Venlo, the Netherlands, 14 May 2020. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V., one of Europe’s leading online pharmacies, has increased its Q1 group-level revenues by 33% to EUR 232.0 million. The number of active customers grew by 300,000 to 5 million during the first three months of 2020, an increase of 1 million or 25% compared to the previous year. Additional costs due to the coronavirus pandemic were more than offset by positive effects of higher growth, as well as sourcing improvements, enhanced efficiency and economies of scale. Overall, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE reached its target of a positive adjusted EBITDA ahead of schedule. Compared to the previous year, adjusted EBITDA rose by EUR 14.0 million, from EUR -9.1 million to EUR 4.9 million.
“We want to recognize our employees’ exceptional commitment throughout these difficult times. Through their hard work we have been able to serve the needs of our customers and demonstrate SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s crucial role in safeguarding the supply of pharmaceuticals to the populations we serve. In appreciation of their dedication and engagement, every SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE employee will participate in our success by receiving a special ‘corona bonus’.”, says CEO Stefan Feltens.
Building on the foundation of a solid year-end performance in 2019, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE had a strong start into the year in January and February. This trend was further accelerated by additional demand triggered by the escalating corona situation in March. Overall, sales at Group level increased by 33% to EUR 232.0 million in the first quarter after EUR 174.6 million in Q1 2019. EUR 55 million of Q1 2020 revenues came from the prescription drugs (Rx) business, which grew by 23% year-on-year.
With a rate of 53%, gross profit at Group level increased significantly faster than sales, from EUR 32.6 million during the first three months of 2019 to EUR 49.9 million over the period under review. Compared to a year earlier, the consolidated gross margin rose by 2.8 percentage points (pp) to 21.5%. This favorable development can largely be attributed to two factors: the successful improvement of sourcing conditions and a higher average net price impacted by fewer voucher campaigns.
Selling and distribution (S&D) expenses increased by 7.5%, from EUR 36.5 million during Q1 2019 to EUR 39.2 million for the period under review. As a result, the S&D ratio improved by 4.0 pp to 16.9% driven by sustainable efficiency gains, but also due to lower marketing spending related to the corona outbreak in March.
Administrative costs amounted to EUR 6.8 million (previous year: EUR 5.9 million) and included extraordinary items of EUR 1.1 million (previous year: EUR 0.7 million); the adjusted administrative cost ratio was 2.5%, 0.5 pp better versus 3.0% a year earlier.
Driven by higher gross profit and improved cost ratios, adjusted EBITDA reached EUR 4.9 million versus EUR -9.0 million in Q1 2019. This translates into an adjusted EBITDA margin of 2.1% versus -5.2% last year. Including depreciation charges of EUR 3.4 million (previous year: EUR 3.5 million), adjusted EBIT was EUR 1.6 million (Q1 2019: EUR -12.6 million). Adjusted net income amounted to EUR -3.9 million, which compares to EUR -14.0 million a year earlier.
Operating cash flow of Q1 2020 was EUR 12.1 million (previous year: EUR -2.1 million), an increase by EUR 14.2 million driven by the EBIT increase.
Strong organic growth in both segments.
In the DACH segment (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), revenues rose by 29.6% to EUR 200.9 million during the first three months of 2020. Compared to the corresponding period last year, gross profit grew at a disproportionate rate of 49.1% to EUR 41.7 million. That is equivalent to an increase in the gross margin of 2.8 pp to 20.8%. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE improved the adjusted EBITDA in the DACH segment by EUR 12.6 million to EUR 7.0 million (previous year: EUR -5.7 million).
Q1 revenues for the International segment - which covers SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s business activities in Belgium, France, Italy, and the Netherlands - increased by 58.7%, from EUR 19.6 million last year to EUR 31.2 million. Gross profit rose by 77.1% to EUR 8.2 million with the gross margin at 26.4% for the reporting period, 2.7 pp higher than last year’s 23.7%. Adjusted EBITDA in the International segment improved to EUR -2.0 million after EUR -3.4 million over the corresponding period last year’s period.
Bottom-line significantly improved, full update on 2020 guidance with H1 results.
“We achieved strong organic growth”, Jasper Eenhorst CFO of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE comments. “At the same time, we significantly increased our adjusted EBITDA margin, which was 7.3 pp higher than for last year’s Q1.. This year’s performance was a further continuation of improvements achieved during 2019 with higher gross profit margins, better operational efficiency and economies of scale. In addition, results in March benefitted from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when we processed record numbers of orders with limited marketing.”
Considering the continued revenue momentum, the Management Board now expects a positive adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2020 instead of breaking even. Based on developments in Q2 2020 and with a clearer view of the volatile overall environment due to corona, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE will provide a full update on the 2020 guidance with the H1 results.
ABOUT SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE.
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 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, the Netherlands and Switzerland. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE delivers a broad range of more than 100,000 original products to over 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, 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.