Germany’s Phoenix records steady rise for year

Germany’s Phoenix records steady rise for year
Phoenix is taking advantage of the trend towards omnichannel services, says chief executive officer Sven Seidel

1 June 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Phoenix reported revenue up by 3.2% to EUR28.2 billion (USD34.3 billion) in the 12 months ended 31 January 2021, as its home market of Germany recorded growth of 5.3%.

After adjusting for currency translations, the rise was 4.1% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The pan-European retailer and wholesaler said revenue in Germany had increased by 5.3% to EUR9.73 billion, accounting for 34.4% of the total.

Phoenix added that revenue had increased in around three-quarters of its national markets compared to the same period a year earlier.

Commenting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, chief executive officer Sven Seidel said there had been “strong fluctuations in demand” during the 12 months.

“By working together with the pharmacies, we were able to meet peak demand reliably even during the pandemic,” he added.

Trend towards omnichannel services

Seidel said Phoenix was taking advantage of the trend towards omnichannel services in the healthcare sector, and had opened new e-shops and expanded existing ones in several countries.

New digital services had been added to the customer offering in Romania and Finland, noted Seidel, and a new BENU webshop had gone online in the Netherlands in 2020. In addition, Phoenix introduced MinuDoc.ee, a telemedicine solution, in the Baltic states.

Seidel added that Phoenix was “supporting independent pharmacies across Europe to link their digital and in­store concepts”. In Hungary, for example, the company’s Szimpatika cooperation programme launched a platform allowing community pharmacies to offer end consumers a range of delivery options for orders, including click & collect, sending through the post and doorstep delivery.

Phoenix also highlighted the launch of gesund.de, which it described as Germany’s first central health platform.

Progress with Livsane

The company also noted that Livsane – its category-wide health and beauty brand launched in 2017 (click here to read the News story) – was now available in 15 countries. More than 60 new products were added to Livsane during the financial year.

Phoenix said its total operating performance – comprising revenue plus handled volume – had improved by 4.0% to EUR35.9 billion. Adjusted for currency translations, the rise was 4.8%.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 8.3% to EUR653 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 8.4% to EUR674 million.

The company’s retail business operates more than 2,800 of its own pharmacies in 14 countries. Around 1,500 of these operate under the BENU brand.

Countries where Phoenix operates pharmacies include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the UK.

The pharmaceutical wholesale business has 161 distribution centres in 27 European countries.

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