Oriola Corporation published its Interim report 1 January-31 March 2020 on Friday, 24 April 2020 at 8.30 a.m.
President and CEO Robert Andersson on the first quarter of 2020:
”Oriola’s invoicing (EUR 965.3 million, +7.9%) and net sales (EUR 459.8 million, +15.8%) continued to grow during the first quarter of the year compared to last year. On a constant currency basis invoicing grew by 9.8% and net sales by 17.9%. Adjusted EBIT grew by 86.6% to EUR 6.9 million. On a constant currency basis adjusted EBIT was EUR 7.1 million.
The first quarter of the year was exceptional. During March, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Oriola’s operations strongly in both countries. Consumer behaviour led to unforeseen demand for pharmaceuticals and products for cold and pain relief in pharmacies. In mid-March, pharmaceuticals were prioritised in distribution to ensure patient safety. The exceptional peak in demand increased sales, but also burdened the result through increased personnel and freight costs.
In Consumer, net sales grew by 10.3% on a constant currency basis compared to the same period last year. The change in consumer behaviour accelerated sales during the first quarter of the year with online sales growing by 45%. The growth was especially strong in March, when online sales grew by nearly 100% compared to the same period last year.
Pharma continued strong growth in both operating countries. On a constant currency basis invoicing grew by 9.4% and net sales by 24.2% compared to the same period last year. Due to the pandemic, pharmaceutical sales grew especially in March. Profitability was burdened by high freight and distribution centre costs particularly in Sweden. The demand for expert services decreased.
Retail continued growth in the first quarter of the year. On a constant currency basis the net sales grew by 10.9% compared to the same period last year. Retail’s sales grew due to the demand peak for common cold products caused by COVID-19, as well as the growth in dose-dispensing business in Sweden compared to the same period in the last year. High costs in Swedish distribution operations burdened the profitability.
The restrictions on citizens’ mobility, and the burden on public healthcare capacity caused by the pandemic inevitably also impact Oriola’s business. We focus on securing the availability of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products in the society, while taking care of the health and safety of our own personnel.”