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CEWE in a stable position: good first quarter in spite of coronavirus

DGAP-News: CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement
12.05.2020 / 07:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

CEWE in a stable position: good first quarter in spite of coronavirus

  • Photofinishing shows itself to be resilient with its Q1 rise in turnover of 10.8%
  • Group turnover grows by 4.1% to 144.8 million euros
  • Coronavirus shutdown has a negative impact on commercial online printing and retailing business
  • Two TIPA World Awards for CEWE: CEWE PHOTOBOOK and WhiteWall distinguished
  • Online Annual General Meeting in the second half of 2020

Oldenburg, 12 May 2020. CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA (SDAX, ISIN: DE 0005403901) grew in the first quarter of 2020 despite an initial coronavirus pandemic impact: turnover was even raised by 4.1% over that of the same quarter of the previous year, to 144.8 million euros (Q1 2019: 139.2 million euros). At 1.8 million euros, EBIT for the first quarter only just falls short of the same quarter of the previous year (Q1 2019: 2.3 million euros) despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis. This positive result is mainly based on the core business of photofinishing, which recently once more received two TIPA World Awards: the CEWE PHOTOBOOK won an award in the "Best Photo Service Worldwide" category", and WhiteWall was chosen as the "Best Photo Lab". With growth at 10.8%, photofinishing sales increased to 114.7 million euros (Q1 2019: 103.5 million euros). Besides organic growth and the increase resulting from the WhiteWall acquisition, the "stay-at-home" effect, which began at the end of March, also contributed to this increase in turnover. The business segments of commercial online printing and retailing, on the other hand, were affected by the coronavirus shutdown. "The strong performance of our core business shows just how resilient we are in terms of photofinishing," says Dr. Christian Friege, Chairman of the CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA Board of Management. "We are, however, currently not in a position to reliably forecast what impact the coronavirus will have on our business in the coming few months. We can see the challenges and we have handled them well: CEWE is stable and very soundly positioned."

Photofinishing grows in spite of the crisis
The increase in online business with photo products had a particularly positive effect on earnings in the business segment of photofinishing, with the CEWE PHOTOBOOK continuing to increase in the first quarter, achieving a rise of 2.2% and sales totalling 1.36 million books. This is also the result of the stay-at-home effect: because life was largely shifted to people's own homes, they spent more time with online products. EBIT for the business division amounted to 3.3 million euros, hence exceeding that of the previous year (Q1 2019: 3.0 million euros) by 0.3 million euros. And it even bears the negative effects of the purchase price allocation from the WhiteWall acquisition to the amount of 0.5 million euros. CEWE took over WhiteWall in June 2019.

CEWE wins two more TIPA World Awards with its CEWE PHOTOBOOK and WhiteWall
Wonderful news, especially in times of crisis: the Technical Image Press Association, TIPA, honoured CEWE with the TIPA World Award for the best product innovations in the international photographic industry. After having already won two awards for its CEWE PHOTOBOOK and an award for its hexxas photo tiles, CEWE has this year once again won the trophy with its CEWE PHOTOBOOK. In the "Best Photo Service Worldwide" category, the jury awarded CEWE a prize for its newly launched leather and canvas bindings. WhiteWall also won the "Best Photo Lab" award - its third TIPA World Award. The TIPA World Awards are presented in various categories every year, and are arguably the most prestigious prizes in the photo industry worldwide. No other photofinishing enterprise has been distinguished more than CEWE, with a current total of seven TIPA World Awards: an outstanding compliment on the innovative strength of the CEWE Group.

The coronavirus crisis sees a decline in commercial online printing business
Commercial online printing has been appreciably affected by the coronavirus crisis, with the decline in business activity in general also having a marked effect on demand for print products such as printed advertising material. Given this influence, the business division of commercial online printing is reporting a 10.5% decline in turnover, to 22.6 million euros.
Until the end of February - prior to the coronavirus shutdown - CEWE had still reported a slight, single-digit growth in business-print turnover. Commercial online printing EBIT falls behind the figure for the previous year at -0.8 million euros (Q1 2019: -0.4 million euros).

The coronavirus shutdown involving businesses closing down hits CEWE retailing hard
Sales in the retail division have been scheduled to be in decline anyway through consciously abstaining from low-margin business. Yet as a result of the extreme impact of the pandemic on retail business overall, the decline of 27.5% to 7.5 million euros against that of the previous year is showing itself to be more pronounced than the company had thought. In this case, EBIT, at -0.5 million euros, is generally only slightly weaker than in the same quarter of the previous year, also because of improved earnings in January and February 2020, i.e. prior to the coronavirus shutdown (Q1 2019: -0.4 million euros).

At 54.0%, capital ratio remains extremely sound
The capital ratio amounted to an extremely sound 54.0% as at 31 March 2020 (31 March 2019: 54.9%). In the current year, this includes a balance sheet extension of around EUR 59 million due to the IFRS 16 lease accounting (March 31, 2019: EUR 62 million). The ROCE amounts to 16.0% (Q1 2019: 18.2%); adjusted by the LASERLINE restructuring provisions in the 12-month EBIT and the IFRS 16 effect in the average capital employed, the ROCE is even at 18.9% (adjusted Q1 2019: 19.1%).

Outlook: effects of the coronavirus pandemic on corporate targets still unclear
It is currently not possible to reliably forecast how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the business conducted by the company in the coming few months. "The situation is completely new and there are no comparative figures. We are convinced that our online photo products, which can be delivered by mail, will help us greatly in weathering the crisis until retail business in stores has returned to normality. CEWE is in a stable position. But we are currently not able to put a reliable figure onto just how earnings will look," explains Dr. Christian Friege.

