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Verkkokauppa.com Oyj: INTERIM REPORT for 1 January – 31 March 2023 - Moderate revenue development in a tough environment

Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
Verkkokauppa.com Oyj

INTERIM REPORT for 1 January – 31 March 2023

MODERATE REVENUE DEVELOPMENT IN A TOUGH ENVIRONMENT

Verkkokauppa.com Oyj         Interim Report                 27 April 2023, 8:00 a.m. EEST

Verkkokauppa.com arranges two virtual news conferences on a result publication day. News conference in Finnish will be held at 10:00 am Finnish time. News conference for analysts and institutional investors in English will be at 11:00 am Finnish time. Details of the events and how to participate can be found at the end of this release.

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This is a summary of Verkkokauppa.com’s January-March 2023 Interim Report. 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 2023 in brief

  • Revenue was EUR 122.0 million (124.8)

  • Gross profit was EUR 20.2 million (19.3) or 16.6% of the revenue (15.4%).

  • Operating profit (EBIT) was EUR 0.0 million (0.7) or 0.0% of revenue (0.5%)

  • Comparable operating profit was EUR 1.4 million (0.9) or 1.1% of revenue (0.7%)

  • The items impacting comparability include EUR 1.2 million related to restructuring

  • Net profit was EUR -0.4 million (0.2)

  • Earnings per share were EUR -0.01 (0.00)

  • Investments were EUR 1.0 million euros (1.4)

  • Operating cash flow was EUR -3.6 million (-16.8)

KEY RATIOS

1-3/2023

1-3/2022

Change %

1-12/2022

Eur million

 

 

 

 

Revenue

122.0

124.8

-2.2 %

543.1

Gross profit

20.2

19.3

5.1 %

80.6

Gross margin, %

16.6 %

15.4 %

 

14.8 %

EBITDA

1.6

2.0

-20.2 %

7.8

EBITDA, %

1.3 %

1.6 %

 

1.4 %

Operating result

0.0

0.7

-93.4 %

2.3

Operating margin, %

0.0 %

0.5 %

 

0.4 %

Comparable operating result

1.4

0.9

57.9 %

3.5

Comparable operating margin, %

1.1 %

0.7 %

 

0.6 %

Net result

-0.4

0.2

-309.1 %

0.3

Investments

1.0

1.4

-32.5 %

9.3

Operating cash flow

-3.6

-16.8

-78.5 %

1.5

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE FOR 2023

In 2023, the company expects the revenue to decline (2022: EUR 543.1 million) and comparable operating profit (comparable EBIT) to improve (2022: EUR 3.5 million) compared to 2022.

CEO PANU PORKKAS REVIEW

During the early part of 2023 and as the spring progresses, consumers' intentions to spend money on durable goods increased slightly, albeit remained low. The competitive environment in January-March was calmer compared to the end of last year.

In the first quarter, Verkkokauppa.com’s revenue declined by 2.2 percent and was EUR 122.0 million. The demand of consumers and corporate customers was lower than in the comparison period. Gross profit increased to 16.6 percent of revenue. Last year’s acquisition of e-ville.com resulted in a diversified private-label assortment. The good demand for these products contributed partly to an increase in the gross margin. On the cost side, we managed to adjust the costs of both the external logistics services and marketing.

Of the strategic development projects, the largest-ever renewal of our online store is progressing well. To provide a superior customer experience, we also improved our delivery speed by introducing one-hour home deliveries in the Helsinki metropolitan area in February.

The profit improvement program is proceeding according to plan. Optimizing the assortment and streamlining delivery flows by utilizing technologies will improve our competitiveness and make core business even more profitable. In March, we completed the change negotiations launched at the beginning of the year as part of the profit improvement program. Through the negotiations, we will carry out structural reforms in the organization to achieve savings in personnel costs. The negotiations were conducted in a good mutual understanding and in a constructive spirit. A big thank you for this goes to the whole staff and everyone involved in the progress of the negotiations.

At the beginning of this year, we started to review and update our long-term strategy. We want to remain a pioneer of ecommerce and customer focus continues to be emphasized in innovation and operational development.

FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT

REVENUE AND PROFITABILITY

 

 

 

 

 

EUR million

1-3/2023

1-3/2022

Change, %

1-12/ 2022

Revenue

122.0

124.8

-2.2%

543.1

Operating profit

0.0

0.7

-93.4%

2.3

Operating margin, % of revenue

0.0%

0.5%

 

0.4%

- costs related to comparable operating result

1.3

0.2

 

1.2

Comparable operating profit

1.4

0.9

57.9%

3.5

Comparable operating margin, % of revenue

1.1%

0.7%

 

0.6%

Share of sales, %

 

1-3/2023

1-3/2022

1-12/2022

Customer segments

 

 

 

Consumer

67%

68%

69%

B2B

25%

26%

24%

Export

8%

5%

7%



Sales channels

 

 

 

On-line

61%

63%

61%

Off-line

31%

32%

32%



Product categories

 

 

 

Core categories (CE)

87%

88%

84%

Evolving categories

13%

12%

16%

 

 

 

 

Website visits, million

17.6

20.0

82.4

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 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 2023

In January–March 2023, Verkkokauppa.com’s revenue declined by 2.2 percent year on year, totaling EUR 122.0 million (124.8). The decline was mainly impacted by lower demand in the consumer and corporate customer segments. Sales to consumers declined by -4.4 percent, and sales for corporate customers by -5.1 percent from the comparison period. Consumer sales share of total sales was 67 percent (68%), and corporate sales share was 25 percent (26%).

