Leading providers of biophotonic solutions have recently reported record sales. They include ZEISS, JENOPTIK and HAMAMATSU.
In the 2020/21 financial year, ZEISS recorded a 20 percent increase in sales and achieved record earnings of €7.5 billion. All four group divisions recorded double-digit sales growth. One of the factors driving this growth was increased demand for microscopy solutions in the areas of life sciences, electronics, and industrial quality assurance. Medical technology was another area which saw strong growth. Sales in the Ophthalmic Devices division rose by 26.8 percent. And in Microsurgery, there was a 13.4 percent increase. The optical and photonics group recently unveiled a range of new ophthalmology products. These include a device for operative lens extraction, a new intraocular lens for patients with defective vision, the new generation of the ZEISS VISUMAX 800 femtosecond laser aimed primarily at eye surgery and a fully integrated, data-controlled medical ecosystem. This involves a digital platform for ophthalmology which links together devices, data and applications and supports optimized work processes, clinical planning, training, and the optimization of clinical procedures with the help of automation, artificial intelligence and a secure, highly efficient data management system.
JENOPTIK AG reported equally good figures. In 2021, total sales reached €900 million. The EBITDA margin rose to 20.7 percent and sales grew by over 22 percent—this growth figure relates only to those business areas which will continue to operate. The company based in Jena is continuing its transformation to become a dedicated photonics group with a clear focus on three profitable key markets. In addition to solutions for the semiconductor and electronics sector as well as smart mobility, the company regards life sciences and medical technology as the third growth market for photonics.
A look at the latest figures for the Japanese photonics group HAMAMATSU PHOTONICS shows that these record sales figures are not just a regional phenomenon. Here too, sales grew by 20.5 percent with a margin of 21.8 percent in spite of all the restrictions resulting from the pandemic. According to the company, sales, its operating result, and its net profit all reached record levels. Solutions for medical and laboratory analytics accounted for just under half of sales.
All three groups are expecting further growth in the current financial year. Even if growth in sales of more than 20 percent was achieved under exceptional circumstances following a difficult previous year owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the current business reports appear to confirm what various market research companies are predicting for the years ahead: double-digit annual growth rates as a result of which global biophotonics sales will more than double by 2027 from around $50 billion in 2020.