Otto Group with a flying start into the new financial year

31.03.2016 | Hamburg

The retail and services company Otto Group, Hamburg, looks back on a successful 2015/16 financial year (to 29 February 2016), characterised by very satisfactory growth at the large core companies and a consistent reorganisation of the company portfolio.

According to preliminary calculations, the Otto Group raised turnover by over 500 million euros to 12.572 billion euros*, corresponding to growth of 4.3 per cent. In Germany, the Otto Group’s most important market, revenues climbed above average by 5.5 per cent. The Group’s international activities saw a mixed development: while revenues in North and South America and in Great Britain partly saw strong increases, sales figures of the French 3SI Group and the Otto Group Russia still declined again.

“The past financial year marked a turning point. We successfully continued to strengthen our core business, to further expand our e-commerce and to adjust our company portfolio, so that we established a sound basis for the years to come”, emphasizes Hans-Otto Schrader, Chairman of the Otto Group Executive Board. “Thanks to the healthy development of our core companies and the successful resolution of the problem areas I also expect a considerably improved pre-tax result.”

A main driver of the Group’s business was online retail. Global online revenues rose by 400 million euros or 6.5 per cent to reach 6.6 billion euros**. In Germany, online revenues increased by some 10 per cent to 4.4 billion euros. With this the Otto Group reaffirmed its position as one of the world’s largest online B2C retailers.

Strong growth at core companies

OTTO, the largest single company in the Otto Group, enjoyed an outstanding financial year also due to the highly successful ‘20 Years of’ campaign. The company reported growth well above plan of almost 10 per cent to reach 2.563 billion euros. The fashion retailer Bonprix, active in 29 countries, enjoyed an outstanding development and boosted revenues by almost 11 per cent to 1.432 billion euros. The Witt Group, which focuses on the highly attractive 50+ customer target group, grew by 4 per cent to 755 million euros, while the Baur Group reported revenue growth of 1.3 per cent to 683 million euros. The Schwab Group saw a decline of 6.9 per cent to 216 million euros, whereas the Schwab brand Sheego reported a slight rise in revenues. While the Heine Group suffered a decline of 4.8 per cent to 458 million euros, the Mytoys Group saw a return to its previous strong growth, raising revenues by almost 20 per cent to reach 508 million euros. Sportscheck also increased turnover, generating revenues of 319 million euros or 7.7 per cent more than the previous financial year. The start-up Collins with its brands About you and Edited continues its dynamic growth towards a revenue level of 100 million euros.

With regard to international activities, Otto Group Russia once again struggled with a very weak economy and a volatile rouble exchange rate. While revenues declined by 35 per cent to 260 million euros, the management succeeded in pulling the operational business out of the red. The French 3SI Group reported a revenue decline of 8.5 per cent to 779 million euros, mainly caused by a repeated drop in sales at the core brand 3Suisses. The Otto Japan Group saw a slight fall of 2.6 per cent in turnover at 145 million euros. By contrast, Freemans Grattan Holdings (FGH) in Great Britain turned in strong growth of 19.4 per cent to 236 million euros. The North American lifestyle group Crate and Barrel enjoyed a particularly strong development, climbing by no less than 24.3 per cent after a weak previous year to reach 1.332 billion euros. Although this result is supported by exchange-rate effects, the new management team achieved an impressive result.

Service is growing double-digit again

The Multichannel Retail business segment, which comprises the above-mentioned companies, saw an overall rise in revenues of some 2.4 per cent to more than 10 billion euros. The Financial Services segment, mainly driven by the activities of the EOS Group in 25 countries, generated revenues of around 680 million euros which represents a growth of 5.3 per cent. The Service segment, dominated by the Hermes Group, reported a particularly positive development: according to preliminary calculations, revenues rose by 16.6 per cent to 1.7438 billion euros. This result only includes revenues that Hermes generated with customers outside the Otto Group.

Successful Divestments

As announced at the annual press conference in May 2015, the 2015/16 financial year was also characterised by a reorganisation of the Otto Group’s company portfolio. The office-supplies mail-order companies OTTO Office and JM Bruneau were successfully sold, as were the fashion mail order company Alba Moda, as well as the French service providers Taylormail and Cité Numérique. Furthermore, the management of the 3SI Group has just decided to put up for sale all of its retail activities. This is expected to be completed in the current financial year 2016/17.

Positive Outlook

According to preliminary calculations the Otto Group’s workforce at the end of the past financial year comprised approximately 52,200 full-time equivalent (FTE). This represents a decline of around 1,800 positions, mainly caused by the sale of companies. In Germany, the FTE level remained roughly on the previous year’s level at around 26,300.

“We’ve had a flying start into the new financial year”, says Hans-Otto Schrader. “For 2016/17 we are targeting a revenue growth of around 4 per cent

Press material

CEO Otto Group, Hans-Otto Schrader
Download (1,76 MB)

*The sales figures are subject to divestments and closures of Group companies

**On a comparable basis excluding revenues from OTTO Office and JM Bruneau


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