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Zur Rose Group accelerates growth in second quarter with revenue up 26 per cent

Zur Rose Group AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results

18-Aug-2021 / 07:00 CET/CEST
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Frauenfeld, 18 August 2021
Press release

2021 Half-Year Results

Zur Rose Group accelerates growth in second quarter with
revenue up 26 per cent

- Positive performance sustained with 20.8 per cent growth in first half despite drugs market stagnating due to pandemic

- Significant acceleration in second quarter: 35.6 per cent growth in Germany

- New DocMorris app launched on schedule as e-prescription test phase gets under way

- Half-year results lower than last year due to stepped up investment in e-prescriptions and growth

In a challenging market environment, the Zur Rose Group continued to rigorously implement its growth strategy in the first half of 2021. Although the OTC drug market stagnated as a result of a considerable decline in demand for cold and flu medications due to the pandemic, external revenue[1] rose by 20.8 per cent in local currency terms or 23.2 per cent in Group currency terms to CHF 998.0 million, in line with the targets announced. Growth accelerated substantially in the second quarter, rising 26.2 per cent, after 16.0 per cent in the first quarter. The general move towards more online purchases and steady growth in new customers contributed to the dynamic performance. The number of active customers rose by more than 600,000 to 11.7 million[2] in the second quarter.

Sustained pleasing performance in the segments
The Zur Rose Group saw strong gains in Germany, with growth in external revenue accelerating in the second quarter to 35.6 per cent in local currency terms (after 25.2 per cent in the first quarter). In the first half it grew by 30.0 per cent in local currency terms or 33.7 per cent in Group currency terms to CHF 656.0 million. This positive performance was driven by the online business in non-prescription medications and health products, despite the stagnation in the OTC market. The prescription drugs business based on paper prescriptions almost reached the same level as the period last year and is testament to the high degree of customer loyalty. The Switzerland segment also put in a stable performance, thanks to successful initiatives. Revenue in the home market increased by 5.6 per cent to CHF 305.1 million. In the Europe segment, which currently consists of Spain and France, revenue rose by 22.9 per cent in local currency terms or 26.4 per cent in Group currency terms, to CHF 40.5 million in the first half.

Investments stepped up to support the growth strategy
To support the growth strategy, in the first half the Zur Rose Group stepped up investments in electronic prescriptions and high-margin areas for the future: the healthcare ecosystem, telemedicine and PaaS (platform as a service). As the European umbrella brand for the ecosystem and with a view to the launch of e-prescriptions, in February 2021 DocMorris launched a major marketing campaign in Germany ("Das neue Gesund"). In total, expenditure for these activities increased in the first half by around CHF 20 million. Because the OTC market stagnated due to the pandemic, the costs of growth were higher, which had an impact on the margin and the marketing ratio. The results were also burdened by non-recurring expenditure, chiefly in connection with acquisitions and restructuring. EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring effects was minus CHF 42.9 million. The operating result (EBITDA) was minus CHF 49.7 million.

Technical components for e-prescriptions ready: test phase for e-prescriptions starts
The introduction of electronic prescriptions in Germany is proceeding as planned. As at 30 June 2021, all technical components - the gematik app for forwarding e-prescriptions, the identity provider as the central access system and the specialist e-prescription service on which all e-prescriptions are stored in encrypted format, the implementation of which Zur Rose subsidiary eHealth-Tec was also involved as a partner of IBM - had been provided on schedule.

On 1 July 2021 a three-month test phase, in which DocMorris is also participating, started in Berlin-Brandenburg as a focus region. This sees selected doctors in their practices or by telemedicine, local and online pharmacies and patients trying out the new prescribing and dispensing process with e-prescriptions. A national test phase across Germany will start on 1 October 2021, before e-prescriptions become mandatory on 1 January 2022. From then on, patients will no longer have to follow the previous cumbersome procedure of sending paper prescriptions in by post to e-commerce pharmacies. By that date at the latest, providers of practice and pharmacy management systems and hospital information systems must have connected their software to the gematik e-prescription specialist service. eHealth-Tec has come up with a compatible software development kit (SDK) for this, which is already being used by various pharmacies and telemedecine providers. This tool meets the highest security standards and all gematik requirements and combines a host of individual steps into one stringent process.

