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Photonics unit powers continued Jenoptik revenue growth

09 Aug 2023

Divisional sales up 13% as the German optics powerhouse remains optimistic despite the weakening global economy.

Jenoptik has posted sales of more than half a billion euros for the opening half of 2023, powered largely by the German company’s “advanced photonic solutions” division.

At €505 million, the half-yearly total was up 13 per cent on the first half of last year, with the photonics division contributing €390 million - up from €344 million a year ago.

The firm’s much smaller “smart mobility” division, which makes products such as traffic cameras, posted sales of €54.7 million, up from €44.7 million a year ago, with Jenoptik’s “non-photonic” portfolio companies contributing €58.2 million.

Overall, the Asia-Pacific region is leading the way in terms of geographic demand, with sales up 24 per cent. Europe also performed well, with sales up 16 per cent, while the Americas region showed only minimal growth.

New facilities on schedule
In its investor report for the first half of 2023, Jenoptik’s management team wrote that the advanced photonics division had benefited from strong business demand in the semiconductor equipment industry in particular.

And although order intake has dropped by around 10 per cent from the very high level seen a year ago - notably in the industrial and biophotonics markets - the firm remains confident, with a divisional order backlog still standing at €610 million.

The strong sales performance enabled the division to deliver an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) figure of €62.4 million, up from €54.6 million a year ago.

And those profits are being reinvested in the company, with machinery for a newly occupied medical technology facility in Berlin, and construction of a new micro-optics factory in Dresden among the latest projects.

In its latest report, Jenoptik said that the new Dresden site is on schedule to begin producing optics and sensors for semiconductor applications in early 2025.

Weaker economy
Commenting on current market conditions that have hit demand in some photonics sectors, CEO Stefan Traeger said:

“Despite the weakening economic environment, we are very optimistic about achieving our targets for 2023, also in view of our high order backlog. We continue to focus on the optimal utilization of our existing capacities and their further expansion.”

The continued solid performance means that Jenoptik should hit its annual sales target of between €1.05 billion and €1.1 billion. That would compare with last year’s record-breaking total of €981 million, alongside improved profit margins.

“Jenoptik’s outlook is based in particular on good order intake, high order backlog, as well as an ongoing promising development in the core photonics business, in particular in the semiconductor equipment sector,” concluded the firm in an earnings presentation.

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