Fielmann will not yet reach its 2025 return target after acquisitions

Europe’s largest optical chain Fielmann continues to grow strongly, but is being held back in terms of returns by the acquisitions in the USA.

As expected, sales rose by twelve percent to 1.1 billion euros in the first half of the year, the company announced on Thursday ahead of the Annual General Meeting. The operating result (EBITDA) improved by around 14 percent to between 235 and 240 (previous year: 208) million euros, while the operating return on sales (EBITDA margin) rose from 21.2 percent to 21.6 percent. Shopko Optical, the optical chain acquired in the Midwest of the USA with 140 stores, has been included in the Fielmann balance sheet since July 1.

The company had therefore already raised its sales forecast for the current year to 2.3 from 2.2 billion euros at the beginning of the month. However, the US business has not yet been as profitable as the European business. In Europe, the operating return on sales (EBITDA margin) this year is around 23% “thanks to loyal customers” and a cost-cutting program, while across the Group it is around the previous year’s level of 20.8%.

Fielmann had previously forecast a margin of 25 per cent for the coming year. In Europe, this is still achievable – but including the subsidiaries in the USA, it will only be around 24 per cent, the Management Board explained. “Fielmann USA has a lower EBITDA margin than the Fielmann Group, but will significantly increase it in 2024 and 2025,” the statement said.

(Report by Alexander Hübner, edited by Myria Mildenberger. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] (for politics and the economy) or [email protected] (for companies and markets).)