zooplus AG: Strong H1 2012 sales and total sales growth

(PresseBox) ( Munich, )
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- Significant acceleration in growth during the second quarter
- Sales of EUR 145.5 m generated (previous year: EUR 112.3 m)
- Total sales at EUR 152.3 m (previous year: EUR 118.7 m)
- EBITDA at EUR -0.5 m (previous year: EUR -6.0 m)

zooplus AG (WKN 511170, ISIN DE0005111702, ticker symbol ZO1), Europe's leading online retailer of pet supplies, was able to substantially improve its total sales during the first half of 2012. Compared year-on-year, total sales rose by 28.4% from EUR 118.7 m to EUR 152.3 m. Total sales consist of sales and other income. In the same period, zooplus AG generated sales of EUR 145.5 m, an increase of 29.6% compared over the previous year's EUR 112.3 m. In addition, the company generated other income of around EUR 6.8 m (previous year: EUR 6.4 m). The operating result also improved significantly.

In addition to the opening up of new geographical markets the increased growth momentum, particularly during the second quarter of 2012, was attributable to a stronger penetration of existing markets. Although a more attractive overall pricing structure impacted the cost-ofmaterials- ratio, it also allowed for a substantial reduction in advertising and customer acquisition spending year-on-year. This also resulted in a significant increase in the number of new customers acquired during the period. At the same time, operating costs such as logistics and personnel expenses showed significantly positive economies of scale. Other operating expenses also increased at a considerably lower rate than total sales growth during the period.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved significantly to EUR -0.5 m compared to EUR -6.0 m during the previous year. The consolidated net result also improved markedly, coming in at EUR -0.7 m (previous year: EUR -4.8 m). The significant costs of migrating zooplus' central warehouse during the previous year should be taken into account when considering this figure. The slight fall in EBITDA and the consolidated net result in comparison with the first quarter 2012 is largely attributable to a modified pricing strategy which negatively impacted in the short term but is expected to lead to a substantially improved new customer acquisition performance in tune with significantly lower direct marketing spendings in the long term. These effects are expected to be highly beneficial overall long term. The company reported earnings per share of EUR -0.11 compared to EUR -0.85 in the previous year.

In terms of assets, a reduction in current assets to EUR 52.7 m (December 31, 2011: EUR 66.2 m) led to a leaner balance sheet structure, while equity fell slightly from EUR 35.5 m at the end of 2011 to EUR 35.2 m. This means that as of June 30, the company's equity ratio of 57% was significantly above the long-term target range of between 30% and 40%. Total assets fell to EUR 61.7 m (December 31, 2011: EUR 75.1 m).

Florian Seubert, CFO, is pleased with the company's development during the period: "Overall, we are satisfied with our performance in the first half of 2012. Particularly during Q2 we were able to realize the potential of our new logistics infrastructure on the back of strong overall growth as well as further notable improvements in efficiency across the board. In the current and next financial year, we are aiming to achieve total sales of at least EUR 320 m and EUR 400 m respectively. In both years, we are aiming for a positive EBITDA, although we continue to prioritize maximum sales growth over earnings maximization. This we strongly believe to be the most value-creating strategy overall."

The full report for the first six months of 2012 is available for download at the website www.zooplus.de in the "Investor Relations" section.
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