Sevenum, the Netherlands, 2 March 2022. SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. delivered an earnings performance slightly (EUR +5 million) above the guidance and finished the fiscal year 2021 with group sales of EUR 1.06 billion – an increase of 9.5% versus 2020. Everything-but-Rx sales were up by 22.5%. The launch of our own marketplace in Germany marks an important step towards becoming a genuine customer-centric e-pharmacy platform. Meanwhile, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE gained 1.6 million active customers, bringing the total number to 7.9 million active customers. After a promising start into 2022, the e-pharmacy expects to accelerate sales growth for the current year.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE CEO Stefan Feltens comments: “In general, our conclusion for the past business year is very positive. We were confronted with challenges, but we overcame those and quickly returned onto our growth path. In everything-but-Rx, we markedly increased our market share in the German online market. Moreover, also in our other large markets in Europe our growth was substantially higher than the best estimates of the total e-pharmacy market growth in these markets. We are also excited about the launch of our marketplace, which will be an additional growth and margin driver going forward.”
At 21.4%, adjusted gross profit grew faster than sales, from EUR 219.5 million to EUR 266.8 million. As a proportion of sales, the gross margin was up by 2.5 pp, from 22.7% in 2020 to 25.2% in 2021 (unadjusted: 25.1%). The increased gross margins were driven by different product and country mixes as well as one-offs due to corona-related products.
Adjusted selling and distribution (S&D) expenses as percentage of sales were up 4.8 pp year-over-year to 22.6%. These were lower in 2020 due to high Covid-19 related demand. In the second half of 2021, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE invested in higher growth to further boost sales after overcoming capacity constraints.
Administrative costs in 2021 were EUR 64.0 million (previous year: EUR 32.5 million) and included one-off expenses and the regular employee stock option expenses amounting to EUR 31.4 million (2020: EUR 6.4 million). In 2021, the one-off items included the IFRS 3 accounting impact of the contingent earn-out considerations related to the in 2021 acquired companies SMARTPATIENT and MEDAPP, affecting the non-adjusted result by EUR 22.5 million. The contingent future payments as agreed upon during the acquisitions are considered expenses under IFRS during the vesting. The adjusted administrative cost ratio was 3.1%, up 0.4 pp from 2.7% a year earlier and in Q4 3.0% year-over-year flat.
The adjusted EBITDA for the group amounted to EUR -5.3 million compared to EUR 21.6 million in 2020, a decrease of EUR 26.9 million year-over-year. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the group subsequently decreased from 2.2% in 2020 to -0.5% in the reporting period.
Including depreciation of EUR 27.0 million (previous year: EUR 16.1 million), EBIT was EUR -65.7 million (2020: EUR -0.9 million) and adjusted EBIT EUR -32.3 million. Depreciation is up due to the opening of the new logistics centre, business acquisitions at the start of 2021 and higher investments in IT. After net financing costs and income tax, the net result was EUR -74.2 million compared to EUR -16.8 million in 2020. Adjusted net result stood at EUR -40.8 million in 2021.
Largest segment DACH recorded strong growth for everything-but-Rx, International Sales up close to 40%.
During 2021, the DACH segment (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) grew at a rate of 3.9% although prescription drugs (Rx) revenues decreased by 34.6% or EUR 75.8 million to EUR 143.5 million – impacted by the Rx bonus ban in Germany. Non-Rx revenues grew by 18.1% year-over-year. With total sales of EUR 847.2 million, the DACH segment generated 80% of total group sales. In 2020, the DACH segment sales had accounted for EUR 815.4 million or 84% of total sales. The segment’s gross profit margin improved by 2.6 pp from 22.0% in 2020 to 24.6%. The adjusted EBITDA for the DACH segment decreased from EUR 34.1 million to EUR 12.9 million, translating into an adjusted EBITDA margin of 1.5% this year.
With 39.6% sales growth, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s International segment (Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands) rose significantly faster than total group sales - from EUR 152.7 million to EUR 213.2 million. International sales accounted for 20% of 2021 total sales versus 16% the year before. The gross margin reached 27.3%, 1.2 pp higher than the previous year. The adjusted EBITDA for the International segment decreased by EUR 5.7 million to EUR -18.2 million.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is on track towards a truly customer-centric e-pharmacy platform.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE started its evolution from an online retailer to a customer-centric e-pharmacy platform in 2019. Over the past years, the company significantly improved the customer experience by introducing several health-related offerings and services. In 2021, the same-day delivery was expanded to all major metropolitan areas in Germany. The digital medication management for chronically ill patients has been strengthened by two acquisitions (SMARTPATIENT and MEDAPP) in Q1. In Q4, the Marketplace was successfully launched offering additional products for customers in Germany.
With the completion of the move to its new logistics hub in Sevenum, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE passed another important milestone in September. The new facility, with a capacity of at least 35 million customer orders per year, has been designed to keep pace with the steadily growing order volume and expected future growth.
2022: Extension of services and continued focus on ESG.
This year, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE will further improve the customer experience with a special focus on the promising and fast-growing international markets. Besides the introduction of the same-day delivery service in selected regions of Austria, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE will open its first distribution facility outside the Netherlands in Milan in the summer of 2022.
Jasper Eenhorst, CFO of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE, comments: “The Italian market has an enormous potential, and we grew triple digit there last year. Our new warehouse will provide Italian customers with a much broader offering and faster delivery times. In addition to commercial aspects, the local distribution centre is also aligned to our ESG agenda as inbound and outbound CO2 emissions will be reduced.”
Over the past years, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE has continuously improved its ESG management system and promoted the implementation of various ESG measures, clustered in three pillars “Planetary Care, Patient Care and Employee Care”. As a result, the e-pharmacy has recently been upgraded from a BBB to an AA rating in ESG by MSCI.
Financially, the Management Board of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE expects sales growth between 15% and 25% for non-Rx and an overall adjusted EBITDA margin in the range of -1.5% to +1.5% for the current year. In 2021, the non-Rx share of total sales was close to 90%. The mid- to long term adj. EBITDA margin guidance remains unchanged in excess of 8%.
The full Annual Report can be downloaded here:
ABOUT SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE is one of Europe’s leading and fastest-growing online pharmacies, currently operating in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Headquartered in the Dutch logistics hub of Sevenum near Venlo with locations in Cologne, Berlin, Munich, Tongeren, Warsaw, Milan, Lille and Eindhoven, SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE offers its customers a broad range of more than 100,000 original products at attractive prices: OTC, beauty and personal care products as well as prescription drugs, supplemented by high quality natural food and health products, low carb products and sports nutrition. Currently, 7.9 million active customers trust SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE.
Since safe and reliable pharmaceutical advice are top priorities at SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE, the e-pharmacy provides comprehensive pharmaceutical consulting services.
In preparation for the introduction of electronic prescriptions in Germany, the company will further improve the customer experience with a focus on disease-specific digital medication management services following the acquisition of SMARTPATIENT in January 2021. This is a key part of SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE’s strategy to transform itself from a pure online retailer into a truly customer-centric e-pharmacy platform.
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE N.V. has been listed on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard) since 2016 and is part of the SDAX stock index.