Fielmann Group with +12% sales growth in 2023 and +11% growth in Q1/2024

Sales in Q1/2024 are growing year-on-year despite a strong comparative basis and the forecast for 2024 sees double-digit sales growth.

  • Audited FY2023 reporting in line with preliminary numbers published in February
  • +11% sales growth in Q1/2024 over last year despite hard Q1/2023 comparables 
  • FY2024 forecast envisages double-digit topline growth, increases in both EBITDA and EBT

In 2023, facing persistently high inflation levels and rising interest rates, consumers reduced their spending and opted for providers that offer guaranteed quality and excellent service at the best prices. In the optical and acoustics industries, this is the Fielmann Group. In a challenging market environment, we grew our market shares across major markets, recorded double-digit sales growth, and improved our EBITDA margin in the reporting year. In Q1/2024, consolidated sales as well as EBITDA increased by +11% despite strong previous year’s figures. In FY2024 we expect to continue our strong topline growth at a similar pace as in 2023 and we are going to expand our bottom line with a proportional or slightly higher EBITDA increase as well as a slightly higher EBT margin. 

“In 2023, the Fielmann Group reached +12% sales growth over previous year. Thanks to our customer-centric philosophy, our loyal customers and the fantastic 23.000 members of our family business we are making great progress en route to our purpose: to help everyone hear and see the beauty in the world”, says CEO Marc Fielmann. 

All preliminary figures published in February have been confirmed. The company’s growth was fuelled by a strong organic performance in existing markets, coupled with additional growth resulting from the Vision 2025 investments in the digitalisation and internationalisation of the family business. In a market environment of retreating e-commerce sales, our digital channels outperformed with +17% sales growth over last year, reaching external sales of more than €100 million for the first time (5% of total Group sales). In 2023, our international business expanded by +24% as double-digit growth in many markets was complemented by our acquisitions in North America. In Q4/2023, international markets contributed 35% to the Group’s sales. 

In total, the Fielmann Group reached external sales of €2.27 billion in FY2023. Consolidated sales rose to €1.97 billion (+12%, previous year: €1.76 billion). Because of our positive performance in Europe and a diligent execution of our Cost Leadership Program, we were able to significantly improve our profitability: In 2023, our EBITDA margin expanded by 1.5 percentage points to 20.8%. EBITDA amounted to €410 million (+21%, previous year: €340 million), while EBT reached €194 million (+21%, previous year: €160 million).

In the beginning of 2024, a weak consumer sentiment, particularly in Germany, slowed down our business growth whereas a positive environment combined with an effective execution of our growth levers saw our US business contributing strongly. 

In the first quarter of 2024, consolidated Fielmann Group sales increased by +11% to €529 million (previous year: €478 million). While our US business added more than €30 million in sales during the first quarter, our European business grew +4% over Q1/2023. Germany reached a growth rate of +3% over last year, Switzerland recorded sales +4% over the same period last year. Austria improved +9% and Spain went up +10% over Q1/2023. Poland – once again – stood out with +36% growth over last year. 

Despite the slower topline dynamic in Europe, Fielmann Group’s Q1/2024 EBITDA increased by +11% to €117 million (previous year: €106 million) while EBT improved by +7% to €62 million (previous year: €58 million). A diligent execution of our cost leadership program partially compensated a significant personnel costs uptick in our European stores: At the beginning of the year Fielmann significantly increased salaries for opticians and acousticians and is making use of a tax-credited bonus scheme available to all employees in Germany. Our Q1/2024 performance in Europe is to be viewed with hard Q1/2023 comparables in mind (a one-off insurance reimbursement for hearing aid repairs in Germany and in 2023 Easter holidays were in Q2 rather than Q1). In April 2024 we observe an acceleration of our growth over last year, especially in Germany.

Outlook for Financial Year 2024
Considering the constant expansion of our omnichannel business model, our strong European core markets, and the contribution of our new acquisitions in North America, we expect a topline expansion at around the growth rate we have experienced in 2023, resulting in net consolidated sales of about €2.2 billion in 2024. As we diligently execute our Cost Leadership Program, we expect a further increase in our profitability, leading to a similar or higher EBITDA margin as in 2023 and an improved EBT margin for 2024. Customer satisfaction is expected to remain at over 90%. 

Hamburg, Germany – 30 April 2024

Fielmann Group AG
The Management Board

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