API grows despite tough conditions


More than 20 new Priceline Pharmacies are planned for the current year, API chief Richard Vincent says

In announcing its financial year results, API said its growth was set to continue despite the tougher retail environment.

API reported underlying Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $54.2 million, up 5.4% on underlying NPAT for the prior corresponding period. This was also slightly ahead of its full year profit guidance, issued on 2 August.

The reported NPAT included $1.8 million in once-off costs associated with the offer to acquire Laser Clinics Australia.

Total revenue for the period increased 5.8% to $4.06 billion, while reported EBITDA was up 3.8% to $117.9 million, and underlying EBITDA was up 6.1% to $120.5 million.

Reported EBIT increased 2.5% to $89.3 million on the prior year and underlying EBIT to $91.9 million, up 5.5%.

API ended the financial year with no reported net debt, which was achieved earlier than the company’s guidance that it would achieve this by the end of the calendar year.

API CEO and managing director Richard Vincent said that the company had retained a strong market position in its core business, “despite the more challenging market conditions we faced during 2017, and we have further improved our balance sheet position”.

“Management focus is on ensuring our customer proposition remains relevant and delivering profitable growth for our pharmacists and API.”

The Priceline Pharmacy grew by 20 stores – up to 462 – during the last financial year, and another 20 are in the pipeline for the coming year, he says.

“The number of pharmacies looking to join Priceline Pharmacy remains promising and the pipeline consistent,” Mr Vincent says.

“However, tougher decisions may be required where retail landlords seek unrealistic returns relative to the market conditions when it relates to our company stores and this approach may marginally impede overall network growth in the coming year.”

API has implemented Phase One of Priceline’s Sister Club relaunch, to introduce tiering and increased benefits for members.

It is now commencing Phase Two, which will allow more immediate, personalised offers to customers.

In morning trade yesterday API shares rose 2% to $1.61 following the financial year results announcement.

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