gned with future growth areas like digi­ta­liz­a­tion, health­care and Indus­try 4.0 as well as a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping tech­no­lo­gi­cal pro­gress and, through its solu­ti­ons, is exten­ding the hori­zon of the world of optics and asso­cia­ted areas. The company’s signi­fi­cant, sus­tainable invest­ments in rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment lay the foun­da­tion for the suc­cess and con­ti­nued expan­sion of ZEISS‹ tech­no­logy and mar­ket lea­ders­hip. ZEISS invests 12% of its reve­nue in rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment work – ZEISS has a long tra­di­tion of high expen­dit­ure in these areas. This also repres­ents the company’s invest­ment in the future.

With over 34,000 employees, ZEISS is active glo­bally in almost 50 coun­tries with around 60 sales and ser­vice com­pa­nies, 30 pro­duc­tion sites and 27 deve­lo­p­ment sites. Foun­ded in 1846 in Jena, the com­pany is head­quar­te­red in Ober­ko­chen, Ger­many. The Carl Zeiss Foun­da­tion, one of the lar­gest foun­da­ti­ons in Ger­many com­mit­ted to the pro­mo­tion of sci­ence, is the sole owner of the hol­ding com­pany, Carl Zeiss AG (updated: 31 March 2021).

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion at

Press Con­tact

Jörg Nit­schke
Group Spokesman
+49 7364 20–3242