LUXEMBOURG: Global Fashion Group S.A. (“GFG”), the leading online fashion and lifestyle destination in growth markets, has reported growth across all customer metrics, NMV and Gross Margin and stable Adj. EBITDA in Q4 2021.
|Q4 2020||Q4 2021||FY 2020||FY 2021|
|% Constant Currency Growth||19.0%||13.0%||15.3%||17.2%|
|% € Growth||(0.5)%||19.0%||1.0%||14.7%|
|% Constant Currency Growth||28.9%||19.8%||25.7%||23.9%|
|% € Growth||7.4%||27.6%||10.1%||22.1%|
|Gross Profit €m||183.0||227.4||586.2||711.5|
|% Margin of Revenue||44.0%||46.0%||43.1%||45.6%|
|Loss for the period €m||(16.9)||(24.8)||(112.4)||(124.8)|
|Adjusted EBITDA €m||19.3||21.1||16.4||13.6|
|% Margin of Revenue||4.6%||4.3%||1.2%||0.9%|
*NMV is the value of both Retail and Marketplace merchandise being sold through our platforms. Revenue is the Retail value plus the commission earned on a Marketplace transaction, and is therefore disconnected from true volume.
Q4 2021 Highlights (growth rates at constant currency)
- Net Merchandise Value* growth of 19.8% (Q4/20: 28.9%)
- Revenue growth of 13.0% (Q4/20: 19.0%)
- Marketplace NMV grew by 42% yoy (Q4/20: 89%), achieving 38% participation
- Gross Margin 46.0% (Q4/20: 44.0%)
- Active Customer growth of 4.5%, Order Frequency increasing 8.8% and NMV per Active Customer up 18.5% to €140.5
FY 2021 Highlights (growth rates at constant currency)
- NMV* growth of 23.9% (FY/20: 25.7%)
- Revenue growth of 17.2% (FY/20: 15.3%)
Christoph Barchewitz and Patrick Schmidt, Co-CEOs of GFG, said: “Our people are at the heart of our business. We stand alongside all those affected and support the international community in coming together to end the conflict in Ukraine peacefully. Our priority is our 1,000 colleagues in Ukraine and providing them with essential financial and humanitarian assistance. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and will adapt our approach to supporting all of our people and our business in the CIS as best we can.
We are proud of our global team’s continued agility and effectiveness in delivering our FY2021 results. Against a backdrop of new COVID-19 variants and slow vaccine rollouts in most of GFG’s markets, we continued to deliver growth across all of our customer metrics, including a 9% increase in Order Frequency and 18% growth in NMV per Active Customer. Combined with 24% NMV growth and c.€14m Adjusted EBITDA, this is a true testament to our localised expertise. We remain confident in the execution of our strategic priorities to continue our journey as the leading online fashion and lifestyle destination in growth markets.”
During January and February 2022, the Group grew NMV on a constant currency basis by 23% and, excluding CIS, grew NMV by 13%. The elevated level of uncertainty in CIS on future customer demand, supply of imported products and potential operational, financial or legal constraints means we are currently unable to provide guidance for FY2022. For our other three regions, we expect the demand environment seen in H2 2021 to continue into H1 2022 and progressively improve into H2 2022. We will issue our 2022 guidance once we have a clearer view.
Q4 2021 Business Review
Consumer demand was softer than anticipated throughout Q4 and in addition, COVID-19 continued to be a consideration across GFG’s markets. The Group delivered NMV of €758 million, up by 20% yoy and 54% on a two-year basis. This was driven by an increase in average order value, as customers bought more items and those countries with higher average selling prices grew the fastest. All customer metrics continued their positive trajectory with Order Frequency increasing by 9% and NMV per Active Customer up 19% to €140.5.
