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Douglas sales growth surpasses pre-Covid level

By Prachi Singh


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Image: Douglas media resources

European beauty retailer Douglas, reported total annual sales of around 3.65 billion euros, up 17 percent on the previous year’s level and around 6 percent higher than the pre-Covid period.

In the fourth quarter, Douglas increased sales by 7.6 percent to 809.7 million euros or 10.2 percent like-for-like. At the same time, the company said, quarterly like-for-like sales were 20.6 percent above the pre-Covid level.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Sander van der Laan, CEO of Douglas Group, said: “The positive sales performance in a difficult economic environment demonstrates how strongly Douglas has been positioned in the past years with its omnichannel model. The combination of an attractive store business and an almost unique online offering has made the company more resilient.”

Review of Douglas’ Q4 trading

The company added that ecommerce sales including the Dutch online pharmacy Disapo B.V. increased by 16.7 percent to 247.2 million euros compared to the prior-year quarter. Ecommerce share of total sales reached 30.5 percent compared to pre-Covid share of 16.9 percent.

Quarterly store sales rose by 3 percent year-on-year to 556.6 million euros and increased 10.9 percent on a like-for-like basis. All regions contributed to this increase on a like-for-like basis.

Group operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) improved by 18.2 million euros to 45.8 million euros in the fourth quarter. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 5.7 percent compared to previous year’s 3.7 percent.

Highlights of Douglas’ full-year sales results

The company’s full year store sales rose by 27.4 percent to around 2.44 billion euros and rose 40.9 percent like-for-like.

Ecommerce generated annual sales of around 1.2 billion euros including the Dutch online pharmacy Disapo B.V.), down slightly by minus 0.7 percent compared to previous year, when stores had been closed for months across Europe due to the pandemic. Compared with the period before Covid, online sales more than doubled.

Group operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) also saw an increase of 49.4 percent year-on-year to 325.5 million euros. However, the net profit of minus 306.5 million euros for the fiscal year was impacted by one-off non-cash goodwill impairments of 231.9 million euros due to the significant rise in interest rates. Earnings were also impacted by the acquired online pharmacy Disapo B.V. as well as restructuring expenses for store closures.

“This time of the year is the most important in our business,” said van der Laan, adding, “We are at the climax of the Christmas season. At the same time, the economic environment remains challenging: inflation, decreasing purchasing power of private households and supply chain disruptions will go on and could also have a noticeable impact on our business. Therefore, as well as expanding our omnichannel strategy and maintaining a strict customer orientation, we are keeping a strong focus on costs and cash management and thus on the earnings situation.”