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Verkkokauppa.com’s consumer sales softer than expected in the first quarter

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Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
Verkkokauppa.com Oyj

INTERIM REPORT for 1 January – 31 March 2022

Verkkokauppa.com’s consumer sales softer than expected in the first quarter

Verkkokauppa.com Oyj – Interim Report 28 April 2022, 8:00 a.m. EEST

Verkkokauppa.com arranges two virtual news conferences on a result publication day. News conference in Finnish is held at 10:00 am Finnish time. Another news conference for analysts and institutional investors is in English is at 11:00 am Finnish time. Details of the events and how to participate, can be found at the end of this release.
The complete report is attached to this release and also available at https://investors.verkkokauppa.com/en

Unless otherwise stated, the comparison figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in the previous year (reference period). Figures are unaudited.

January March 2022 in brief

  • Revenue was EUR 124.8 million (134.0)

  • Gross profit was EUR 19.3 million (21.7) or 15.4% of revenue (16.2%)

  • Operating profit (EBIT) was EUR 0.7 million (5.2) or 0.5% of revenue (3.9%)

  • Comparable operating profit was EUR 0.9 million (5.2) or 0.7% of revenue (3.9%)

  • Net profit was EUR 0.2 million (3.9)

  • Earnings per share were EUR 0.00 (0.09)

  • Investments were EUR 1.4 million (0.4)

  • Operating cash flow was EUR -16.8 million (-9.1)

  • The Annual General Meeting decided to pay a dividend of 0.060 per share, with a payment date of 4 April 2022. In addition, the AGM authorized the Board of Directors to decide at its discretion the distribution of EUR 0.061 per share be paid as the first quarterly installment, and the payment date to be 9 May 2022.

KEY RATIOS

1-3/2022

1-3/2021

Change %

1-12/2021

Eur million

Revenue

124.8

134.0

-6.9%

574.5

Gross profit

19.3

21.7

-11.4%

91.2

Gross margin, %

15.4%

16.2%

15.9%

EBITDA

2.0

6.4

-69.2%

25.3

EBITDA, %

1.6%

4.8%

4.4%

Operating profit

0.7

5.2

-87.3%

20.3

Operating margin, %

0.5%

3.9%

3.5%

Comparable operating profit

0.9

5.2

-83.2%

20.3

Comparable operating margin, %

0.7%

3.9%

3.5%

Net profit

0.2

3.9

-94.9%

15.1

Investments

1.4

0.4

226.3%

4.9

Operating cash flow

-16.8

-9.1

-85.9%

6.7

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE FOR 2022 (updated on 23 March 2022)

The company expects revenue to be between EUR 530–590 million (in 2021 EUR 574.5 million) and comparable operating profit (comparable EBIT) to be between EUR 12-19 million (in 2021 EUR 20.3 million) in 2022.

CEO PANU PORKKAS REVIEW

The year 2022 started in challenging conditions and was reflected in the performance of the first quarter. As the restrictions on the corona virus pandemic eased, a new crisis emerged at the end of February with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We took the decision to close the export business to Russia. At the same time, consumer uncertainty was reflected in increasingly softer demand. As economic growth slows, inflation intensifies and cost levels rise, consumer confidence has continued to weaken sharply in March*. In this market environment, Verkkokauppa.com's revenue for January-March decreased by 6.9 percent to EUR 124.8 million. Our strategic growth area, corporate sales, was a bright spot of the quarter and grew by 12.0 percent. Demand was good in evolving product categories such as sports equipment and toys, but demand for home electronics as a whole was subdued. Sales of Evolving product categories grew by 10.2 percent during the quarter and their share of sales was 12.4 percent. Certain product areas continued to experience availability challenges due to the worsening corona virus situation in China.

The challenging market led to a tightening of the competitive situation and pricing, which correspondingly reduced the sales margin. Together with the declining sales, this trend weakened the results (EBIT), which was EUR 0.7 million in the first quarter of the year. Logistics costs showed clear signs of increasing, and the share of low-margin sales increased. The gross margin was 15.4 percent of sales. Due to the prevailing market situation and the halving of our export business, we lowered our full-year profit forecast in March. In addition, the shortage of components and product availability challenges are expected to continue.