Digital Annual General Meeting in the second half of 2020
In its responsibility to counter the spread of the virus as far as possible, CEWE has activated widespread measures to prevent employees from being infected with the virus and operations and units from being shut down. Where possible, CEWE employees are currently working from home. Multi-shift operation in production has been organised and separated so as to make it possible to limit the risk of a loss of production. CEWE has 13 production operations, putting it in a position to immediately redirect orders from customers electronically to other production operations throughout Europe, where they can be produced and dispatched. Customers can continue to order their CEWE photo products online even in the event of potential restrictions for retail customers supplied by CEWE. Delivery will be made by mail direct to customers' homes. As part of this rigorous strategy of preventing the infection from spreading, CEWE will not be holding its Annual General Meeting as an event with physical presence this year; instead it will for the first time be holding the meeting as a purely digital function, as an online Annual General Meeting in the second half of 2020.

An overview of Q1 2020 results

CEWE business segments Unit Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Diff. % Diff. abs.
(1) Photofinishing          
Photos m. photos 506.3 508.1 0.4% 1.8
CEWE PHOTOBOOK m. books 1.3 1.4 2.2% 0.0
Turnover EUR m. 103.5 114.7 10.8% 11.2
EBIT EUR m. 3.0 3.3 10.4% 0.3
Purchase price allocation effects EUR m. -0.6 -1.1 --- ---
EBIT before one-off effects EUR m. 3.6 4.4 23.1% 0.8
(2) Retailing          
Turnover EUR m. 10.4 7.5 -27.5% -2.9
EBIT EUR m. -0.4 -0.5 -39.4% -0.1
(3) Commercial Online Printing          
Turnover EUR m. 25.2 22.6 -10.5% -2.7
EBIT EUR m. -0.4 -0.8 -115% -0.4
Purchase price allocation effects EUR m. -0.2 -0.1 --- ---
EBIT before one-off effects EUR m. -0.2 -0.7 -255% -0.5
(3) Other          
Turnover EUR m. 1.6 1.3 27.1% 0.3
EBIT EUR m. -0.2 -0.3 52.4% 0.2
CEWE Group Unit Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Diff. % Diff. abs.
Turnover EUR m. 139.2 144.8 4.1% 5.6
EBIT EUR m. 2.3 1.8 -22.7% -0.5
Total one-off effects EUR m. -0.8 -1.2 --- ---
EBIT before one-off effects EUR m. 3.1 3.0 -0.4% 0.0
EBT EUR m. 2.1 1.5 -26.2% -0.5
Earnings after tax EUR m. 1.1 1.7 47.1% 0.5

Rounding differences may occur. Percentage deviations have all been calculated at the exact values.

The CEWE Group turnover described here and the Group EBIT have been shown excluding Group company futalis, which is held for sale and is nevertheless still included in the "Other" business segment as a "discontinued operation" in the segment reports for the current reporting period and for the figures for the previous year pursuant to IFRS 5.

Notes to the "Earnings by Business Segment" chart

(1) Photofinishing: Production and sale of photo products such as CEWE PHOTOBOOKS, CEWE CARDS, CEWE CALENDARS, CEWE WALL ART and individual (analogue and digital) photos as well as other photo products
(2) Retailing: Trading in photo hardware, such as cameras and lenses, in Norway, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia
(3) Commercial online printing: Production and sale of commercial print products in the online printing portals, e.g., SAXOPRINT, Viaprinto and LASERLINE

Should you have any queries, please contact:
CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA, Axel Weber (Investor Relations)
Tel.: 0441 / 404 - 2288, Fax: 0441 / 404 - 421, eMail:

Internet: , , , , , ,,

The CEWE apps are all available in the app stores: CEWE PHOTO WORLD, CEWE POSTCARD and other photo apps, and the CEWE Investor Relations app for iPad(c) or android tablets, with annual reports and quarterly reports, presentations and sustainability reports.

Financial schedule
(insofar as already scheduled)

06.08.2020 Publication of the 2020 HY1 interim report
06.08.2020 Press release on 2020 HY1
22.09.2020 2020 Berenberg & Goldman Sachs German Corporate Conference
23.09.2020 2020 Baader Investment Conference
12.11.2020 Publication of the 2020 Q3 interim communication
12.11.2020 Press release on Q3 2020
16.11.2020 German Equity Forum, Frankfurt

About CEWE
The CEWE Group is Europe's leading photo service and online printing supplier.

From its beginnings in 1912, CEWE has progressed to become the leading photo service company for all those wanting to make more of their photos. This is mainly due to the much-awarded CEWE PHOTOBOOK, with more than six million books being sold each year.
Customers can purchase other personalised photo products under the brand names of CEWE, WhiteWall and Cheerz - and from many leading retailers in Europe. In terms of their personal photos, they are inspired to produce a variety of creative designs and they entrust the company with around 2.4 billion photos every year.

The CEWE Group has also set up a highly efficient production system for the online printing market, which is still new. Every year billions of high-quality printed products are delivered reliably to their purchasers through the SAXOPRINT,, LASERLINE and viaprinto sales platforms.

The CEWE Group, through the founder family of Neumüller as an anchor shareholder, focuses on sustainable corporate management and has already received many awards for this effort: economically sustainable in the long term; cooperative and fair in dealings with customers, employees and suppliers; socially responsible and protective of the environment and resources. An example of this is the climate-neutral process used to produce all the CEWE brand-name products.

The CEWE Group has a staff of more than 4,200 and operates in more than 20 countries. Group sales rose to 714.9 million euros in 2019. CEWE is listed on the SDAX.

More information is available at

12.05.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Your contact person for Investor Relations

Axel Weber
Leiter Investor Relations,
Planung & Reporting

Telefon: +49 (0) 441 404-2288
Fax: +49 (0) 441 404-421

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