As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Fielmann AG's business operations have been significantly affected in the first half of 2020. Nonetheless, thanks to our robust business model, outstanding work by our employees and rigorous cost reductions, Fielmann recorded a positive result for the second quarter as well as for the first half of the year.
In March the company had switched its regular store operations to an emergency service for system-critical professions. Subsequently, sales in the individual month of April decreased by 70% compared to the same month last year. With the introduction of its hygiene standards, the business recovered and Fielmann's May sales increased by +157% compared to the previous month (-26% over the same period last year). In June the company grew over last year on a monthly basis (+3%).
In the first half of this financial year, Fielmann sold 3.1 million pairs of glasses (previous year: 4.1 million). In the same period, the Fielmann Group's external sales incl. VAT and changes in inventories fell to €712.7 million (previous year: €884.4 million), while consolidated sales dropped to €610.8 million (previous year: €758.2 million). The pre-tax profit amounted to €37.5 million in the first half of the year (previous year: €127.6 million) and the net income was €25.1 million (previous year: €89.2 million). The EBITDA stood at €107.5 million (previous year: €191.7 million).
In the second quarter, unit sales in the second reached 1.4 million (previous year: 2.1 million). External sales fell to €305.3 million (previous year: €446.8 million) and consolidated sales stood at €255.6 million (previous year: €386.4 million). Despite the considerable restrictions, Fielmann still managed to record a positive result in the second quarter. From April to June, the pre-tax profit amounted to €19.9 million (previous year: €60.5 million) and the net income was €13.2 million (previous year: €42.2 million).
As at 30 June, Fielmann operated 779 stores (previous year: 743), 212 of which also contained hearing aid studios (previous year: 202).
The current crisis reinforces our determination to implement our Vision 2025, to drive both the digitisation and the internationalisation of our group. Investments in the first half of 2020 totalled €31.4 million (previous year: €35.8 million).
During the second half of the year, Fielmann will further develop its omnichannel platform and deploy it in additional markets. We are driving our expansion forward, and are planning 80 renovations, relocations and new openings for the whole year. New stores are planned, in particular, in our growth markets, Italy and Poland.
Based on the recovery during the second quarter, we expect external sales of over €1.5 billion (previous year: €1.76 billion), group sales of over €1.3 billion (previous year: €1.52 billion) and a pre-tax profit of over €100 million (previous year: €253.8 million) for the year as a whole. This prognosis applies on the proviso that no further restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic occur during the year.
Based on ongoing talks, we remain confident that we will enter a new market in the next 12 months by way of another acquisition.
Hamburg, August 2020
The Management Board