It’s safe to say Leica is crushing it. The Wetzlar, Germany-based company just announced that the 2021/22 financial year was its best on record—a record that stretches back 100 years. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and global supply chain issues that have come along with it, this is somewhat surprising, but definitely welcomed news. Let’s dig in.
Leica’s best year ever
During the most recent financial year—which stretches from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022—Leica saw its total revenue jump by 16%, up to 450 million euros (USD $458 million). Leica CEO Matthias Harsch specifically attributes this to an increase in camera and sport optics sales. He also notes that despite the impact of COVID-19, Leica was able to expand its retail footprint and reach new international markets.
So, Leica is moving more cameras to more markets and making more money than ever before, but how? The brand attributes some of its growth to the success of its “mono-brand” stores, of which there are nearly 100 worldwide. Harsch also points to the brand’s cachet, especially with younger photographers.
“We are convinced that our products ‘made in Germany’ fulfill the strongly growing consumer demand for high-quality sustainable brands and that our new product categories will generate increasing enthusiasm for the world of Leica photography in younger target groups,” Harsch says.
The announcement also mentions the importance of Leica’s strategic partnerships, including with smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, as well as Panasonic. Through these cooperative efforts, “the company is intensifying its activities in future-oriented fields of technology such as image processing, image quality tuning, and computational imaging.”
What does that mean for consumers? Seemingly good things: Earlier this week Xiaomi unveiled its latest 12S Ultra smartphone, which sports a Leica-branded camera with a 1-inch type sensor, the world’s largest. If that’s a sign of what’s to come, we’re stoked.
After so many gloomy camera industry reports of supply chain issues, production delays, product pauses, and discontinuations, it’s nice to be able to share a bit of positive news. Here’s hoping this is just the first of many glowing financial statements we’ll be seeing from camera brands (the power of wishful thinking!). Either way, keep up the good work, Leica.