Carl Zeiss Meditec succeeds in countering the crisis in first half-year 2008/2009

Corporate news announcement processed and transmitted by Hugin AS. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------- 12.5% growth in sales to EUR 336.7 million - focus on innovation, customer orientation and growth markets (JENA, 14 May 2009)Despite the continued adverse conditions in some markets, Carl Zeiss Meditec coped well in the first six months and successfully countered the ongoing effects of the weak economy. In the first six months of financial year 2008/2009 the company generated revenue of EUR 336.7m (previous year: EUR 299.7m). In the context of the current economic crisis the operating result for the first half was also encouraging. The first half-year 2008/2009 showed a 20.8% increase in EBIT to EUR 38.9 million compared to the previous year's figure of EUR 32.2 million. The EBIT margin stood at 11.5%, compared to 10.7% last year. Earnings per share after minority interest amounted to EUR 0.29 in the first six months (previous year: EUR 0.30). The Management Board has thus recommended to the Annual General Meeting which takes place in the coming week, that a dividend to the usual amount of approx. one third of the profits per share be distributed. "In the current adverse situation we see ourselves confirmed in our strategy by this result. In the future we will thus be adhering to our long-term goals and their achievement, thereby actively focusing on innovation, customer orientation and growth markets," says Dr Michael Kaschke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG. Sound development in all three business units Revenue in the "Ophthalmic Systems" strategic business unit, which mainly deals in diagnostic and treatment systems for ophthalmology, increased by 18.6% year-on-year, from EUR 135.7m to EUR 160.9m. Besides the innovative product portfolio, this was influenced by the increasing strength of the US dollar and the Japanese yen against the euro. Revenue in the "Surgical Ophthalmology" strategic business unit, which mainly deals in implants and consumables for ophthalmology with sound growth figures, increased from EUR 38.0m in the previous year to EUR 40.7m. This pleasing trend is partly attributable to newly introduced intraocular lenses such as the AT.LISA. Sales in the "Microsurgery" strategic business unit (formerly: Neuro/ENT Surgery) continue to be driven by the innovative OPMI® Pentero® surgical microscope used in neurosurgery and the OPMI Lumera® used in ophthalmic surgery. In this business unit Carl Zeiss Meditec thus generated revenue of EUR 135.2m (previous year: EUR 125.7m) in the first half of 2008/2009. The "Microsurgery" SBU accounted for a 40.1% share of revenue (previous year: 42.0%), while the "Ophthalmic Systems" SBU contributed 47.8% (previous year: 45.3%) and the "Surgical Ophthalmology" SBU the remaining 12.1% (previous year: 12.7%). Encouraging sales growth in Asia/Pacific The "Asia/Pacific" region is exhibiting high growth rates. In the first six months of 2008/2009 the share of revenue generated in this region increased to 26.5% from 24.0% in the corresponding period of the previous year. In the reporting period Carl Zeiss Meditec thus generated sales of EUR 89.1m (previous year EUR 71.8m). This is equivalent to an increase of 24.0%, mainly attributable to dynamic growth in the Japanese and Indian markets. The "Americas" region was once again the strongest generator of sales in the first six months of 2008/2009. Revenue in this region rose by 15.7% in a year-on-year comparison to EUR 116.2m (previous year: ¤ 100.5m). This trend is being reinforced by appreciation of the US dollar. In addition, the corresponding period of the previous year was marked by substantial economic turbulence. The region's share of revenue increased slightly to 34.5%, compared to 33.6% in the previous year. In the "Europe, Middle East and Africa" ("EMEA") region, revenue rose by 3.7% to EUR 104.9m (previous year: ¤ 101.2m). Positive influences came from sales of innovative diagnostic equipment, surgical microscopes and intraocular lenses. The proportion of revenue generated by this region decreased from 33.8% to 31.1% year-on-year. "The first half-year shows that Carl Zeiss Meditec has also fared well in an adverse economic environment compared to the competition. This would not have been possible without the commitment of our employees worldwide, to whom I would like to express my gratitude. With our workforce, our solid financing and our healthy balance sheet we see ourselves well positioned, despite the crisis, to continue our investments in long-term innovations and sales, enabling us to emerge from the crisis with a clear competitive edge," Dr Michael Kaschke sums up the results. Outlook "Today we are well poised regionally and have a solid financial basis with an equity ratio of 70% and over EUR 200m in free liquidity. Our innovative product portfolio ranges from implants and consumables to capital goods. Our employees continue to work with a high level of commitment on addressing the needs of our customers even better with tailor-made solutions, thus actively improving our cost efficiency. In a challenging environment we endeavour to secure and further expand our leading market position by focusing on strategically important growth and development programmes. Our objective remains to keep the profitability we have already achieved stable and to improve it in the medium term. We want to benefit from our competitive advantages during and after the crisis. This strategy enables us to offer our shareholders a reliable dividend policy even in difficult times," concludes Dr Kaschke. --- End of Message --- Carl Zeiss Meditec AG Goeschwitzer Strasse 51-52 Jena Germany WKN: 531370; ISIN: DE0005313704; Index: Prime All Share, TECH All Share, TecDAX; Listed: Freiverkehr in Bayerische Börse München, Freiverkehr in Börse Stuttgart, Freiverkehr in Börse Berlin, Freiverkehr in Börse Düsseldorf, Freiverkehr in Hanseatische Wertpapierbörse zu Hamburg, Freiverkehr in Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover, Prime Standard in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, Regulierter Markt in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse;