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Matas upgrades guidance on the back of record-high summer sales and successful launch of new strategy

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Company announcement no. 20 2021/22 – INSIDE INFORMATION (Upgrade)
Allerød, 4 November 2021

Interim report – H1 2021/22
(1 April – 30 September 2021)

Matas upgrades guidance on the back of record-high summer sales and successful launch of new strategy

  • Matas grew revenue by 4.4% in Q2 2021/22 on the back of continuing growth in online sales and stable sales in the physical stores. Stronger sales of beauty products and a broader range of products on matas.dk more than offset the disappearance of personal protective equipment sales. Gross profit was up by DKK 29 million, driven by an increase in the gross profit margin to 44.2% from 43.1% in the year-earlier period.

  • The launch of Matas’ new growth strategy, ’Growing Matas Group’, in the second quarter entailed substantial start-up costs for the establishment and marketing of an expanded product range on matas.dk. As a result, EBITDA before special items dropped by DKK 14 million to DKK 166 million. The EBITDA margin was 17.0% against 19.3% in Q2 2020/21, in which period staff costs were exceptionally low due to extraordinary trainee subsidies.

  • Matas upgrades its FY revenue growth guidance to 1%-4% from the previous estimate of 0%-3%. The EBITDA margin before special items is upgraded to a range of 18.0%–19.0% from previously 17.5%–18.5%. The CAPEX estimate is now DKK 195-215 million before potential M&A from DKK 295-315 million previously.

Gregers Wedell-Wedellsborg, CEO of Matas A/S states:

Matas’ new growth strategy is off to a flying start, and we’ve successfully built on the significant momentum from last year. Customers have embraced the broader product range available on matas.dk from day one, and market conditions have been favourable.

Our main priority is to translate the short-term spending boom into long-term sustainable growth. To that end, we’ve tapped into our substantial financial resources to introduce thousands of new items on matas.dk and expand our logistics capacity to the effect that 90% of our customers now have access to our next-day delivery service”.

Q2 2021/22 highlights

  • Revenue grew by 4.4% to DKK 974 million. Retail sales in own stores and webshops were up by 2.2% to DKK 949 million, while the remaining growth was accounted for by the activities acquired by Web Sundhed. The total number of transactions fell slightly, by 0.7%, to 5.2 million, while the average basket size grew by 2.9% to DKK 182. Like-for-like growth was 1.8%. Relative to the pre-Covid-19 Q2 level, growth was 15.8%.

  • Physical store sales were largely stable at DKK 737 million, down 0.5% or DKK 3 million on Q2 2020/21. The average basket size was up by 4%, while the number of transactions fell by a similar rate.

  • Growing sales by 12.8% or DKK 24 million, Matas Group’s webshops continued to build on the significant momentum from Q2 2020/21, during which revenue surged by 90%. The number of transactions increased by 23%, while the average basket size fell by 8%.

  • Wholesale sales etc. were up by DKK 21 million, supported by a DKK 19 million contribution from the activities acquired by Web Sundhed.

  • The second quarter saw a major shift of sales between product categories. Sales of professional haircare products almost doubled, supported by the launch of Pro Hair Care on matas.dk, while sales of personal protective equipment plunged by 94% or DKK 21 million.

  • The gross margin for Q2 2021/22 was 44.2%, up from 43.1% in Q2 2020/21. The higher gross margin was mainly attributable to increasing sales of high-margin house brands and makeup products and reduced sales of low-margin personal protective equipment compared with the year-earlier period.

  • EBITDA before special items came to DKK 166 million, down from DKK 180 million in the year-earlier period. The 8% drop in EBITDA was driven by a 31% increase, equivalent to DKK 16 million, in other external costs and a 15% increase, equivalent to DKK 26 million, in payroll costs. As a result, the EBITDA margin before special items fell to 17.0% from 19.3% the year before.

    • The increase in other external costs was attributable mainly to costs relating to growth initiatives, marketing of the expanded product range on matas.dk and variable logistics costs driven by growing sales.

    • The increase in payroll costs was primarily due to a normalisation of salaries in the physical Matas stores compared with the situation in Q2 2020/21 when Matas received special Covid-19-related trainee subsidies of DKK 14 million. The underlying trend in physical store costs improved marginally on the back of ongoing efficiency improvements. Higher activity in digital sales channels and the acquisition of Web Sundhed accounted for DKK 8 million of the increase in payroll costs.

  • Cash generated from operations was an inflow of DKK 130 million in Q2 2021/22 against an inflow of DKK 119 million in Q2 2020/21.

H1 2021/22 highlights

  • Revenue was up by 6.2% to DKK 1,995 million, while underlying like-for-like sales grew by 3.9%. High-End Beauty sales were up by 7.5% and Mass Beauty sales grew by 4.2%.

