windeln.de with focus on structural improvements in the first quarter of 2017

 In 2017e

  • EUR 51.9 million in revenues in first quarter of 2017
  • “International Shops” segment growth driver with a 35.6% increase in revenues compared to the same period of the previous year, Chinese revenues also higher
  • New shop system for German Shop and strong focus on earnings; customer service successfully transferred
  • Profitability on the basis of adjusted EBIT at the same level as in the first quarter of 2016, strong improvement in the International Shops Segment
  • Negative operating cash flow of EUR -7.1 million in the first quarter after EUR -9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016

Munich, May 9, 2017: windeln.de SE, one of the leading online retailers for baby and toddler products in Europe and for customers in China generated EUR 51.9 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2017. This represents an increase of 10.3% compared to the same period of the previous year (Q1 2016: EUR 47.0 million). Negative operating cash flow of EUR -7.1 million in the first quarter after EUR -9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016

International growth trend continues, focus on profit in Germany

Revenues in the German Shop segment, which also includes sales to Chinese customers, amounted to EUR 35.3 million in the first three months (Q1 2016: EUR 34.8 million).

The Chinese revenues included in this figure rose by 8.6% to EUR 23.6 million compared to the first quarter of 2016. As in previous years, revenues from the Chinese business were lower in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 due to the strong year-end business. This was also the case in Europe. To improve the service for customers in China and to reduce costs, windeln.de additionally works together with the Dutch shipping service provider PostNL since the end of the first quarter. Furthermore, the company has also introduced Unionpay, the payment method that is popular in Asia, and opened its own office in Shanghai. “The physical presence in China offers us a wide range of advantages: we are closer to our customers and can observe developments as well as our competition more closely. Overall, we are on the right track in China. This is also confirmed by windeln.de receiving the award as the most popular foreign brand, which we were presented with at the Tmall Global Award ceremony held by the Alibaba Group in April,” explains Konstantin Urban, co-founder and Management Board member of windeln.de.

Revenues in the DACH region amounted to EUR 13.3 million in the first three months of the year (Q1 2016: EUR 14.3 million), a decline of 6.6%. The reason for this is the focus on profitability, the reduction in the number of products listed in 2016 and lower marketing expenditures (Q1 2017: EUR 1.3 million compared to EUR 1.8 million in Q1 2016, which equates to a reduction of -24%). The German Online Shop was also switched over to the new group-wide IT shop system in the first quarter to enable windeln.de customers to make better use of the shop independently of their devices via Responsive Design. The unification of the shop system will lead to sustainable efficiency advantages within windeln.de. “We have significantly enhanced the shop infrastructure and our product range in our German-speaking home market. Focusing on profitability is our top priority. For example, we have transferred our entire customer service to Hungary and launched our additional own brand Avani,” adds Konstantin Urban. During the first quarter of 2017 however, the move of the customer service from Germany to Hungary resulted in additional costs, because customer service was run parallel in Germany through the end of April 2017 to minimize possible migration risks.

The revenue contribution of the International Shops segment, which includes the activities in the rest of Europe (feedo, bebitus, pannolini.it and windeln.ch), continued to rise significantly by EUR 16.6 million or 35.6% compared to the same period of the previous year (Q1 2016: EUR 12.2 million). This segment already accounted for 32% of Group revenues after 27% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 26% in the first three months of 2016. Alexander Brand, co-founder and Management Board member of windeln.de: “We are pleased with how the revenues and margins of our international European business are developing. We are also making good progress with regard to the integration.”

Adjusted EBIT margin at a level similar to the first quarter of 2016

Adjusted EBIT for the first quarter of 2017 was EUR -7.2 million, the adjusted EBIT margin -14.0% compared to -13.8% in the same period of the previous year. The International Shops segment, in particular, has developed very positively in terms of income. The reduction in other sales and administrative expenses in the Group also represents a structural improvement despite the additional costs for temporarily running customer service in parallel. These expenses amounted to 15.8% of Group revenue after they had accounted for 16.5% in the first quarter of 2016. A higher share of low-margin consumer goods products was partially offset by lower marketing and fulfillment costs. The key figure for managing the business, operating contribution margin (the difference between gross profit and expenses for marketing and fulfillment), remained constant at 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016: 2.8%).

The net working capital was approximately EUR 6.7 million as of the reporting date March 31, 2017 and therefore significantly improved year-on-year (Q1 2016: EUR 15.1 million). The main reason for this was the reduction in inventories in 2016, which is closely linked to the discontinuation of the Shopping Club segment. Liquidity (cash and cash equivalents plus time deposits) of windeln.de amounted to approximately EUR 48 million as of March 31, 2017.

“The development of adjusted EBIT in the first quarter is in line with our expectations. We are in the process of implementing the measures announced last year to improve costs and margins. We are making good progress but these measures will only materialize over time. We are focused on achieving our goal of breakeven on the basis of adjusted EBIT in the course of 2019,” explains CFO Dr. Nikolaus Weinberger.

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