The Autostore warehouse automation investment has been completed as planned and the commissioning was finalized in March. The automation will be in use at planned capacity by the end of April. Next, the warehouse project proceeds with the installation of packaging automation. E-ville.com acquisition was completed at the beginning of April, and the integration of new business into Verkkokauppa.com is well underway. As part of the continuous effort to enhance the customer experience, a new consumer customer financing product, “Tili” payment account was launched.

*Statistics Finland Consumer Confidence Indicator 28 March 2022: https://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2022/03/kbar_2022_03_2022-03-28_tie_001_en.html

FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT

REVENUE AND PROFITABILITY

EUR million

1-3/2022

1-3/2021

Change, %

2021

Revenue

124.8

134.0

-6.9%

574.5

Operating profit

0.7

5.2

-87.3%

20.3

Operating margin, % of revenue

0.5%

3.9%

3.5%

- advisory costs related to business acquisition

0.2

0.0

0.0

Comparable operating profit

0.9

5.2

-83.2%

20.3

Comparable operating margin, % of revenue

0.7%

3.9%

3.5%


Share of sales, %

1-3/2022

1-3/2021

2021

Customer segments

Consumer

68%

72%

72%

B2B

26%

22%

21%

Export

5%

6%

7%



Sales channels

Online

63%

64%

61%

Off-line

32%

31%

32%

Product categories

Core categories (CE)

87.6%

89.5 %

85.6%

Evolving categories

12.4%

10.5%

14.4%

Website visits, million

20.0

19.9

79.5

Sales include orders and deliveries in transit. On-line and off-line sales exclude export sales.
Core categories includes IT (with sub product groups like computers, peripherals, components), Entertainment (TV and video, Audio and hifi, gaming and musical instruments), Mobile devices (telecom, cameras and watches), and small & major domestic appliances. Evolving categories are new and growing in our assortment, and include sports, home and lightning, food and drink, toys, baby and family, BBQ and cooking, pets and luggage and travel.

January-March 2022

In January-March 2022, Verkkokauppa.com’s revenue declined by -6.9 percent year on year, totaling 124.8 million euros (134). Net sales decreased due to weaker-than-expected consumer demand. By contrast, corporate customer sales continued on a growth path and its net sales grew by 12.0 percent, while the customer segment was 26 percent of the company's total sales.

Core categories (CE) share of sales declined -7.9 percent and was 87.6 percent. Within the core categories Computers was a well-performing product group due to lively corporate customer sales. Sales of the Evolving categories grew 10.2 percent during the quarter, and its share of total sales was 12.4 percent. The product groups under the evolving category that sold better for consumer customers than in the comparison year, were toys, baby & family, sports equipment, and luggage.

During the first quarter, Verkkokauppa.com’s online sales declined -4.8 percent following lower total sales, and the share of online sales represented 63 percent of the total sales (64%).

At the beginning of March, due to the crisis in Ukraine, the company decided to stop all sales to Russia. Due this, the export business sales decline -30.5 percent and its share of total sales was 5 percent (6%). Revenue excluding exports decreased by 6 percent in January to March.

The proceeds from consumer financing were 1.2 million euros (1.0) including both interest income and fee income.

Personnel costs increased in January-March by 10.4 percent to 10.0 million euros (9.1). During the reporting period, other operating expenses increased to 7.4 million euros (6.4). The increase in other operating expenses was mainly due to the increase in logistics and warehouse costs compared to the comparison period and the acquisition of e-ville.com.

Operating profit (EBIT) in January-March decreased 4.5 million euros, totaling 0.7 million euros (5.2), representing 0.5 percent of revenue (3.9%). The decrease in profitability was mainly due to increased logistics costs and a tightening competition in a soft market, which led to lower-margin campaign sales. Comparable operating profit was 0.9 million euros (5.2) and profit for the period 0.2 million euros (3.9).

