Zooplus, Europe's leading online shop for pet products, suffered a loss of 2.3 mio euros on its earnings before tax (Ebit) in 2018. This emerged from the final figures for the last financial year. In the year before, the company made a profit of 4.1 mio euros. The company cites high marketing, logistics and IT investment to consolidate its business as the reason for the negative result.
The company has also announced that its 2016 prediction of sales of 2 bn euros by fiscal 2020 cannot be realised in the current situation. This sales target will probably only be attained at a later point in time. The news put Zooplus shares under huge pressure, causing the price to tumble for a time to its lowest level in almost four years.
On the basis of provisional figures, Zooplus stated back in January that it had increased its sales by 22 per cent compared with the previous year to 1.342 bn euros (as reported in PET worldwide). 77 per cent of sales came from outside its home market. Nevertheless, Germany remains the strongest market for the online retailer with a sales volume of 308 mio euros, followed by France (223.7 mio euros), Poland (110.1 mio euros) and Italy (108.1 mio euros). The company was also pleased to note a rise in the number of new customers during the year as well as a slight increase in its gross profit margin from 28.5 to 28.7 per cent.
Plans for 2019
In the current financial year Zooplus aims to strengthen the brand through greater personalisation and by enhancing its emotional appeal. It intends to invest more in its marketing for this, and so social media marketing and selected offline marketing instruments are also to be expanded. The company expects sales growth of between 14 and 18 per cent for 2019, which is below the sales growth targeted in 2018. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) of between 10 and 30 mio euros are being forecast for fiscal 2019. In 2018 Zooplus's Ebitda was 8.6 mio euros.