Without breaking down the figure by segments, the Carl Zeiss group has reported a decline of 3 percent to €538 million for its Vision Care and Consumer Products division during the first half of its financial year, which ended on March 31. In terms of local currencies, sales increased by 3 percent.

The company pointed out that “excellent developments” in the area of ophthalmology stood in contrast with an unsatisfactory business situation for camera lenses, which belong to the same division. A spokesman for the division pointed to close partnerships with clients and “market-shaping” innovations that have led to profitable growth. In particular, he mentioned the recently introduced Zeiss UVProtect solution, adding that it has been welcomed by industry experts, eye care professionals and consumers.

Across all divisions, Zeiss' revenues grew by 9 percent in the first half to €2,773 million, or by 13 percent on a currency-neutral basis. The growth was driven by the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology division, whose sales jumped by 35 percent to €732 million during the period.

The operating profit (Ebit) declined to €380 million from €384 million in the year-ago period because of clearly negative currency effects, representing an Ebit margin of 14 percent of sales. The group raised its R&D expenditures by 20 percent to €298 million.

Noting that the general economic situation is good, particularly in Asia, the management said it expects that the current financial year will end up with record figures for the ninth time in a row.