By Mauro Orru
Zalando SE said Thursday that it returned to profit in the first quarter amid "exceptional" new customer growth and high engagement of its existing customers.
The Berlin-based online retailer posted net profit of 34.5 million euros ($41.4 million) compared with a loss of EUR86.4 million in the first quarter of 2020.
The company also posted adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of EUR93.3 million with a corresponding margin of 4.2%, recovering from a loss of EUR98.6 million the previous year.
Zalando in April cited preliminary figures for adjusted EBIT between EUR80 million and EUR100 million.
Quarterly revenue climbed to EUR2.24 billion from EUR1.52 billion, while gross merchandise volume--a key indicator for sales growth--rose to EUR3.15 billion from EUR2.03 billion.
The company's preliminary figures had put revenue between EUR2.22 billion and EUR2.26 billion, and gross merchandise volume between EUR3.13 billion and EUR3.17 billion.
Late on Wednesday, Zalando said it will launch a share buyback program of up to EUR200 million running from May 7 to July 30 at the latest, and upgraded guidance for the year.
For 2021, Zalando now expects adjusted EBIT between EUR400 million and EUR475 million instead of between EUR350 million and EUR425 million, revenue between EUR10.1 billion and EUR10.5 billion rather than between EUR9.9 billion and EUR10.3 billion and gross merchandise volume between EUR14 billion and EUR14.6 billion instead of between EUR13.6 billion and EUR14.1 billion.
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