Revenues soar at eShopWorld as it benefits from post-Covid sales

Company a continuation of current volumes would equate to €1bn of sales annually

 Founder and chief executive of eShopWorld Tommy Kelly.

Founder and chief executive of eShopWorld Tommy Kelly.

 

Turnover at Irish ecommerce company eShopWorld rose by more than a third to €543.6 million last year as it forecast a strong performance for 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis.

With more consumers shopping online, eShopWorld said a continuation of current volumes would equate to €1 billion of sales annually. Activity since March has easily surpassed peak Black Friday-related transactions with sales up 200 per cent or more in multiple markets in May relative to the same month a year earlier.

The Swords-based company connects premium brands from Victoria’s Secret to Nike with consumers in more than 200 countries. The group claims to make it easier for retailers to sell across borders, where they deal with varying currency, tax and localisation issues.

eShopWorld, which is seeking to hit the €1 billion revenues target by the end of 2021, saw turnover rise by 34 per cent from €€406.6 million last year, primarily driven by Europe, where sales were up 46 per cent.

Europe now accounts for two-thirds of transactions on the company’s platform and is seen as a major growth market by North American brands, eShopWorld said.

Earnings

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) more than doubled last year to €13.5 million from €6.5 million a year earlier.

Operating profit improved more than 3-fold on 2018’s outturn, to €6 million in 2019, with pre-tax profits of €5.73 million.

The company employed 369 people at the end of 2019 and is expected to reach 450 by year-end 2021.

“We are very pleased to have added almost 20 premium brands to our platform in 2019 and to have delivered growth in reach, turnover, profitability and functionality,” said chief executive Tommy Kelly.

“Brexit was a factor but Covid is also accentuating a structural shift in retail as brands focus on more agile route to market strategies and direct to consumer relationships in a premium environment,” he added.

The company said it spent approximately €20 million last year updating its platform and added 12 European brands to it.

It was founded by Mr Kelly in 2010, Asendia, a joint venture from the French and Swiss postal service companies, increased its stake in the group by 10 per cent to 50 per cent in 2017.