Sales of core categories (CE) declined by 2.7 percent and their share of sales was 87 percent (88%). Especially sales of major household appliances increased, while sales of computers, components and phones fell from the comparison period. Sales of evolving categories grew by 1.9 percent, and their share of Group sales was 13 percent (12%). Among the evolving categories, luggage & travel sold better than in the comparison period.

Verkkokauppa.com’s online sales fell by 4.5 percent. Online accounted for 61 percent of all sales (63%). The sales in stores declined by 4.6 percent and accounted for 31 percent (32%) of the company's sales.

Export sales grew in the first quarter from the low level of comparison period and also due to new sales channels and customers gained through the e-ville.com acquisition. Export sales increased in January-March by 49.4 percent and its share of Group sales was 8 percent (5%). In the comparison period, Verkkokauppa.com ended all sales to Russia which cut the export in half. Verkkokauppa.com’s sales excluding export fell by 5.4 percent in January-March.

The revenue from customer financing services was EUR 1.4 million (1.2), including both interest income and commissions.

Personnel costs declined by 0.5 percent in January-March and amounted to EUR 9.9 million (10.0). The decline was mainly due to the successful adaption of store and logistics personnel to quieter demand. Due to general cost inflation, other operating expenses for the review period increased by 4.5 percent and amounted to EUR 7.5 million (7.2).

The company's operating profit (EBIT) in January-March declined by EUR 0.7 million and totaled EUR 0.0 million (0.7) and its share of revenue was 0.0 percent (0.5%). Comparable operating profit improved by EUR 0.5 million from the comparison period and was EUR 1.4 million (0.9). Operating profit was positively impacted by more stable competitive environment and better sales margin. Items impacting comparability in the reporting period were in total EUR 1.3 million, including EUR 1.2 million restructuring provision In the reference period, items impacting comparability were EUR 0.2 million euros related to e-ville.com acquisition. The result for the period was EUR -0.4 million (+0.2).

Earnings per share in the first quarter were EUR -0.01 (0.00).

FINANCE AND INVESTMENTS

In January-March, the operating cash flow was a total of EUR -3.6 million (-16.8). Operating cash flow before the change in working capital was EUR 1.6 million (1.9). The operating cash flow was mainly impacted by the positive development of EBITDA and working capital.

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

Investments totaled EUR 1.0 million euros (1.4) in the first quarter of 2023. The investments were mainly aimed at the online renewal project and business analytics related development. During the quarter, the company capitalized EUR 0.3 million (0.1) of wage costs in the balance sheet.

At the end of March 2023, Verkkokauppa.com group had a total of EUR 23.5 million loans from financial institutions (10.0). The company has revolving credit facilities totaling EUR 25 million, which have not been utilized and that are valid until 2025.

PERSONNEL

At the end of March 2023, the total number of employees was 720 (753). This includes both full and part-time employees.

SUSTAINABILITY

In March, Verkkokauppa.com published a statement of non-financial information for 2022 as a separate report. The report discusses the company's sustainability work and its progress during 2022.

The report included an emissions calculation for 2022 carried out in accordance with the GHG protocol. The largest share of Verkkokauppa.com's climate impacts, 99.9 percent, was generated by indirect emissions in the value chain, which is typical in the retail sector (scope 3). The most significant sources of emissions were the manufacture and use of sold products. From an impact perspective, collaboration with suppliers and partners is essential to reduce indirect emissions and climate issues will be included in supplier meetings from 2023 onwards.

The greenhouse gas emissions from the company's own operations (Scope 1 and 2) declined 84 percent from the previous year thanks to investments in renewable energy and amounted to 52 tonnes of CO2 in 2022. Emissions from own operations accounted for only 0.1 percent of the total carbon footprint. Other indirect emissions (scope 3) declined by 17 percent to 250 507 tCO2e.

As a result of the emissions calculation, Verkkokauppa.com has started to identify emission reduction targets and draw up a plan to reduce emissions. In line with the sustainability program, Verkkokauppa.com aims to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and to reduce the indirect climate impact of its operations by 2025.

COMPANY STRATEGY

Verkkokauppa.com reviews and updates its long-term strategy during the first half of 2023. The vision to remain a pioneer of ecommerce is strong, and the customer focus continues to be emphasized in innovation and operational development. In the coming years, the company will continue to invest in optimizing and enhancing core business functions through technology and data. Through this, the company is increasingly seeking to free up resources for scaling new profitable growth innovations and renewing the trade sector.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2023

The Annual General Meeting of Verkkokauppa.com Oyj was held in Helsinki on 30 March 2023. The AGM adopted the financial statements and discharged the members of the Board of Directors and the CEO from liability for the financial year 2022 and approved the company’s remuneration report for governing bodies as well as authorized the Board of Directors to decide on a repurchase of the company’s own shares and the issuance of shares. PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy was elected as the Company’s auditor and as the auditor-in-charge will serve Mikko Nieminen. In addition, the AGM approved shareholders’ nomination board’s proposals concerning Board and auditor selection and remuneration. Also, the Articles of Association was amended such that the general meeting may be held as a so-called remote meeting.

