Carl Zeiss reported an increase of 2 percent to €1,108 million in the revenues of its Vision Care and Consumer Products division for the financial year ended last Sept. 30. According to a spokesman for the German company, the segment's growth was mostly driven by Zeiss' precision eyeglass lenses, but he declined to comment on the division's profitability. Sustained positive growth was recorded in Brazil and China.

Higher sales increases were scored in the three other segments of the group, led by increases of 25 percent in the revenues of its Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology unit and 11 percent in Medical Technology. The group's total revenues went up by 10 percent to €5,348 million. The order intake was up by 12 percent at the end of the fiscal year, auguring well for the new year.

Asia-Pacific remained the region with the highest growth for the group, with a 15 percent increase in local currencies. For Zeiss, which generates just under 90 percent of its turnover outside Germany, revenues from emerging economies have passed the threshold of one billion euros. In China alone, Zeiss' sales reached a level of €598 million last year, up from €504 million in the previous year.

The group's operating earnings (Ebit) grew by 25.2 last year to €770 million, resulting in a comfortable operating margin of 14 percent. The improvement took place in spite of a 27 percent increase in research and development expenditures to €552 million. The equity ratio almost doubled to 47 percent.