After recording the highest revenue in its corporate history in the fiscal year 2015/16, the PHOENIX group expects to remain on course for further growth this year. For 2016/17, the pharmaceutical trader once again anticipates an increase in revenue above the growth level of the European pharmaceutical markets. In the fiscal year 2015/16 (31/01/16), total operating performance of the group rose by 4.4 per cent to a record figure of EUR 28.5 billion. Total operating performance includes the handled volumes of own goods as well as goods on consignment. Group revenue increased by 3.0 per cent to EUR 23.2 billion. Higher revenues in Germany, the largest market, enhanced services and logistics for the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacies, as well as acquisitions of pharmacies played a key role. The number of our own pharmacies in Europe grew by 7.7 per cent to 1,773.
“As a family owned business, our strategy of growing profitably through organic increases in revenue and targeted acquisitions is sustainably successful”, explained Oliver Windholz, Chief Executive Officer of the PHOENIX group, at the presentation of the balance sheet in Mannheim, Germany. PHOENIX is the top pharmaceutical wholesaler in ten countries and has one of the largest pharmacy networks in Europe.
PHOENIX increased its EBITDA before non-recurring items by 6.2 per cent to EUR 511.3 million. The profit for the period after tax totalled EUR 225.0 million. The completed PHOENIX FORWARD efficiency programme has had a positive impact on EBITDA. In the last three fiscal years, it has led to savings of more than EUR 100 million.
Improvement in capital structure – BB+ rating for PHOENIX
Equity rose from EUR 2.48 billion to EUR 2.73 billion, essentially as a result of the group result. The equity ratio increased to 35.1 per cent (previous year: 32.1 per cent). The financial result improved from EUR –74.2 million to EUR –57.5 million, primarily owing to the repayment in 2014 of a high-yield bond issued in 2010.
In view of the improved development of the company, the rating agency Standard & Poor’s upgraded the creditworthiness of the PHOENIX group and the two outstanding corporate bonds to “BB+” with a continued stable outlook. During the reporting period, the rating agency Fitch again confirmed the “BB” rating with a stable outlook. The company placed a third bond in 2014 (EUR 300 million, payable in July 2021). The rates of the two bonds currently outstanding have developed in line with the market during the reporting period.
Targeted acquisitions in all business units
In 2015/16, PHOENIX created the basis for future growth through acquisitions. Subject to the approval of the competition authorities in the Netherlands, Mediq Apotheken Nederland B. V. will be taken over by Brocacef Groep, which is part of the PHOENIX group. In addition to pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesale, Mediq has pre-wholesale activities in the Netherlands. As these activities relate to logistics services for pharmaceutical manufacturers, PHOENIX will consequently cover the entire range of services between manufacturer and patient in the country. “We are steadily implementing our vision of being the best integrated healthcare provider – wherever we are”, said Windholz, commenting on this acquisition.
With the purchase of the Slovakian pharmacy chain SUNPHARMA S.a.r.l., which will now trade as BENU, PHOENIX penetrated yet another retail market in the fiscal year 2015/16, thereby further expanding the market position of its own retail brand BENU in Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the PHOENIX subsidiary ADG Apotheken-Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH acquired around 90 per cent of the shares in Novodata Zrt., Budapest, after receiving the approval of the Hungarian antitrust authorities in the new fiscal year. Novodata is the market leader for goods management and till systems for pharmacies in Hungary.
Focus on increased revenue in fiscal year 2016/17
“The political pressure on many national healthcare systems requires additional savings, and competitive pressure is expected to increase”, says Windholz. Nonetheless, the PHOENIX CEO is confident: “We will continue to focus on profitable growth and cost efficiency.” In addition to acquisitions, the expansion of the Wholesale and Retail business units as well as Pharma Services in the fiscal year 2016/17 will play a central role. To this end, PHOENIX has launched the largest investment programme in its corporate history: State-of-the-art warehouse logistics centres are under construction in Denmark and Norway. In Gotha, Germany, the company is building an entirely new distribution centre at its existing site. Once complete, this will be PHOENIX’s most modern distribution centre in Germany.
For the current fiscal year 2016/17, the PHOENIX group anticipates an increase in revenue above the growth level of the European pharmaceutical markets – particularly in Germany, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Northern Europe. The company forecasts an adjusted EBITDA at the previous year’s level (excluding the Mediq acquisition). “We expect the PHOENIX group to continue its road to success”, concluded Windholz.
Key figures of the PHOENIX group in comparison with the previous year
in EUR k
in EUR k
|Total operating performance1||27.278.243||28.484.595|
|EBITDA before non-recurring items3||481.326||511.342|
|Profit before tax||361.278||318.985|
|Adjusted profit before tax4||296.558||339.628|
|Profit for the period||258.012||225.011|
|Equity ratio in %||32,1||35,1|
|Company rating (Standard & Poor’s)||BB||BB+|
(Balance sheet date 31/01)
1 Total operating performance = revenue + handled volume (handling for service charge).
2 Total income = gross income + other operating income.
3 Adjusted for one-off effects related to the recognition of pension obligations, the impact of the minimum wage in Germany 2015/16, and IT project costs.
4 Adjusted for impairment losses on goodwill, changes in pension schemes, IT project costs as well as expenditures associated with the minimum wage in Germany 2015/16.