Venlo, the Netherlands, November 14, 2018. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V., Continental Europe’s leading online pharmacy has successfully continued its rapid growth from the start of the year. Boosted by the full consolidation of Europa Apotheek, SDAX-listed SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. substantially increased its consolidated revenues by 103% to EUR 388.5 million over the reporting period (January 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018) compared to EUR 191.2 million for the corresponding period 2017. This means the company was able to further expand its market position in Germany and Continental Europe. At the same time SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE improved its adjusted consolidated segment EBITDA from EUR -1.0 million to EUR +4.8 million. The margin of the consolidated segment EBITDA improved from -0.5% to +1.2% relative to sales.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE increased its consolidated gross earnings by 77%, from EUR 40.6 million during the first nine months of 2017 to EUR 71.8 million for the period under review. The consolidated gross margin declined in line with expectations due to the higher ratio of prescription medications sold in Germany following the acquisition of Europa Apotheek and the optimization of the contribution margin per parcel. Compared to a year earlier, the consolidated gross margin declined by 2.7% to 18.5% in the Germany segment.
Group level segment EBITDA adjusted for special factors was EUR +4.8 million compared to EUR -1 million for the corresponding period last year. Administrative costs adjusted for one-off costs were EUR 12.0 million (2017: EUR 5.8 million); they remained stable relative to revenues at 3.1%. As a result of overall increases in efficiency and further automation, selling expenses increased at a rate significantly disproportionate relative to revenues during the reporting period, up ca. 54% from EUR 43.6 million to EUR 67.1 million (adjusted). As a result, the sales cost ratio at 17.3% was substantially reduced compared to a year earlier when 22.8%.
Adjusted consolidated EBITDA was EUR -7.2 million compared to EUR -6.8 million for the first nine months of 2017. Accordingly, the EBITDA margin improved from -3.6% during the first nine months of 2017 to -1.9% during the period under review. Including amortisations of EUR 9.3 million (2017: EUR 5.8 million), the adjusted EBIT was EUR -16.5 million (2017: EUR -11.0 million). Adjusted earnings after taxes were EUR -20.1 million compared to EUR -12.6 million a year earlier.
The number of active customers rose by a substantial 37% from 2.4 million at the end of the third quarter 2017 to over 3.2 million as a result of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s acquisitions and the company’s successful growth initiatives. The number of orders increased by 48% to 6.2 million year-on-year (2017: 4.2 million). The average shopping basket size also grew significantly, up ca. 36% from EUR 53.16 during the first nine months of 2017 to EUR 73.60 during the period under review. The ratio of repeat orders compared to the total number of orders increased to 81% during the reporting period compared to 74% in the corresponding period a year earlier. The return rate remained minimal at 0.9%. At 55%, the share of mobile page visits was slightly higher than in the same quarter 2017 when it was 53%. These operational performance indicators confirm SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’S leading online presence.
Increase in customers and higher ratio of orders placed by existing customers drive profitable growth in Germany.
The integration and consolidation of Europa Apotheek contributed to significant growth in the Germany segment over the reporting period. During the first nine months of 2018, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s largest segment by revenue had profitable growth of around 120% compared to the same period a year earlier. Revenues rose to EUR 302.7 million compared to EUR 137.5 million for the first nine months of 2017. During the same time, gross earnings were up 83%, from EUR 28.6 million to EUR 52.3 million year-on-year. Due to a higher ratio of prescription medications sold and the optimization of the contribution margin per parcel, the gross margin declined in line with expectations, from 20.8% in 2017 to 17.3%. Segment EBITDA for the first nine months of 2018 was EUR 7.2 million compared to EUR 4.2 million over the same period last year, leading to a segment EBITDA margin of 2.4% (2017: 3.0%). This takes into consideration effects from the new segmentation structure and from the loss of other operational income in connection with the integration of Europa Apotheek as well as the impact of supply bottlenecks for several medications during the first half of 2018. Preparations for the joint market presence of SHOP APOTHEKE and Europa Apotheek are going ahead as planned.
International segment continues to grow strongly, gross margin increases.
With a big increase in the number of orders, the International segment contributed to the rise in consolidated revenues: SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s revenues outside of Germany increased by a significant ca. 63% to EUR 86.2 million (previous year: EUR 53 million). Unlike in Germany, the gross margin in the international markets is not impacted by the sale of prescription medications as business there is almost exclusively focused on non-prescription medications, beauty & personal care products and – following the acquisition of nu3 GmbH – superfoods and nutritional supplements. Segment gross earnings rose by a disproportionate rate of around 68% from EUR 11.6 million to EUR 19.5 million during the reporting period with the gross margin at 22.7%, slightly higher than last year’s strong 21.9%. Despite the high ratio of orders by new customers – which require greater acquisition costs – segment EBITDA for the first nine months of 2018 improved to EUR -2.4 million compared to EUR -5.3 million a year earlier. The segment EBITDA margin improved significantly from -10% during the first nine months of 2017 to -2.4% for the period under review.
Revenue forecast confirmed, earnings fall short of expectations.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. is on track to meet its recently increased revenue projection (from EUR 540 million to EUR 570 million). The Management Board furthermore expects an improvement of the EBITDA margin before one-off costs (2017: -3%). However, negative effects on earnings during the first half of the year cannot be compensated for by planned process optimizations during the second half of the year. In addition, market consolidation led to downward pressure on prices in Germany due to intensified competition, which has a temporary negative impact on the margin. Under consideration of the changed competitive environment and opportunities arising from the current market consolidation, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE will promote organic growth even more strongly from 2019 onwards and intends to increase its marketing spending for 2018. Overall, the Management Board therefore expects an adjusted EBITDA margin of up to -2% for the 2018 fiscal year (previous forecast: -0.5%).
The integration of recently acquired nu3 GmbH, Berlin, is proceeding according to plan with a focus on synergies in marketing, operations and IT in order to achieve positive revenues starting in 2019.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is the leading and fastest growing online pharmacy in Continental Europe. With the acquisition of Europa Apotheek Venlo in November 2017, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE significantly extended its European market leadership. The product range for the whole family in the areas of OTC, beauty and personal care products as well as prescription drugs is supplemented by high quality natural food and health products, low carb products and sports nutrition following the acquisition of nu3 GmbH in July 2018.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE already operates online pharmacies in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE delivers a broad range of more than 100,000 original products to over 3.2 million active customers fast and at attractive prices. In addition, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE provides comprehensive pharmaceutical consulting services.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. has been listed on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard) since 13 October 2016 and on the SDAX since 24 September 2018.
This release contains statements that relate to future business performance and future financial performance, as well as to events or developments pertaining to SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE, and that may constitute forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions by SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s management, a large number of which are beyond the control of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE. They are therefore subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties. If these risks and uncertainties materialize, or the underlying expectations do not materialize or the assumptions made prove incorrect, actual events, both in a positive and negative sense, may differ materially from those described or implied in the forward-looking statements. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements or to correct them in any other than anticipated development. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE also does not intend to do so.