zooplus AG generates positive EBITDA in the first quarter of 2019 and improves earnings before taxes
- Sales increase by 13% to EUR 363 m
- Gross margin improves by 1.1 percentage points to 28.2%
- Positive EBITDA of EUR 2.2 m, EBT of EUR -4.5 m; both improve year-on-year
- Free cash flow amounts to EUR 10.5 m
- Full-year sales and earnings guidance confirmed
Munich, May 16, 2019 - zooplus AG (WKN 511170, ISIN DE0005111702, ticker symbol ZO1), Europe's leading online retailer of pet supplies, generated sales of EUR 363 m in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: EUR 323 m), representing year-on-year growth of EUR 40 m, or 13%. Sales growth adjusted for currency effects also amounted to 13%.
The trend towards a renewed acceleration in the number of new customers that was already evident at the end of 2018 continued in the first quarter of 2019. With a total of 739 thousand registered new customers, zooplus succeeded in gaining 15% more registered customers in the first three months of the current financial year than in the same period of the prior year.
The gross margin (sales less cost of materials) improved in the first quarter by 1.1 percentage points year-on-year to 28.2% (Q1 2018: 27.1%) as a result of a lower share of unprofitable customer orders and a further expansion in the higher-margin private label business. Sales of private label products in food and litter continued to grow above average, increasing 29% in the reporting quarter.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved to EUR 2.2 m in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: EUR -3.6 m). Excluding the effects from the adoption of IFRS 16 ("Leases"), mandatory since the 2019 financial year, EBITDA improved by EUR 2.0 m year-on-year on an operational level, mainly due a higher gross margin and ongoing improvements in the logistics cost ratio.
Earnings before taxes (EBT) in the first three months of 2019 amounted to EUR -4.5 m, a year-on-year improvement of EUR 1.0 m compared to the first quarter of the prior year (Q1 2018: EUR -5.5 m).
The performance in the first quarter of 2019 once again was proof of zooplus's strong cash flow generating ability. Free cash flow in the reporting quarter was EUR 10.5 m, largely driven by continued improvements in working capital.
Dr. Cornelius Patt, CEO of zooplus AG, in his comments on the company's performance in the first quarter of 2019: "Overall, the development in the first quarter of 2019 was in line with our expectations. The stabilization of the gross margin and ongoing improvements in logistics costs drove earnings higher year-on-year. Accelerating our sales growth will be the driving factor for our success in the coming months. We made solid progress on our path by attracting 15% more registered new customers in the first quarter of 2019 compared to one year ago. As communicated earlier, we are expanding our marketing activities beyond pure Google marketing. In the context of the current ramp-up in promotions surrounding our
20-year anniversary, we will start employing additional, comprehensive online and offline marketing tools. These activities aim at gaining the awareness of a broader public within our target group outside of the online channel for the attractiveness of the zooplus offer. We expect the implementation of our extended marketing approach to have positive effects on our sales growth rate as early as in the second quarter of 2019. For this reason, we confirm our published sales and EBITDA guidance for the 2019 financial year."
The zooplus AG Management Board is forecasting sales growth of 14% to 18% for full-year 2019 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the range of EUR 10 m to EUR 30 m.
The complete report for the first three months of the 2019 financial year 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 of pet supplies measured by sales. In the 2018 financial year, sales totalled EUR 1,342 m. 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. 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 e-commerce market, zooplus expects its dynamic performance to continue.
Online at: www.zooplus.com
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