The necessary measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the financial performance of Fielmann AG during the first half of 2020. In Q2 sales declined considerably in April, recovered in May and were already above the previous year's figure in June.
Q2 2020 (preliminary results)
In mid-March Fielmann 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 Fielmann was able to safeguard the health of both its customers and employees and could thus resume its normal service and opening hours at the end of April. Consequently, 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 sales increased by +29% over the previous month and reached a level of +3% over the same month last year.
HY1 2020 (preliminary results)
The sales of the first half of 2020 declined to 3.1 million glasses (previous year: 4.1 million glasses), the external sales including VAT and inventory reached €710 million (previous year: €884.4 million). Group sales stood at €611 million (previous year: €758.2 million). We expect our pre-tax profit to be at least €35 million (previous year: €127.6 million).
The results are a consequence of rigorous cost-saving measures: To secure the liquidity of the family business and to thereby safeguard the jobs, Fielmann cut all costs that were not strictly necessary. In addition - as the company had already informed the public in March - the Management Board and Supervisory Board propose to the General Meeting not to pay out the dividend. As neither treatment options nor a vaccine for the coronavirus are in sight, it is currently not possible to rule out a second wave of the pandemic. In this context, the Supervisory Board accepted the offer of the Executive Board to reduce the fixed salaries of the management by 20% for the duration of the crisis. For its part, the Supervisory Board also reduced 20% of its compensation.
Fielmann continues to implement its Vision 2025 and thus drives forward both its digitisation and international expansion by means of significant investments: Fielmann's new flagshipstore in Hamburg was opened in June and allows visitors to experience the company's omnichannel platform for the first time. All initiatives to digitise Fielmann's business model continue at an unabated pace. And the expansion progresses as well: Fielmann is planning a total of 80 new stores openings, relocations and extensions in 2020. Most of the new stores will be opened in the growth markets Italy and Poland. Current talks make it likely that Fielmann will enter a new market by means of an acquisition within the next 12 months.
Based on the visible recovery in the course of the second quarter, we expect external sales of over €1.5 billion (previous year: €1.76 billion) for the full year, 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). This prognosis is contingent on the assumption that no further restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic will impact our business during the year.
Hamburg, July 2020
The Management Board