Venlo, the Netherlands, 14 November 2019. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V., one of Continental Europe’s leading online pharmacies, has continued to dynamically increase its revenue growth during the first nine months of 2019. Group-level revenues rose by 31% to EUR 509.2 million while organic growth increased by 28%. The number of active customers grew by 41%, from 3.2 million as of the previous year’s reporting date to more than 4.5 million. The Management Board confirmed its revenue forecast of ca. EUR 700 million for the current fiscal year while further specifying its prognosis for the EBITDA margin adjusted for special items to a range between -2.0% and -2.3% (previous year: -2.2%).
“We have consistently carried out our strategy of further accelerating our organic growth while at the same time optimizing our processes during the first nine months of 2019. We remain committed to our goals of growing strongly and reaching break-even EBITDA in 2020”, says CEO Stefan Feltens. He adds that, “We are pursuing a number of strategic goals for the coming years: We want to develop SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE into a health platform with a broad portfolio of products and services for current and new customers.”
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE leverages market dynamics to organically and sustainably expand its market share. The company increased its consolidated gross earnings by 42% from EUR 71.8 million in the first nine months of 2018 to EUR 99.7 million. The gross margin rose from 18.5% to 19.6%.
Selling and distribution costs grew by 40.9% to EUR 96.7 million during the first nine months of 2019. The adjusted sales cost ratio rose to 19% (previous year: 17.3%) due to e.g. the increase in customer acquisition activities. Administrative costs grew at a slightly lower rate of 29.9% from EUR 13.4 million for the first nine months of 2018 to EUR 17.4 million during the corresponding period this year, leading to an improvement in the adjusted administrative cost ratio to 2.9% after 3.1% the previous year.
For the nine-month period, consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted for special items amounted to EUR -11.7 million after EUR -7.2 million for the first nine months of 2018. Accordingly, the EBITDA margin for the reporting period was -2.3% (previous year: -1.9%). Following deductions of EUR 11 million (previous year: EUR 9.3 million), adjusted EBIT was EUR -22.7 million (previous year: EUR -16.5 million). Adjusted earnings after taxes were EUR -27.8 million after EUR – 20.0 million for the corresponding period of 2018.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE increased its third quarter revenues by 30.2% to EUR 171 million (Q3 2018: EUR 131.3 million). Gross earnings improved by 27.1% to EUR 32.3 million. The gross margin for the period from July to September 2019 stood at 18.9%, 0.5% less than Q3 2018’s 19.4%. The sales cost ratio remained consistent at 17.4% with expenses of EUR 29.7 million (Q3 2018: EUR 22.8 million) while the administrative cost ratio dropped from 4.1% to 3.5% during the third quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 2019 was EUR -2.1 million, which corresponds to an EBITDA margin of -1.2% (previous year: -0.2%).
Strong organic growth in both segments.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE significantly increased its organic growth both domestically and internationally. In the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), revenues rose by 26.4% to EUR 447.9 million during the first nine months of 2019.Compared to the corresponding period last year, gross earnings grew at a disproportionate rate of 33% to EUR 88.4 million. That is equivalent to an increase in the gross margin of 0.9 base points to 18.8%. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE slightly improved segment EBITDA by 1.9% to EUR 8 million (previous year: EUR 7.8 million).
Nine-month revenues for the International segment – which covers SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’S business activities in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy – increased significantly, by 80%, from EUR 34 million last year to EUR 61.2 million in 2019. Gross earnings rose by 82.5% to EUR 15.3 million with the gross margin at 25% for the reporting period, slightly higher than last year’s 24.6%. Segment EBITDA declined to EUR -4.7 million after EUR -3.2 million over the corresponding period last year. This is largely due to increased customer acquisition costs, which have already resulted in a substantial increase in the number of customers and a greater ratio of purchases from this group.
Forecast for 2019 specified.
The Management Board confirms its revenue forecast for the 2019 fiscal year. It is based on an acceleration of the organic growth rate to ca. 30% (2018: 28%), equivalent to an increase in consolidated revenues to around EUR 700 million (2018: EUR 540 million). The Management Board further specifies its forecast for the current fiscal year’s EBITDA margin to a range between -2.0% and -2.3% (2018: -2.2%).
**SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE streamlines its country portfolio and exits Spanish market. **
As part of its strategic and economic evaluation of the company’s country portfolio, the Management has decided to close the online shop for the Spanish market at the end of the year. Compared to other European countries, the Spanish online pharmacy market has grown less dynamically in the last couple of years and has therefore not yet attained an economically relevant size. Furthermore, local market and regulatory conditions only offered limited opportunities for entrepreneurial e-commerce solutions for the pharmacy market. Taking these factors into consideration, the Management Board does not believe it is possible for the Spanish business to become profitable in the medium term. Since revenues generated by the Spanish webshop were significantly less than 1% of the Group’s total revenues, this step will not have a meaningful impact on SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’S future growth. However, management expects a positive effect on earnings.
CEO Stefan Feltens: “Regularly evaluating our portfolio is part of our growth strategy. We look at strategic and economic criteria to decide where to use our resources so they have the biggest possible positive business impact. This applies to both our current and any possible future activities. By withdrawing from the Spanish market, we are also reducing the complexity of our value chain so that we can more intensely focus on the economic potential of our currently seven other markets.”
Nationwide introduction of e-scripts in Germany will boost access to the multi-billion euro market for prescription drugs.
The planned launch of electronic prescriptions in Germany will significantly improve access to the multi-billion euro prescription medications market for online pharmacies. The relevant law, the so-called “Law for more safety in the supply of medicines” (GSAV) was passed in July 2019. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE expects a significant boost in revenues and earnings due to electronic prescriptions from mid-2021 onwards. The German prescription drug market was worth over EUR 40 billion in 2018, with only ca. 1% of those prescriptions filled by online pharmacies. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE expects this share to increase successively during the years following the launch of electronic prescriptions as customers become familiar with the advantages and comfort of buying online. To profit from this growth opportunity at a disproportionate rate, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is currently setting up the necessary structures and processes in-house. In addition to the already completed integration of Europa Apotheek, this includes the further development of interfaces for digital workflows on a technological level. Thanks to its substantial in-house know-how, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE can carry out these measures quickly and cost-effectively. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is furthermore evaluating cooperation opportunities with a range of partners to further broaden its portfolio and support the company’s growth. During the second quarter 2019 SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE has started a same-day delivery pilot project that highlights the attractiveness of online ordering for customers who have an acute need for medications.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is one of the leading and the fastest-growing online pharmacies 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 OTC, beauty and personal care products as well as prescription drugs segments 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, the Netherlands and Switzerland. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE delivers a broad range of more than 100,000 original products to over 4.5 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 is part of the SDAX index since 24 September 2018.
In addition to being traded on the Frankfurt stock exchange, since June 25, 2019, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s convertible bonds (ISIN: DE000A19Y072), are also tradeable on the Dutch Euronext stock exchange, which operates the stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon.
This publication constitutes an advertisement. This announcement does not constitute an offer for sale or a solicitation of an offer to purchase securities of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. in any jurisdiction. It does not constitute a securities prospectus. A public offer of securities of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. is not taking place.
Statements contained herein could constitute so-called “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements can be recognized by words such as “might,” “will,” “should,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “believes,” “intends,” “aims,” “aim” or their negative form or corresponding modifications and comparable terms.
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, levels of utilization, developments and achievements of the Group or industry in which it operates to be materially different than those contained herein or implied. There should be no undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Group will not update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.