New DocMorris app for the start of the test phase
The new DocMorris app also started punctually for the launch of the gematik test phase for e-prescriptions. This provides users with a convenient scan function for the field codes on the print-out when having e-prescriptions filled, allowing the prescription information to be sent to DocMorris quickly and digitally. The Zur Rose Group currently anticipates that more than 90 per cent of patients will initially receive their e-prescriptions as a print-out, and that owing to the high technical requirements and the complex identification process, fewer than 10 per cent of prescriptions will be submitted using the official gematik e-prescription app.

For patients, the new DocMorris app also now gives them the option to order their OTC medications and healthcare products directly or arrange a video consultation with a qualified doctor from Germany. The launch of the app is being supported by a major marketing campaign focusing on e-prescriptions and how to have them filled.

By the end of the year, all services and functions like e-commerce, healthcare services and marketplace will be combined in a digital DocMorris healthcare platform with just one app and one front-end application, to ensure the most convenient customer experience. As an intermediate stage, the DocMorris+ marketplace has been renamed DocMorris Express for same-day deliveries by partner pharmacies.

Start for ecosystem healthcare journeys
The first healthcare journey was successfully launched in collaboration with global healthcare company Novo Nordisk for people living with obesity ( at the end of March 2021. The ecosystem healthcare journey allows people with obesity to seek information and professional help, get advice from specialist doctors and discover solutions to improve their health and quality of life. Doctors can be consulted both online, using TeleClinic, and physically with the help of a health care provider locator. The marketing campaign for the obesity care journey has already achieved a broad and substantial impact after just four months. The ads have been viewed more than 55 million times (number of impressions). Google Trends has also seen a sharp rise in interest in searching for the term "obesity" since the campaign and care journey started.

Awards for the ecosystem umbrella brand DocMorris
The multimedia campaign "Das neue Gesund" launched in Germany in February in 2021 conveys the new brand values of DocMorris after the substantial rebranding at the end of 2020. In 2021, DocMorris has won eight prestigious international awards for the new branding and the #TakeCare Christmas campaign so far, including the Red Dot for brand design and four New York Festival awards. These prizes are a recognition of the new brand appearance, which reflects the values and positioning of DocMorris. Unaided brand awareness rose by eight percentage points.

Another healthcare digitalisation law approved
On 6 May 2021 the German Bundestag passed the Digital Provision and Care Modernisation Act (Digitale-Versorgung-und-Pflege-Modernisierungs-Gesetz, DVPMG), with the support of the governing parties. Amongst other things, Doctors are now allowed to conduct and charge up to 30 per cent of their consultations as video consultations. Healthcare providers are also obliged to set a digital authentication procedure for video consultations. This will remove barriers to using remote treatment such as having to show an electronic healthcare card by video or afterwards in the practice. The new Act is likely to further accelerate demand for online consultations. An increasing number of doctors are opting for telemedicine offerings alongside their normal consultations. Zur Rose subsidiary TeleClinic has also witnessed a strong increase in treatments over the platform since the start of the pandemic.

Merger of apo-rot brand with DocMorris successfully concluded
apo-rot B.V. merged with DocMorris N.V. on 30 June 2021. All employees were taken on and integrated into the existing structures at the Heerlen site. This means the Zur Rose Group has now completed the next stage of integration to increase efficiency.

Well healthcare platform to go live shortly
In recent months the joint venture set up by insurers CSS and Visana, Medi24 and the Zur Rose Group has laid the technological groundwork for running a comprehensive digital healthcare platform where Zur Rose provides part of the technology. The next step will be the market entry of the Well healthcare app. The platform will simplify access to personal healthcare services for users in Switzerland, creating a basis for digitally supported, integrated care.

Zur Rose Switzerland contributes to combating the pandemic
As a systemically important provider of medicines, Zur Rose Switzerland has come up with innovative offerings in the struggle against the coronavirus. Jointly with Zur Rose subsidiary BlueCare, partner mediX and technical support from healthinal, it developed and financed a technological solution to simplify the processing of COVID-19 tests and vaccinations for doctors. The service is provided free of charge to all testing and vaccination facilities and is used by over 700 practices; more than 100,000 vaccinations and PCR tests have been administered.

In the second half of 2021 the main focus will be on the launch of e-prescriptions in Germany. The Zur Rose Group is keen to convince with its service and e-commerce offering and boost revenue in this area considerably in the future. With 10.3 million customers in the German market and DocMorris as Germany's best-known pharmacy brand, the Group is excellently placed to seize this opportunity. It is now laying the groundwork with a clear focus on winning new customers, raising brand awareness and brand positioning.

