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Hans-Otto Schrader Vorstandsvorsitzender der Otto Group © Otto-Group

Otto Group raises profitability

For the financial year 2013/2014,the Hamburg-based international retail and services company Otto Group reported an increase in profits and profitability.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) grew from the previous year’s sound base of EUR 386 million to reach EUR 392 million, with profit for the year rising by 23 per cent to EUR 179 million. Exchange rate-adjusted turnover grew by 3.3 per cent. Taking foreign exchange rates into account, the Otto Group reported turnover of EUR 12 billion, representing an increase of 1.8 per cent.

Growth creates employment

The number of staff employed by the Group worldwide rose by 434 to reach 54,257 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, while in Germany the number of jobs rose by around 635 to 25,972. “Our strategy of value-based, sustainable growth is paying off. We are increasing turnover, achieving healthy profitability and have added some 1,150 new jobs in the last two years alone”, emphasises Hans-Otto Schrader, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer Otto Group.

Jump in multichannel retail profits

The Group’s multichannel retail segment was able to improve the previous year’s earnings of EUR 207 to EUR 238 million. While turnover fell very slightly by 0.4 per cent to EUR 10.016 billion, this result above all reflects exchange-rate impacts as well as the announced transformation of the business model of 3 Suisses France. In the Financial Services segment, at EUR 208 million EBIT remained stable at the previous year’s outstanding level, despite investments in the innovative payment solution Yapital. Turnover rose by 15 per cent to EUR 683 million. The service segment, dominated by the Hermes Group, also achieved an increase in turnover, rising by 14.9 per cent to EUR 1.301 billion. EBIT declined here from EUR 46 to 34 million due to increased investment in IT and the launch of operations at a new logistics centre in France.

Online turnover grows to EUR 6 billion

Thanks to its numerous and varied e-commerce activities, Otto Group raised its online turnover by EUR 363 million (+6.4 per cent) to EUR 6.063 billion, generated by around 100 online shops worldwide. EOtto Group’s e-commerce activities now represents 60.5 per cent of combined group-wide retail turnover. On the German market, turnover growth of 7.2 per cent or EUR 266 million was reported, reaching around EUR 3.960 billion. IN the German multichannel retail, 65.7 per cent of turnover is thus already generated online.

Successful growth of German business

Otto Group’s activities in Germany grew particularly successfully. This market’s approximately 17 million active customers generated a turnover growth of 4.6 per cent to reach EUR 7.064 billion. Retail turnover grew by 2.3 per cent, and thus stronger than the overall retail sector, which saw growth of 1.4 per cent according to Destatis. The financial services segment recorded a growth of 42.6 per cent, and the service segment of 12.5 per cent.

Major Group activities improve

Many of the Otto Group’s Germany-based multichannel retail companies reported a good development. Online retailer OTTO grew by 6.7 per cent to EUR 2.270 billion. The Bonprix Group, which is active in 27 countries, increased turnover by EUR 65 million to reach EUR 1.287 billion, representing growth of 5.3 per cent.

Ambitious targets

“We have set ourselves tough turnover and earnings targets for the current financial year”, says Hans-Otto Schrader. However, given the tense global political situation it is not possible to foresee the impact of developments in Eastern Europe on consumer confidence, for instance, or how the euro will develop compared to other currencies. “For this reason we are not in a position to make a specific forecast.”


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