Selecta Group B.V., Europe’s leading route-based self-service retailer, reported sales of €260.8 million ($299.4) for the three months ended Sep. 30, 2021, an increase of 4.1%, compared with the third quarter last year. Select said that sales during the recent quarter represented 76.3% of the same quarter's sales in 2019, suggesting a steady recovery from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its financial summary released Nov. 10, the company said sales continued to be impacted by the pandemic due to work-from-home policies; but gradual recovery activity was evident throughout the summer.
During the current quarter, the toughest conditions were witnessed in Denmark and Norway, while previously severely COVID-impacted countries – Italy, the UK, Spain and France – demonstrated good momentum as market conditions improvement. The best results were seen in Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland, where Selecta's services are generating sales close to 2019's levels.
Selecta said that the private channel showed some progress in "sales per machine per day" (SMD) performance, with the manufacturing and logistics segments remaining resilient. However, that improvement was offset by sluggish results in the service and administration segments, which were negatively impacted by work-from-home policies.
The SMD in semi-public channel showed better performance driven by the education and healthcare segments. The public channel served by Select remains closest to pre-pandemic SMD levels, driven by the petrol and railway segments.
Selecta's adjusted EBITDA of €52.5 million, significantly ahead of last year, was driven by structural cost-savings taking hold as its initial "rightsizing" actions are near completion. In turn, EBITDA margin was 20.1%, up 8.2% compared with last year.
The company's reported EBITDA of €44.3 million and free cash flow of €20.4 million. As expected, both figures continued to be impacted by one-off costs related to the resizing of the organization. Selected added that its had liquidity headroom of €164.8 million.
“Selecta remains superbly positioned to meet the needs of the post COVID-19 world. Although extended work from home policies impacted the private sector over the last quarter, we continue to deliver innovative solutions to our clients that perfectly meet the needs of the new hybrid working model," said Selecta Group chief executive Christian Schmitz.
"We are excited to be so well positioned as the European partner of choice for employers seeking innovative and scalable food options combined with globally recognized premium coffee brands," Schmitz said. "The rightsizing of the organization is close to completion, and we now look towards investing in our people to support future growth.”
Selecta executive chairman Joe Plumeri added, “We continue to make excellent progress in the execution our ONE Selecta transformation vision. Our focus on best-in-class sales and service continues through targeted training and development programs that will set us apart from the rest. Ongoing investments in technology continue, with our new CRM system now successfully integrated across our 16 countries. This will further drive the successful ONE Selecta end-to-end sales process which benefits not only our sales teams, but our clients.”
Founded in 1957 and headquartered in Switzerland, Selecta Group serves coffee and other beverages, snacks and fresh meals to more than 10 million people in 16 countries across Europe. Its primary points of sale are vending machines, micro markets and office coffee systems.