For the first quarter, earnings per share were 0.00 euros (0.09) in January-March.

FINANCE AND INVESTMENTS

Operating cash flow was -16.8 million euros (-9.1) in January–March 2022. Cash flow from operating activities was mainly affected by a change in working capital, mainly due to trade payables and increased inventories in preparation for supply challenges and seasonal sales for the coming summer.

Ordinary seasonal fluctuations are reflected in cash and cash equivalents, cash flow, and accounts payable, which usually reach their highest points at the end of the fourth quarter and their lowest points at the end of the second quarter.

Investments totaled EUR 1.4 million (0.4) in January–March 2022. The majority of investments were directed to the Jätkäsaari automation warehouse project. During the reporting period, the company capitalized 0.1 million euros (0.0) in salary costs.

In March, the company agreed on a EUR 25 million bank loan and a EUR 25 million credit facility. Both financing arrangements are for three years. In March, the company withdrew EUR 5 million from the credit facility and EUR 10 million from the bank loan. This arrangement replaces the company's previous financing arrangements.

PERSONNEL

During the reporting period, the number of employees increased, and the total number of employees was 753 (738) at the end of March 2022. This includes both full- and part-time employees.

SUSTAINABILITY

In March, Verkkokauppa.com published a report on non-financial information as its own report. The report discusses the company's sustainability work and its progress during 2021. As part of its reporting, the company presented the Sustainability Programme, in which it sets targets for its sustainability work during the strategy period 2021-2025. The program covers the entire operations of the company, and the priorities are based on materiality assessment. The implementation of the targets has been integrated throughout the organization. The progress of the targets is monitored quarterly in the Sustainability Steering Group and in the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors every six months.

The company's own greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) decreased by 34% from the previous year due to investments in renewable energy and amounted to 319 tonnes of CO2 in 2021. Emission calculation for indirect emissions (Scope 3) of operations is ongoing.

In March, a new survey measuring the personnel's ability to work, commitment, and willingness to recommend was carried out. According to the measurement, the employees’ ability to work and commitment were at a good level, willingness to recommend high and good colleagues and communality perceived as a strength.

ACQUISITIONS

On 9 February 2022, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj announced the acquisition of e-ville.com online store. The acquisition supports Verkkokauppa.com's strategy to strengthen and expand its assortment in own brands. The purchase price amounts to approximately EUR 5.3 million, of which EUR 3.3 million will be paid in cash and EUR 2.0 million in new shares to be issued in a directed share issue to the seller at closing. The parties have also agreed to additional purchase price installments of up to approximately EUR 6.7 million payable solely if the combined sales of own brand products exceed set target levels during 2022, 2023, and/or 2024. The total aggregate purchase price can amount to EUR 12.0 million at the maximum.

The acquisition was completed on 1 April 2022, and e-ville's business was transferred to Verkkokauppa.com. The business will be consolidated into Verkkokauppa.com's figures from the beginning of the second quarter of 2022. The acquired business is estimated to have a positive impact of EUR 5–8 million on Verkkokauppa.com's revenue in 2022.

SHORT-TERM RISKS AND BUSINESS UNCERTAINTIES

Verkkokauppa.com’s risks and uncertainties reflect the operating environment and general consumer behavior, such as demand for consumer electronics, circumstances impacting export trade, the availability of products, and the competitive environment. In addition, the company's business operations involve risks and uncertainties, such as risks related to the business strategy, the execution of corporate transactions and investments, risks related to the sourcing operation and logistics, and risks related to information systems and other operational factors of the company's business. The risks and uncertainties described above may have a negative or positive impact on the company's business, financial position or performance.

