Romanian online stores Vivre, Elefant fail to capture online shopping momentum
Two Romanian medium-sized online retailers, Vivre Deco (home decorations, operating across borders as well) and Elefant Online (diversified, marketplace), reported deep losses in 2021, and the audit firms reviewing their statements question their capacity to continue operating.
In the meantime, eMAG became the most valuable Romanian brand, overthrowing carmaker Dacia - Romania's biggest exporter, part of the Renault group.
Market concentration, accused by another major online store - CEL (Corsar Online) - before going insolvent last year, is putting visible pressure on smaller-sized players. Yet, there are still robust players that are gaining ground: Altex, with a "hybrid" online and offline (omnichannel) strategy, reported 24% sales growth in 2020, to RON 5 bln (just over EUR 1 bln). The company hasn't announced FY 2021 results yet.
Online furniture and decoration retailer Vivre Deco, with EUR 10.45 mln bonds listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), maturing 2025 and 2026, announced a net loss of RON 84.8 mln (EUR 17 mln) in 2021, from a net profit of RON 7.4 mln in the previous year, Ziarul Financiar reported.
The auditors question the Group's capacity to continue operations. The company's operating income reached RON 250 mln (EUR 50 mln) last year, down 16.7% compared to 2020, while EBITDA (earnings before taxes, fees, depreciation and amortization) was negative EUR 72.7 mln, from positive RON 15.5 mln in 2020.
The company estimates its total operating income will shrink by another 20% to RON 196.6 mln in 2022.
Another Romanian online retailer, Elefant Online, with RON 17.5 mln (EUR 3.5 mln) bonds listed on the BVB, maturing 2026, announced that its losses deepened to RON 16.7 mln (EUR 3.3 mln) in 2021, from RON 1.9 mln in 2020, Businessmagazin.ro reported. Last year, the company's turnover edged down by 2.8% to RON 232.8 mln (EUR 46 mln), while the operating costs increased by 17.6% to RON 56.2 mln.
The consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, auditors explain - adding that the Group's ability to continue to operate depends on the company's ability to generate sufficient revenue and on the financial support of its shareholders.
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