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Jenoptik chiefs happy with solid start to 2018

11 May 2018

Strong growth in optics and life sciences segment pushes up sales and profit at German photonics firm.

Germany-headquartered Jenoptik has reported a healthy annual increase in sales and profits – thanks in large part to continued solid demand from the semiconductor sector.

CEO Stefan Traeger revealed that earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) had almost doubled year-on-year, to €20.8 million, after revenues rose 16 per cent to nearly €190 million in the opening quarter of the year.

“We made a good start into the new fiscal year, as planned,” Traeger said. “Over the first quarter of 2018 we continued the successful business development seen in prior quarters. With growth in all regions, each of our three business segments reported improved earnings."

The firm’s optics and life sciences business unit – which encompasses most of Jenoptik’s photonics-related activity – delivered the bulk of those profits.

Strong performance in Europe and demand for semiconductor equipment and healthcare applications boosted quarterly revenue to €68.8 million, with the divisional EBIT figure rising more sharply, to €14.1 million.

And while Jenoptik revealed a 10 per cent dip in orders overall, the optics and life sciences unit bucked that trend, with divisional orders up 13 per cent and a solid-looking book-to-bill ratio of 1.27.

“To better meet the growing demands of our international customers, Jenoptik opened a new application center in Fremont, located in California’s Silicon Valley, at the beginning of the new fiscal year,” added Traeger and his team in their first-quarter 2018 report – noting the close proximity to tech industry customers in the region.

That strong order picture helped to off-set a weaker outlook for Jenoptik’s defense and civil systems business unit, which is prone to strong swings in demand related to spending patterns on large projects.

With prior full-year sales guidance of around €800 million maintained, Jenoptik is prioritizing further organizational changes this year. In the pipeline are a reorganization of the firm’s Asian operations and a re-branding of its mechatronic business.

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