Fielmann Group grows HY1/2024 sales +12% over 2023, improves profitability

Strong sales growth across all major markets despite weak consumer sentiment in Europe

  • Customer loyalty, sell-out structure and Cost Leadership Program drive HY1/2024 EBITDA margin in European markets up by 2 percentage points to about 23% 
  • Earnings outlook 2025: European markets expected to reach Vision 2025 EBITDA target margin of 25%, Fielmann Group margin including US businesses slightly below

Preliminary financials of HY1/2024
According to preliminary figures, the Fielmann Group generated consolidated sales of around €1.1 billion in the first half of the year 2024. This is a 12% increase over previous year (€971 million) and in line with the communicated prognosis. The loyalty of our customers, an increased share of progressive lenses and hearings aids as well as the positive impact of our Cost Leadership Program saw our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grow disproportionately to around €235 to €240 million (about +14% previous year: €208 million), corresponding to an improved EBITDA margin of about 21.6% (previous year: 21.2%). This development was driven by our European business where we increased our EBITDA margin by around +2 percentage points to circa 23% (previous year: 21.2%). Fielmann Group earnings before taxes (EBT) are expected to have reached about €125 million (+16%, previous year: €108 million). 

Vision 2025 investments in digitalisation and internationalisation drive growth in HY1/2024
In line with its Vision 2025, the Fielmann Group has digitalised its business model and continues to expand internationally. During the first half of the year 2024, we introduced various digital innovations such as an online frame consulting feature utilising artificial intelligence. More than 250 stores in Germany and Switzerland now offer our innovative eye health check up: Certified opticians take images of the retina and measure the intraocular pressure with state-of-the-art equipment in Fielmann stores. Subsequently, the data is digitally transferred to ophthalmologists who conduct an assessment and provide customers with feedback within a few days. Customers with findings receive a recommendation to consult a local ophthalmologist for diagnostics and treatment. To-date, already more than 50,000 customers had their eyes checked at Fielmann and more than 10,000 of them have been referred to local ophthalmologists or clinics based on the findings. This way Fielmann plays an important role in making eye health accessible to everyone.

Our international markets outperformed, once again, increasing their sales by +26% in HY1/2024. While most of our European markets were affected by low consumer sentiment, we nonetheless recorded double digit sales growth in Austria (+10%), Spain (+10%) and Poland (+32%) compared to the same period last year. Germany, our home market, delivered strong growth of +6%. Switzerland improved +5% over the same period last year.

Fielmann USA added €58 million to the topline of our family business. By significantly extending our eye exam capacities and by introducing our omnichannel services we excite customers and grew by +8% on a comparable base over last year without opening additional stores. With the closing of our acquisition of Shopko Optical earlier this month, Fielmann USA is now forming the leading optical retailer in the Upper Midwest. Our omnichannel sales platform is serving patients via digital sales channels and more than 220 stores across 19 states. 

Acquisition of remaining shares in Óptica & Audiología Universitaria
In April 2024, the Fielmann Group has acquired the remaining 20% ownership in Óptica & Audiología Universitaria. “We thank the Caballero and Gómez families for the constructive and successful four-year transition period, and we are happy to welcome Aitor Leunda who took over as CEO of the company”, says Marc Fielmann, CEO of the Fielmann Group. “Going forward, our focus lies on the integration of our Spanish businesses as well as further expansion. Thanks to the trust of our Spanish customers and to our fantastic teams from Medical Óptica Audición as well as Óptica & Audiología Universitaria, we continue to gain market share. We are going to achieve market leadership in Spain in the medium-term”, Marc Fielmann continues.

Outlook
For the full year 2024, the Fielmann Group expects consolidated sales of €2.3 billion (+15% over last year), including the consolidation of six months of Shopko Optical’s results. For our European markets, we expect to reach an EBITDA margin of about 23% in 2024 and confirm our Vision 2025 goal of 25% in 2025. Fielmann USA is starting at a lower profitability base but will significantly improve its EBITDA margin in 2024 and 2025. At Group level, including Fielmann USA, we expect an increased EBITDA margin in 2024 compared to previous year when adjusting for transaction and integration costs. In 2025, we estimate to reach an EBITDA margin of about 24% at Group level when including the newly acquired US businesses. Our Group EBT margin is set to increase both in 2024 and 2025. An explanation of these effects will be provided in today’s Annual General Meeting.

Hamburg, Germany – 11 July 2024

Fielmann Group AG
The Management Board

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Ulrich Brockmann

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