(Reuters) -Zur Rose expects a smaller full-year core loss than previously guided, the Swiss online drug retailer said on Thursday, citing a faster-than-planned progress in its break-even programme for 2023.
It forecast adjusted core loss (EBITDA) of between 70 million and 75 million Swiss francs ($76.39 million and $81.84 million) in 2022, compared with its previous range of 75 million to 85 million francs.
The company said its external revenue was 1.84 billion francs in 2022, down 5.4% year-on-year but in line with its annual guidance.
External revenue means the group's consolidated revenue together with mail-order revenue of pharmacies it supplies, after removing the revenue from their supply.
Protracted delays in Germany's e-prescription roll-out have clouded the growth outlook for online pharmacies such as Zur Rose and Frankfurt-listed peer Shop Apotheke, and exposed their stocks to volatility amid the slow and uncertain progress.
Zur Rose said it should be possible to redeem e-prescriptions in pharmacies using the electronic health card from mid-2023, with a nationwide introduction expected from the summer of 2023.
Germany, which made up two thirds of the company's external revenue in 2021, accounted for 59% of Zur Rose's revenue in 2022.
Zur Rose said it would provide an outlook for 2023 along with its full annual results on March 23.
($1 = 0.9164 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Tristan Chabba and Anastasiia Kozlova in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi)