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Photonics division drives profits higher at Jenoptik

14 May 2024

Strong sales growth in Europe but order intake slips on weaker demand across several markets.

Photonics technology giant Jenoptik has posted a solid increase in sales for the opening quarter of 2024, but added that order intake was well below the level from a year ago.

The Jena-headquartered firm reported sales revenues of €256 million in the three months ending March 31, up 9 per cent on the same period last year as shipments within Europe rose particularly strongly.

The vast majority of that total can be attributed to Jenoptik’s “advanced photonics solutions” division, which accounted for €201 million - up 10 per cent on last year.

The company’s “smart mobility” unit, which includes products such as traffic cameras, delivered €24 million, while its non-photonics product lines contributed a further €30.9 million.

Those positive developments led to net earnings of €15.4 million for the quarter, up from €11.8 million in the opening three months of 2023.

Order intake slips
While sales growth looks healthy, Jenoptik’s CEO Stefan Traeger and colleagues also reported something of a slowdown in demand, with quarterly order intake of €242 million down nearly 15 per cent from €283 million a year ago.

Although that softening was most keenly felt in the firm’s non-photonics business, partly a result of project delays, Jenoptik did also point to weaker-than-expected demand in optical metrology and biomedical applications as its advanced photonics solutions division booked €198 million in orders - down 7 per cent year-on-year.

“While demand from the semiconductor equipment industry remained nearly constant, optical test and measurement and medical technology/life science posted significantly fewer new orders than in the prior year,” wrote the firm in its quarterly statement.

Despite that slowdown, as well as what it called “an increasingly challenging general market environment”, Jenoptik’s executive team has confirmed its prior forecast of annual revenue growth in the “mid single-digit” range this year.

“With significant growth in revenue and earnings, Jenoptik delivered a solid start to the fiscal year 2024,” Traeger stated. “However, we observe that the general market environment has softened, and demand in some of our business sectors is currently below our expectations.

“Due to our strong position in our core markets and our sound customer base, we expect demand to pick up in the second half of the year.”

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