Board composition in 2023
The AGM confirmed as the amount of board members to be seven. Johan Ryding, Kai Seikku, Samuli Seppälä and Arja Talma (Chairperson) were re-elected for the next term. Additionally, Robin Bade, Henrik Pankakoski and Kati Riikonen were elected as new members for the next term.

The compositions of the Board committees were decided to be as follows: members of the Audit Committee are Kai Seikku (Chairperson), Arja Talma (Vice Chairperson), Henrik Pankakoski and Kati Riikonen. Members of the remuneration committee are Arja Talma (Chairperson), Robin Bade, Johan Ryding and Kai Seikku.

Verkkokauppa.com’s stock exchange release published on 30 March 2023 on the decisions of the Annual General Meeting, is available on the company’s investor website.

DIVIDEND

On 30 March 2023, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj’s Annual General Meeting resolved that the Company deviates from its dividend distribution policy and that no dividend be distributed from the profit of the 2022 financial year.

VERKKOKAUPPA.COM HAS COMPLETED ITS CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS

On 9 March 2023, Verkkokauppa.com completed change negotiations that were started in January. Change negotiations were initiated in accordance with the Co-operation Act in order to reform the organization’s structures and align the number of personnel and costs to the prevailing demand situation. The negotiations have covered the entire personnel of Verkkokauppa.com. As a result of the negotiations, the workforce in Verkkokauppa.com is reduced by 75 employees. In addition to personnel reductions, the company will temporarily lay off all company officers, senior officers and management, for a period of 14 days.

EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD

26 April 2023, Verkkokauppa.com published the flagging notification of a change in shareholding according to Chapter 9, Section 10 of the Finnish Securities Market Act. Mandatum Life Insurance Company’s holding in Verkkokauppa.com shares have been transferred within the Mandatum Group from Mandatum Life Insurance Company to an UCITS fund under Mandatum Fund Management S.A. As a result of the transfer, Mandatum Life Insurance Company's holding in Verkkokauppa.com Oyj declined to less than 5 percent. Despite the flagging notification, the total ownership of the Mandatum Group has not changed as a result of the transaction in such a way that the ownership would have exceeded or fallen below a flagging threshold.

SHORT-TERM RISKS AND BUSINESS UNCERTAINTIES

Verkkokauppa.com's business operations involve risks and uncertainties related to its overall strategy, execution of corporate transactions and investments, sourcing operations, logistics, information technology, compliance and other operational factors. These risks can impact the company's operations, financial position or performance and may require the company to make changes to its business model.

The demand for consumer electronics, availability of products, and competitive environment are factors that impact Verkkokauppa.com's business. The company faces risks related to changes in both consumer and corporate customer behavior and preferences, supply chain disruptions, and intensified competition from other players in the market.

Verkkokauppa.com is also subject to macroeconomic and geopolitical risks that could impact its operations and financial performance. Uncertainties related to geopolitical conflicts, the crisis in Ukraine, and global macroeconomic factors such as inflation and development of financial markets can weaken purchasing power and investment ability of consumers and corporates. Economic slowdowns or recessions in the euro area, or specifically in Finland, where Verkkokauppa.com is based, can also impact the company's operations and financial performance. At the moment, the visibility of economic development is limited.

BUSINESS OUTLOOK

Due to the factors mentioned in the Short-term risks section, consumer demand and business is estimated to continue to be challenging and it is difficult to predict the development of the business environment for 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.

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE FOR 2023

In 2023, Verkkokauppa.com expects the revenue to decline (2022: EUR 543.1 million) and comparable operating profit (comparable EBIT) to improve (2022: EUR 3.5 million) compared to 2022.

Helsinki, Finland, 27 April 2023

Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
Board of Directors

NEWS CONFERENCES

A press conference for analysts, investors and media will be held in Finnish over Livestream webcast on Thursday, 27 April 2023 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 Livestream webcast on Thursday, 27 April 2023 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 https://livestream.com/verkkokauppacom/events/10750606.

COMPANY RELEASES AND EVENTS

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

  • Half-year financial report for January–June 2023 on Thursday 20 July 2023

  • Interim report for January–September 2023 on Thursday 26 October 2023

  • Financial statements bulleting for the year 2023 on Thursday 8 February 2024.

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 and Corporate Communications, Verkkokauppa.com Oyj
marja.makinen@verkkokauppa.com
Tel. +358 40 671 2999

Verkkokauppa.com empowers its customers to follow their passion by providing a wide product assortment of around 90,000 products. Verkkokauppa.com Oyj serves its retail and corporate customers through its webstore, megastores, 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 700 people and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange with the ticker VERK.

 

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