The Leica Camera Group achieved revenue of almost 400 million euros in the past financial year 2016/2017 (31 March 2017) and can therefore look back very positively on the previous twelve-month period. With strong revenue growth of more than six per cent, Leica bucked the overall downward trend in the global camera market, which declined by around 10 per cent in the same period.
In the first few months of the current financial year 2017/2018, cumulative growth stands at 15 per cent, thus underscoring the positive global performance of Leica Camera AG. Despite a market environment that remains challenging, the CEO of Leica Camera AG, Matthias Harsch, once again expects a record-breaking result for the 2017/2018 financial year. As a result, the revenue of Leica Camera AG has increased more than fourfold since anchor investor and majority shareholder Dr Andreas Kaufmann came on board in 2004.
The main driver of growth is the systematic realignment of the company that has taken place in recent years. In particular, the setting up of an in-house Retail Distribution division has made a major contribution to revenue growth. Leica now has 90 monobrand stores around the world, which are vital in terms of promoting brand experience in the context of photography. ‘China is our number-one growth market,’ says Matthias Harsch, who is planning 20 to 30 new stores in the country alone. The Group is now strengthening its presence in the service sector with the Leica Akademie brand in order to boost the appeal of photography amongst younger target groups.
The extremely successful technology and brand partnership with Chinese company Huawei in the field of mobile phone photography makes Leica one of the world’s leading providers of smartphone lens applications, a burgeoning technology segment that serves as a global basis for new product ideas and applications in photography.
The entry of Leica into the eyewear segment (glasses) – a move that was completed in 2017 – offers further potential for strong revenue growth in the years ahead. Operating under the name of Leica Eyecare, the company will systematically tap into this global market in conjunction with its technology partner Novacel.