Marketplace grew by 42% yoy in Q4 reaching 38% of NMV. This, alongside GFG’s broadly stable Retail Margin, helped to deliver an increase in Gross Margin of 2pps to 46%. The one-off COVID costs from operating our fulfilment centre in ANZ alongside some additional promotional activity and a weaker trading environment in LATAM meant that Adjusted EBITDA was €21m.
Investing in Growth LATAM
Over the second half of 2021 our trading performance across LATAM has been under pressure from the weakening consumer sentiment, especially within our largest market, Brazil. This is a large and attractive market and we have a well-established multi-brand platform. We have a clear plan to unlock the potential including a new customer front-end and steps to improve the delivery and returns process.
Amendment to Adjusted EBITDA definition
Given the exceptionally high inflation experienced in Argentina, we have accounted for this country under IAS29, Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies, since 2018. This accounting application adds volatility into our P&L. Given this is out of our control, going forward we will exclude the impact of IAS 29 from our Adjusted EBITDA measure.
Update on GFG’s Operations in CIS
GFG has been operating in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine under the lamoda brand since 2011 and currently employs c.9,000 people across the region. In FY 2021, we served 3.6m active customers with 15.2m orders resulting in €862m of NMV.
Currently, our platform in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus is operational and able to take orders, process payments and complete deliveries to customers. We have suspended deliveries to Ukraine and adjacent border areas for safety reasons and are not taking orders from customers in these locations. Our NMV in Ukraine was approximately €12m in 2021 and we employ c.1,000 people through our customer contact centre that supports CIS.
The CIS region operates both Retail and Marketplace business models which provide a mixture of local and international brands to customers. The great majority of products are imported either by GFG or the brands. Products representing c.80% of FY2021 NMV were sourced inside CIS for our Retail and Marketplace sales and c.20% was purchased in the EU and imported by GFG for our Retail model. Consequently, GFG is exposed to risks that restrict its, or its suppliers’, ability to carry out and settle imports. In addition, CIS is exposed to the risk that international brands choose to stop supplying products for sale in the region.
We currently maintain a strong inventory position in our CIS fulfilment centre in Moscow. At the end of February, GFG had a Retail inventory balance of c.€85 million, primarily for the upcoming spring / summer season, and more than 5 million Marketplace items in our fulfilment centre.
GFG operates a centralised treasury from London with the great majority of its cash and short duration investments held in international banks and in funds with a strong credit rating. The Group has a strong liquidity position with pro-forma cash of €643 million at 31 December 2021. The regional businesses generally hold the cash floats required to settle their near-term payment obligations. The Russian subsidiary has a borrowing relationship with Alfa Bank JSC which is the subject of EU financial restrictions. We are keeping this position under review as the impact of the financial restrictions are clarified.
Our business in CIS is exposed to any potential second-order impact of sanctions and currency exchange rate changes on future demand from Russian customers and changes in the sanctions and regulation regimes. We are unable to provide certainty that continued developments will not have a material impact on our business.
In place of our previously planned Capital Markets Day presentation GFG has released an update on its strategy. The presentation and video is available on the corporate website: Publications
People & Planet and Positive
The Group continues to advance its People and Planet Positive agenda and has spent a significant amount of time and effort submitting Science Based Targets which are currently being validated. GFG will report these targets in the 2021 People and Planet Positive Report, being published in April.
Key Performance Indicators
|Q4 2020||Q4 2021||FY 2020||FY 2021|
|Active Customers m||16.3||17.0||16.3||17.0|
|NMV / Active Customer €||120.3||140.5||120.3||140.5|
|% Constant Currency Growth||0.9%||18.5%||0.9%||18.5%|
|% € Growth||(11.6)%||16.8%||(11.6)%||16.8%|
|Number of Orders m||13.3||13.6||42.0||47.8|
|Average Order Value €||44.7||55.8||46.6||50.0|
|% Constant Currency Growth||0.1%||17.2%||3.5%||8.9%|
|% € Growth||(16.6)%||24.9%||(9.3)%||7.4%|