The German optics industry saw a 7.1 per cent increase in sales in 2015, totalling €31 billion, Dr Wenko Süptitz, director of the Alliance for Photonics of the German Spectaris Industry Association, announced during the opening of the 13th Optatec trade fair.
The biennial show for optical technologies, components and systems, took place from 7 to 9 June in Frankfurt.
The growth in sales by more than 1,000 optics companies that make up the German photonics sector was the result of both domestic and export businesses, added Süptitz: in 2015, domestic sales rose by three per cent to €10 billion, whereas export turnover increased by nine per cent to €21.7 billion.
'The optics sector and optical technologies have an essential function for the German economy and make a considerable contribution to economic growth,’ commented Karl-Friedrich Klein, Professor Dr-Ing Central Hessen University of Applied Sciences, during the trade show's opening.
In addition to a growth in sales, the employment rate German photonics companies rose by three per cent between 2014 and 2015 to approximately 130,000 employees, which Süptitz said was further evidence of the success of the German photonics sector.
Applications in medical engineering, measuring technology, image processing and production technologies play the most important role in Germany, according to Süptitz, making up about 55 per cent of the overall photonics turnover in the country.
Declines were experienced in the cyclical semiconductor equipment market, as well as in fields of photonics which are less well represented in Germany, including optical communications technology, optical memory modules and displays.
Further growth is expected for 2016, although at a much slower rate, added Süptitz. Anticipated sales growth amounts to around 5.5 per cent, and employment is expected to grow by around 0.8 per cent.
This year’s Optatec attracted 5,607 visitors from 55 countries, an increase of seven per cent with regard to visitor numbers and five per cent with regard to the participation of experts from outside of Germany – 56 per cent of the exhibitors and 32 per cent of visitors came from outside of Germany.
The exhibitor forum, which takes place concurrent to the trade fair, counted 1,388 visitors during the course of the three-day event, a 30 per cent increase compared with the exhibitor forum at Optatec 2014.