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Eastern Europe drives Zeiss Meditec growth

14 Feb 2012

Sovereign debt crisis cannot stop the optics-based medical technology company posting a 13.5% jump in sales.

Germany-based medical technology firm Carl Zeiss Meditec has reported a strong increase in sales for the opening quarter of its fiscal year 2011-2012, thanks to strong demand in Eastern Europe and fast-growing sales from its “microsurgery” business unit.

For the three months that ended December 31, 2011, the company, which is headquartered in Jena, reported sales of €210.3 million, up 13.5% over the same period in 2010. With margins also on the up, Carl Zeiss Meditec posted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €28.3 million, up from €24 million a year earlier.

Regionally, Europe now represents the largest revenue-generator for the company, with sales up nearly 19% year-on-year to reach €75.3 million - enough to overtake the Americas region, which grew 7.8% to €73.9 million.

While sales from two of its business units – surgical ophthalmology and microsurgery – grew very strongly year-on-year, Carl Zeiss Meditec’s ophthalmic systems division performed less well, with sales up only 3%. As a result, the microsurgery unit is now the company’s largest by revenue.

Since the end of the financial quarter, there have been more important developments regarding the company’s “Cirrus” high-definition optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT) range of medical imaging equipment.

Cirrus was the subject of a pending patent litigation battle that has now been settled out-of-court. Carl Zeiss Meditec initially brought the case, against its much smaller Californian rival Optovue, in early 2010, but ended up deciding to settle and enter into a cross-licensing agreement in January.

Also last month, the latest version of the Cirrus HD-OCT received US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval for additional tools that are used to aid diagnosis of the debilitating eye conditions dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

Commenting on the latest financial results, CEO Ludwin Monz said: “I am delighted that we have continued on our solid growth course, in spite of the volatile environment,” and noted that growth had been achieved in all regions and business units.

CeNing Optics Co LtdHyperion OpticsABTechLaCroix Precision OpticsIridian Spectral TechnologiesUniverse Kogaku America Inc.CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
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