On November 17th Leica Geosystems reported sales of CHF 7.6 million for its HDS division, which produces the company’s 3D laser scanner hardware and software solutions. This result comes on the heels of a strong Q2 (calendar) result. Sales year to date total CHF 18.7 million ($16.4 million at today’s exchange rate). In the first nine months of this year, the division has already exceeded the sales performance it achieved in 2002 and 2003. Leica Geosystems also reports that the HDS division achieved a positive EBITDA for the first time in the company’s history.
Geoff Jacobs, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Leica Geosystems HDS, attributes sales growth to strong uptake of the company’s new scanners (HDS3000 and HDS4500) and software solutions, both from existing customers upgrading older systems and from new systems to new customers. Demand for the HDS3000 is particularly strong – a few customers have reported somewhat longer-than-usual delivery schedules. One Leica distributor we spoke to recently says activity is at an all-time high, and that even the supply of rental equipment is limited.
The anecdotal evidence of recent weeks is that resistance to using laser scanning is dropping significantly, and that it is being used not just for special projects but routinely. The economic benefits of adopting 3D laser scanning technology are becoming much more apparent to a broader group of customers.
When we published our first growth forecast for the laser scanning market back in October 2003, we believed the worldwide market for hardware, software and services would grow 22% in 2004 to just over $100 million. The year isn’t over yet, but it looks like our forecast of 22% growth is too conservative. We’ll keep you posted.