zooplus AG: positive sales and earnings development in the first quarter of 2017
- Sales increase 24% to EUR 257 m (Q1 2016: EUR 208 m)
- Earnings before taxes (EBT) rise by EUR 0.5 m to EUR 3.4 m (Q1 2016: EUR 2.9 m)
- Company confirms sales and earnings forecast for the 2017 financial year
Munich, May 18, 2017 – zooplus AG (WKN 511170, ISIN DE0005111702, ticker symbol ZO1), Europe’s leading online retailer of pet supplies, successfully continued its growth trend in the first quarter of 2017 and further strengthened its market position in Europe. By generating sales of EUR 257 m, the company recorded year-on-year growth of 24% (Q1 2016: EUR 208 m). Sales adjusted for currency effects were 25% higher than in the prior year. Growth was driven once again by business with both new and existing customers.
Earnings before taxes (EBT) in the first quarter of 2017 reached a level of EUR 3.4 m, representing an increase over the prior year of EUR 0.5 m (Q1 2016: EUR 2.9 m).
The continued rise in pet food sales as a percentage of total sales and the ongoing and intensely competitive market environment led to a gross margin of 25.3% compared to 25.6% in the first quarter of 2016. At the same time, the rise in other operating income resulted in a total margin, consisting of gross profit and other operating income, of 29.9% in the first quarter of 2017, which is on the same level as previous year (Q1 2016: 29.9%).
The total cost of marketing, logistics, personnel, administration, depreciation, amortization and interest as a percentage of sales was stable compared to the prior year and amounted to 28.5% (Q1 2016: 28.4%) in the first quarter of 2017. The ramp-up of the new logistics location in Antwerp, which went into operation at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, and the opening of a local fulfillment center in Birmingham, Great Britain, in the reporting quarter posed a temporary burden. Another cost-effective investment focus was the setup of additional IT development capacity intended for the further expansion of the zooplus IT platform and infrastructure.
The company was able to finance the quarter’s high growth solely through operating cash flow. The earnings development and continued improvements in working capital led to free cash flow in the first quarter of EUR 16.2 m (Q1 2016: EUR 10.4 m).
Dr. Cornelius Patt, CEO of zooplus AG, in his comments on the business development in the first quarter of 2017 stated: “We are continuing our successful growth trend in the current financial year without interruption. Both sales and earnings are at the levels planned. At the same time, by expanding our European logistics network and significantly increasing our internal IT development capacity, we are creating the basis for our future growth and greater leadership in the market for the online retailing of pet supplies. This is particularly true for the British market, which continues to be challenging in the wake of the Brexit referendum. By establishing a local fulfillment center in Birmingham, we are emphasizing the importance this market has for zooplus.”
Based on the business performance in the first quarter of 2017, the zooplus AG Management Board confirms its forecast for the 2017 financial year for sales of at least EUR 1,125 m and EBT in the range of EUR 17 m to EUR 22 m.
The full report for the first quarter of 2017 is available on the company’s website at http://investors.zooplus.com.
zooplus AG was founded in 1999 and today is Europe’s leading online retailer for pet supplies measured by sales. In the 2016 financial year, sales totaled EUR 909 m, roughly 74% of which was generated internationally. The company’s business model has been launched successfully in 30 European countries. zooplus sells products for all major pet breeds. The product range includes pet food (dry and wet food and food supplements) and accessories such as scratching posts, dog baskets, and toys in all price categories. In addition to a selection of over 8,000 products, zooplus customers benefit from a variety of interactive content and community offerings. The pet supplies market is an important market segment in the European retail landscape. Gross sales of pet food and accessories within the European Union amount to around EUR 26 bn. Based on the continued vigorous growth anticipated in the European ecommerce market, zooplus expects its dynamic performance to continue.
Online at: www.zooplus.com
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