Jenoptik’s Lasers and Optical Systems segment has helped stabilise the company’s finances in what proved to be a difficult financial year in 2014. An increase of three per cent in the segment’s revenue has helped to counteract drops in both the metrology and defence and civil systems areas, caused by customer reluctance to invest, export restrictions, and project postponements.
Overall, the Jenoptik Group’s revenue was down 1.7 per cent from last years’ €600.3 million to 2014’s €590.2 million but showed good progress on its internationalisation strategy through revenue and employment figures.
In a separate press release, the company announced on 6 March 2015 that Hans-Dieter Schumacher will take over for Rüdiger Andreas Günther as Chief Financial Officer with effect from April 1, 2015.
The fall in revenues in Metrology was due to less demand from the automotive industry, as explained in a press release, with the key customer sector for Industrial Metrology declining due to a continued reluctance to invest and stricter export regulations. There were, however, positive run-on effects following the acquisition of Vysionics in November 2014 which led to major orders for traffic safety technology.
The Defence and Civil Systems segment fell by 7.7 per cent to €170.8 million. ‘This drop is due primarily to the tighter restrictions on armaments exports imposed by the German government as well as the postponement and extended time frames of international defence projects. With only a moderate development of revenue and order revaluations, the segment EBIT was €2.1 million and consequently far below the figure in the prior year (prior year €11.6 million),' it said in the report.
The company generated 64.2 per cent of its revenue abroad and saw a 40.9 per cent increase in activity from the APAC region. This is reinforced by the company’s increasing international employment figures as part of Jenoptik’s internationalisation strategy, with foreign employment increasing to 617 and now equating to 17.4 per cent of the total workforce.
Despite a difficult economic and political environment, the Jenoptik Group maintained profitability in 2014 at near to the same level as in the prior year. ‘The past year presented us with many challenges, but Jenoptik remains on a steady course. We had originally aimed for better economic results in 2014, but we did make good progress on the operational front, for example in the ongoing development of our processes and systems, and with our internationalisation strategy,’ said Jenoptik president and CEO Michael Mertin.
‘We want to return to growth in the 2015 fiscal year. Our aim is to achieve Group revenue within the 650 to 690 million euro range and an EBIT margin of between 8.5 and 9.5 percent,’ Mertin added.
‘In 2015, the group will continue to pursue its strategic agenda with the aim of achieving profitable growth in all its segments. Revenue growth, the resulting economies of scale, cost discipline and higher margins from the growing systems and service business are due to lead to sustainably improved earnings,' it was stated in the report.