  • Online sales via matas.dk and Firtal were up by 9.5% to DKK 470 million to account for 24% of H1 revenue compared with 23% in H1 2020/21.

  • Physical store sales were up by 2.7% to DKK 1,480 million to account for 74% of H1 revenue compared with 77% in H1 2020/21.

  • The gross margin was 44.3% compared with 43.8% in H1 2020/21. The increase was driven mainly by lower sales of low-margin personal protective equipment and continued margin improvements in Matas Group’s digital sales channels.

  • Other external costs were up by 18% to DKK 138 million, while staff costs increased by 11% to DKK 398 million. Overall costs accounted for 26.8% of revenue against 25.2% in H1 2020/21.

  • At DKK 351 million, EBITDA before special items was largely unchanged from H1 2020/21. The EBITDA margin before special items was 17.6% against 18.7% in H1 2020/21.

  • Cash generated from operations came to DKK 218 million in H1 2021/22 against DKK 420 million in H1 2020/21.

Key figures

2021/22

2020/21

2021/22

2020/21

(DKKm)

Q2

Q2

H1

H1

Revenue

973.9

932.6

1,995.2

1,879.4

Gross profit

430.9

402.4

884.0

822.6

EBITDA before special items

165.6

179.6

351.3

352.4

EBIT

56.7

77.2

134.7

149.3

Adjusted profit after tax

62.5

72.5

139.6

139.9

Free cash flow

86.1

89.8

80.7

326.6

Revenue growth

4.4%

13.4%

6.2%

10.7%

Underlying like-for-like revenue growth

1.8%

13.6%

3.9%

10.9%

Gross margin

44.2%

43.1%

44.3%

43.8%

EBITDA margin before special items

17.0%

19.3%

17.6%

18.7%

Net interest-bearing debt/EBITDA before special items

2.2

2.9

Matas upgrades financial guidance for 2021/22

  • Revenue is now expected in the range of DKK 4,200–4,330 million, equivalent to a growth rate of between 1% and 4%, against the previous estimate of DKK 4,160–4,290 million, equivalent to a growth rate of between 0% and 3%.

  • The EBITDA margin before special items is expected in the range of 18.0%–19.0% against the previously expected range of 17.5%–18.5%.

  • Investments are now expected in the range of DKK 195–215 million before acquisitions from DKK 295-315 million previously. The level has been lowered by DKK 100 million against the backdrop of reduced uncertainty about the timing of investments in Matas Logistics Center (MLC) since guidance was provided in the Q1 2021/22 interim report.

The driving factors behind the upgrade were the revenue growth witnessed in the first half and reduced Covid-19-related uncertainty.

Revenue guidance for the rest of 2021/22 is based on the following basic assumptions: (Unchanged)

  • Continued, but moderate, growth in consumer spending

  • No significant restrictions or retail sector lockdowns during the financial year

  • A gradual normalisation of trading patterns and travel activity in the second half of calendar year 2021

  • No sales of personal protective equipment but continued strong demand for health products

  • Continuing shift in sales channels from physical to online shopping but at a more moderate pace than in 2020/21

  • Increasing competition, especially online

Earnings guidance is based on the following assumptions:

  • A stable earnings level in physical stores and on matas.dk

  • Accelerated digital business development activity across Matas Group, which is expected to squeeze the EBITDA margin by up to 1% in the short term but also to secure the Company’s long-term growth

Video conference

Matas will host a video conference for investors and analysts on Thursday, 4 November 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The video conference and the presentation can be accessed from Matas’ investor website: https://investor.en.matas.dk.

Video conference access numbers for investors and analysts:
DK: +45 78 15 01 09
UK: +44 333 300 9270
US: +1 6467224956

Link to webcast: https://streams.eventcdn.net/matas/2021q2/

Contacts

Gregers Wedell-Wedellsborg
CEO, tel +45 48 16 55 55

Anders Skole-Sørensen
CFO, tel +45 48 16 55 55

Henrik Lund
Head of Investor Relations, tel +45 30 30 99 08

Klaus Fridorf
Head of Communication, tel +45 61 20 19 97

Forward-looking statements

This interim report contains statements relating to the future, including statements regarding Matas Group's future operating results, financial position, cash flows, business strategy and future targets. Such statements are based on Management’s reasonable expectations and forecasts at the time of release of this report. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and a number of other factors, many of which are beyond Matas Group's control. This may have the effect that actual results may differ significantly from the expectations expressed in the report. Without being exhaustive, such factors include general economic and commercial factors, including market and competitive conditions, supplier issues and financial and regulatory issues as well as any effects of measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 that are not specifically mentioned above.

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