Geopolitical conflicts and economic sanctions, general economic uncertainty, and consequent uncertainty about the behavior of financial markets can have a detrimental impact on Verkkokauppa.com's business and growth potential. Inflation and potentially tightening monetary policy may have an increasing impact on consumers' confidence in their own economy and, consequently, on consumer behavior. Potential impacts on Verkkokauppa.com's business may be visible throughout the product supply chain, logistics, product and service prices, and the consumption behavior of our customers.

Challenges in the efficiency of supply chains and logistics, such as the availability of products and certain components and containers, continue. On the other hand, potentially persistent availability problems are mitigated through stock optimization.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on people's lives have eased. New virus variants or re-intensification of the pandemic could have an impact on the company's business in the short term. Prolongation of the pandemic could create uncertainty about household confidence in the economy and could have an impact on consumers' purchasing behavior.

BUSINESS OUTLOOK

There is uncertainty about the future outlook in relation to geopolitical conflicts in the world, the crisis in Ukraine and the macroeconomics, as well as the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. The company's growth prospects for the current year are considered challenging due to changes in the operating environment. The expected slowdown in economic growth and the rise in inflation, as well as the crisis in Ukraine, have further undermined household confidence in their own economy. Due to these factors, consumer demand and business were quieter than expected at the beginning of the year. With the Crisis in Ukraine, the company made the decision to stop all sales to Russia and we do not expect that to return during this year. In addition, once pandemic related restrictions were lifted, household consumption is seen to be directed from durable goods to services such as travel. Also, it’s possible, that the increased energy price and the worsening coronavirus situation in China will continue to affect the availability of components and products, as well as the operation of ports and other logistics during this year.

The company believes that it will succeed in taking advantage of the online consumer transition and increasing its market share in its chosen product categories. The company estimates that the shift of customers to online is permanent. Our strong balance sheet enables us to expand in accordance with the strategy.

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE FOR 2022 (updated on 23 March 2022)

The company expects revenue to be between EUR 530–590 million (in 2021 EUR 574.5 million) and comparable operating profit (comparable EBIT) to be between EUR 12-19 million (in 2021 EUR 20.3 million) in 2022.

Helsinki, Finland, 28 April 2022

Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
Board of Directors

NEWS CONFERENCES

A press conference for analysts, investors, and media will be held in Finnish over the Livestream webcast on Thursday, 28 April 2022 at 10:00 a.m. (EEST), in which Verkkokauppa.com’s CEO Panu Porkka will present the developments in the reporting period.

A press conference in English will be held over the Livestream webcast on Thursday, 28 April 2022 at 11:00 a.m. (EEST). Questions can be sent beforehand or during the presentation via e-mail to investors@verkkokauppa.com.

Presentation materials for both events are available at https://investors.verkkokauppa.com/en/presentations. For both press conferences, the Livestream webcast is available at www.verklive.com.

COMPANY RELEASES AND EVENTS

Verkkokauppa.com will arrange events and publish its financial reports as follows:

  • Half-year financial report for January – June 2022 on Thursday 14 July 2022

  • Interim report for January – September 2022 on Thursday 27 October 2022

  • Financial statements bulletin for the year 2022 on Thursday 9 February 2023.

More information:
Panu Porkka, CEO, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
panu.porkka@verkkokauppa.com

Mikko Forsell, CFO, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
mikko.forsell@verkkokauppa.com
Tel. +358 50 434 2516

Marja Mäkinen, Head of Investor Relations, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
marja.makinen@verkkokauppa.com
Tel. +358 40 671 2999

Distribution:
Nasdaq Helsinki
Main media
www.verkkokauppa.com

Verkkokauppa.com empowers its customers to follow their passion by providing a wide product assortment of around 80,000 products. Verkkokauppa.com Oyj serves its retail and corporate customers through its webstore, megastores, 24h kiosk and network of collection points as well as fast deliveries and various services. As Finland’s most popular and most visited domestic online retailer, its deliveries cover around 75 percent of the Finnish population within the next day. The Company has four megastores: in Oulu, Pirkkala, Raisio and Helsinki, where its headquarters is also located. Verkkokauppa.com employs more than 750 people and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange with the ticker VERK.

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