Otto Group half-year results: online retail grows by 10 percent

12.10.2017 | Hamburg

In the first six months of the 2017/18 financial year (to 28 February) the Otto Group maintained its strong position in online retail and raised its e-commerce turnover by around 10 percent. The development of positive results for the retail and services group continued, with sales increasing by some 7 percent on a like-for-like basis. The Otto Group’s ambitious growth strategy is delivering initial success.

The Otto Group continues its growth course in terms of customers and revenues, achieving double-digit growth in its core online retail business. In the first half of the 2017/18 financial year (March to August), the over 100 online shops in the Group achieved a revenue growth of 10 percent, reconfirming the Otto Group’s strong position in online retail. The Group reported an e-commerce turnover of 7 billion euros for the 2016/17 financial year. In Germany, online turnover amounted to around 5 billion euros, giving the Group a market share of 11.1 percent of the total online retail sector, according to independent surveys (Source: survey of 2017 German e-commerce market by EHI Retail Institute, Cologne, and Statista, Hamburg; market share calculation based on HDE Online Monitor 2017).

At the start of the 2017/18 financial year the Otto Group Executive Board formulated its Focused Growth Strategy, which earmarks especially high investments in particularly promising business models. These focus companies have developed very successfully almost across the board.

For example, the online retailer OTTO, the largest company in the Otto Group with a turnover of 2.724 billion euros for the 2016/17 financial year, successfully increased its revenues by around 7 percent in the first half of this year – primarily thanks to initial successes in implementing its assortment expansion programme. In just a few months OTTO has increased the number of articles on offer to 2.3 million by integrating more external partners, which its customers rewarded immediately with higher frequency of purchases. By 2020 the number of articles is once again set to rise significantly, to around 5 million.

Similarly, the Group’s fashion start-up About You exceeded its extremely high growth ambitions and is well on its way to more than doubling the previous year's turnover of 135 million euros in order to reach its target of 250 to 280 million euros. Bonprix (previous year’s revenues: 1.512 billion euros) now operates in 30 countries with its vertical brand concept, and with its growth of 3 percent remained just below its ambitious plans. The Witt Group (previous year’s revenues: 757 million euros) developed very well, with a growth of around 6 percent and excellent profitability. Crate and Barrel, the furnishing specialist, held its ground with a revenue growth of around 5 percent (to 1.475 billion euros in the 2016/17 financial year), a success in the fiercely competitive North American market.

The Hermes Group continues to benefit from unbroken growth in the e-commerce sector, raising revenues by more than 12 percent on a like-for-like basis (to 1.574 billion euros in the 2016/17 financial year). In real terms, the Group-internal restructuring of French logistics companies Mondial Relay and Girard Agediss into the Hermes Group represented growth of over 30 percent. Likewise, financial services provider EOS (previous year’s revenues: 645 million euros) reports a very healthy business development, growing by more than 10 percent on a like-for-like basis, with excellent profitability. “We are still undergoing fundamental change in the Otto Group and are investing heavily in the digital transformation of our business models”, says Alexander Birken, Chairman of the Otto Group Executive Board, adding that opening up to strategic partners is also part of the digital transformation. One example is the Mytoys Group, which grew by more than 16 percent in the first half of the year. It recently sold company shares in the low single-digits to SevenVentures. Both partners now intend to implement ambitious growth plans together.

“With the current growth push, we are well placed to achieve our ambitious revenue target of 17 billion euros on a like-for-like basis by 2022”, confirms Alexander Birken. “With this development track record, we are also looking confidently towards the Christmas period, which is so vital for the retail sector.”


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About Otto Group

Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally operating retail and services group with around 49,750 employees. The Group includes 123 major companies and is present in over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its business activities are grouped into three segments: Multichannel Retail, Financial Services and Service. In the 2016/17 financial year (to 28 February), the Otto Group generated a turnover of 12.5 billion euros. It is one of the world’s largest online retailers. E-commerce, catalogue sales and over-the-counter retail form the three pillars of the Otto Group’s Multichannel Retail strategy. Its worldwide corporate activities, numerous strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities to transfer know-how and leverage areas of synergy potential. Group companies operate largely independently, guaranteeing flexibility, customer proximity and optimum target-group appeal in their respective national markets.
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