Sales increase in time of turmoil
The quarter in summary
Message from the CEO
Despite declining sales in most of the consumer electronics categories, Doro increased its sales in the first quarter by 3%.
The first quarter of 2022 has been challenging for the consumer business as a whole, with a general slow-down hitting home electronics and much lower activities in stores. At the same time as we were expecting post pandemic life to return to more normal conditions, the overall economic situation took a difficult turn with the Russian war against Ukraine, and with high inflation, increasing costs of living, and an overall feeling of increased insecurity.
Increased costs of living, especially for basic products such as food, fuel, and energy, together with the insecurity arising from the Ukraine war, has resulted in lower discretionary spending.
The war in Ukraine has not only impacted consumer behaviour but has also had a significant impact on components, supply chains, and transportation. With the current geopolitical situation and a new development of the Covid pandemic in China, production and freight have become even more challenging and costly during the quarter. Some of our products now have exceptionally long lead times which puts a further strain on our logistics, and alas, forces us to use more air transportation than planned, with increased freight costs as a consequence.
At Doro we do not have any business relations with Russia or Ukraine, and although we naturally see the impact both in logistics and supply and experience the negative effect on the consumer electronics business, in this situation our thoughts still first and foremost go out to the Ukrainian people.
Doro and all of its staff have during the quarter tried to help the millions of people who are forced to experience the horrors of war. We began by donated 1 000 000 SEK to the National Bank of Ukraine’s Humanitarian Fund, in addition to donating easy to use mobile phones to Ukrainian refugees. Moreover, Doro has provided our warehouse facilities in Amberg (Germany) to assist and help the local Ukrainian Relief Organisations with storing, shipping and distribution efforts to Ukraine. There has also been several local help initiatives at our various offices across Europe where our staff are donating money and basic necessities.
Despite all the horrors of the war, the macro-economic and supply chain challenges, Doro managed to increase its sales by 2.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year. At the same time, our COGS and OPEX increased due to the aforementioned component and logistics challenges as well as higher marketing and sales spending in anticipation of the markets opening. Consequently, our gross margin and operating profit decreased compared to the previous year and reached an EBITDA of SEK 14.8 million in the quarter, with EBIT at SEK 3.0 million and a profit after tax of SEK 3.5 million.
Sell-through in the stores was, as mentioned, not at the level expected. Sales for Frabel and Nordic, two regions where our customers had high stock levels at the start of the new year, were lower than the same quarter during the previous year. In the Nordic region however, we are pleased with the good level of 2G feature phone sales to Finland and the Baltics. Likewise, our UK region took a step forward and performed better than last year, especially towards the end of the quarter, with a boost from our strongest retail customer in England. In addition, our DACH region improved compared to last year, with good tractions in both distribution and retail channels.
Despite the supply and logistics challenges, our Operations Team has continued to successfully manage our inventory efficiently. As a result, we have been able to maintain a good level of delivery to our customers. The continuous strong efforts of our logistics team have really paid off and we have during the quarter received very positive feedback from several of our important customers with regards to our delivery capacity and quality.
On the portfolio side, we are now launching our new smartphone and feature phone ranges across all regions. The quality and cost-controlled production of the new products will help us regain better margins, which were negatively affected during the quarter by the price increase of components and higher transport costs. In parallel, our product management team is working hard on the new innovative products, which will further broaden our offering and help us fulfil our mission of making technology available to all seniors.
A webcast conference call will be held on Friday 29 April at 9.00 am (CET) when President and CEO Jörgen Nilsson and CFO Isabelle Sengès will present the report. The webcast is accessed at https://tv.streamfabriken.com/doro-q1-2022. The presentation material is available on Doro’s financial website http://www.doro.com/corporate.
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