zooplus AG: Accelerated growth and positive earnings before taxes in first quarter 2014

Munich, (PresseBox) - .
- Total sales rise 30% to EUR 126.3 m (Q1 2013: EUR 97.0 m)
- Positive earnings before taxes (EBT) of EUR 1.2 m (Q1 2013: EUR -0.8 m)
- Forecast for financial year 2014 confirmed

zooplus AG (WKN 511170, ISIN DE0005111702, ticker symbol ZO1), Europe's leading online retailer of pet supplies, can confirm a substantial acceleration in its sales growth following the publication of its final financial figures for the first three months of 2014. Total sales, which is made up of sales and other income, rose by 30% to EUR 126.3 m in the first quarter 2014 compared to EUR 97.0 m in the same period of the previous year. In the fourth quarter 2013, the growth rate was still at 23%. In addition, the earnings situation has also tangibly improved: Earnings before taxes (EBT) were up by EUR 2.0 m in the first quarter 2014 to EUR 1.2 m compared to EUR -0.8 m in the previous year.

Dr. Cornelius Patt, CEO of zooplus AG, is pleased with business development: "The positive progress made by zooplus in the first quarter 2014, both in terms of sales and earnings, confirms the upbeat development of the financial year 2013 and the successful growth track of zooplus AG. We are particularly pleased to have achieved positive earnings before taxes of EUR 1.2 m in the first quarter 2014 on the back of an acceleration in sales growth with double-digit growth rates across all countries. Following the development recorded in the first quarter, we are confirming our forecast for 2014 which anticipates total sales of at least EUR 500 m and earnings before taxes of around EUR 6 m."

zooplus AG's upbeat business development was influenced by the positive trend in total sales as well as further improvements to the cost structure. At 31.3% in relation to total sales, overall costs for marketing, logistics, personnel, administration, depreciation, amortization and interest were substantially reduced by 4.4 percentage points compared to the same quarter in the previous year (35.7%) - a record figure for zooplus. This is particularly attributable to further efficiency improvements in the areas of logistics and marketing. Expenses for logistics and fulfillment came in at 20.9%, down 1.8 percentage points from the 22.7% recorded in the previous year. Despite accelerated sales growth, expenses for customer acquisition and marketing were reduced from EUR 3.2 m to EUR 2.3 m in the first quarter 2014. This represents a level of 1.9% in relation to total sales in the first three months of 2014 (Q1 2013: 3.3%).

Dr. Cornelius Patt comments: "For many pet owners eCommerce is now the most attractive way to buy pet food and pet accessories. This notion is widely accepted by market participants, but not yet fully promoted to consumers. Hence we expect - also mid- and long-term - high growth rates and intense competition in our sector. Our pan-European sales and distribution system has been developed over years and sets high standards: We offer a superior customer experience and work at levels of efficiency which others find hard to match. The coming years will bring a heightened level of competitive pressure, but we are well prepared."

Concerning the balance sheet, total assets came in at EUR 92.2 m on the balance sheet date, up on the EUR 83.7 m recorded on December 31, 2013, due in part to the rise in inventories on the back of the growth of the company and further improved goods availability. Equity was recorded at EUR 37.7 m as of March 31, 2014 (December 31, 2013: EUR 36.7 m) and the corresponding equity rate stood at 40.9%. As a result, zooplus is also up on its own targets in this area.

The full report for the first three months of 2014 will be made available for download during the course of the day on the website investors.zooplus.com.

zooplus AG

zooplus was founded in 1999 and has established itself as Europe's leading online retailer for pet products, measured by sales and total sales. In 2013, the latter amounted to EUR 427 m and has therefore increased seven-fold since 2007. The company's business model has already been introduced successfully in 24 European countries. zooplus offers products for all pet varieties. Its product range comprises foods (dry and wet pet foods as well as pet food supplements) and pet accessories (such as cat trees, dog baskets and toys) in all price categories. In addition to a selection of over 8,000 products, zooplus customers benefit from a range of interactive online content and community features. Pet supplies is a key market segment within the European retail landscape. In 2012, sales of more than EUR 22 bn were recorded within the pet supplies industry in the European Union. The ongoing "humanization" of pets in key industrialized countries means that pet owners' purchasing behavior is undergoing profound change and moving towards healthcare, wellness and other related premium products. In addition, continued strong growth is expected for eCommerce in Europe per se. zooplus is therefore anticipating continued dynamic growth for the future.

Online at: www.zooplus.de

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