In a changing market environment where the trend towards digitalisation has accelerated sharply as a result of the pandemic, the Zur Rose Group is step-by-step changing from being a pure e-commerce pharmacy to a comprehensive healthcare service and healthtech provider. The focus is on creating and expanding the European healthcare ecosystem, where all the activities surrounding digital healthcare are brought together. This will make it possible for people to manage their health in one click. Zur Rose will drive ahead the European expansion. An accelerated trend towards digitalising the healthcare system is apparent in several countries. Zur Rose will seize the market opportunities that arise and roll out further growth initiatives.

The Zur Rose Group confirms the short and medium-term growth and earnings targets announced on 18 March 2021.

Revenue, in CHF million (unaudited) 1.4.-30.6.2021 1.4.-30.6.2020 Change
Zur Rose Group external revenue 495.3 383.4 29.2%
Zur Rose Group external revenue, in local currency     26.2%
Zur Rose Group 418.8 333.0 25.8%
Zur Rose Group, in local currency     23.1%

Germany external revenue 318.8 227.1 40.4%
Germany external revenue, in local currency     35.6%
Germany 242.4 176.8 37.1%
Germany, in local currency     32.4%
Switzerland 158.1 137.5 14.9%
Europe 20.6 19.7 4.6%
Europe, in local currency     1.2%

Business models
B2C external revenue 359.4 257.9 39.3%
B2C 283.0 207.6 36.3%
Professional Services 117.4 106.7 10.1%
Marketplace 20.6 19.7 4.6%
Revenue, in CHF million (unaudited) 1.1.-30.6.2021 1.1.-30.6.2020 Change
Zur Rose Group external revenue 998.0 809.9 23.2%
Zur Rose Group external revenue, in local currency     20.8%
Zur Rose Group 839.8 698.0 20.3%
Zur Rose Group, in local currency     18.2%

Germany external revenue 656.0 490.7 33.7%
Germany external revenue, in local currency     30.0%
Germany 497.8 378.8 31.4%
Germany, in local currency     27.8%
Switzerland 305.1 288.8 5.6%
Europe 40.5 32.1 26.4%
Europe, in local currency     22.9%

Business models
B2C external revenue 730.1 554.2 31.7%
B2C 571.9 442.3 29.3%
Professional Services 231.0 225.3 2.6%
Marketplace 40.5 32.1 26.4%

External revenue consists of the consolidated revenue of the Zur Rose Group plus the mail-order revenue of pharmacies supplied by the Zur Rose Group, less the consolidated revenue for their supply.

Further key financials, in CHF million (unaudited) 1.1.-30.6.2021 1.1.-30.6.2020 Change
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted -42.9 -11.5 n.m.
in % of revenue -5.1% -1.6%  
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) -49.7 -24.5 n.m.
in % of revenue -5.9% -3.5%  
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) -73.1 -42.0 n.m.
in % of revenue -8.7% -6.0%  
Net income / (loss) -77.0 -52.3 n.m.
in % of revenue -9.2% -7.5%  
  30.6.2021 31.12.2020 Change
Equity 466.1 531.7 12.3%
in % of total assets 37.2% 41.6%  

The half-year report 2021 and presentation are available at under "Investors & Media", "Publications".

At 2 p.m. CET today there will be a telephone conference in English for analysts and the media.
CH: +41 44 580 65 22 | DE: +49 69 201 744 220 | UK: +44 203 009 24 70 | USA: +1 877 423 08 30
Conference ID: 85572921#
The associated presentation (without audio) is available at:
Alternatively, the presentation can be followed via live audio webcast using the following link: Please dial in approx. 5 minutes before the conference call begins.

Investors and analyst contact
Christoph Herrmann, Head of Investor Relations
Email:, phone: +41 58 810 11 49

Media contact
Lisa Lüthi, Head of Group Communications
Email:, phone: +41 52 724 08 14

21 October 2021 Q3 Trading Update
20 January 2022 Sales 2021
24 March 2022 2021 Full-Year Results
20 April 2022 First Quarter Trading Update
28 April 2022 Annual General Meeting

Zur Rose Group
The Swiss Zur Rose Group is Europe's largest e-commerce pharmacy and one of the leading medical wholesalers in Switzerland. It also operates the leading marketplace in southern Europe for consumer health, beauty and personal care products commonly sold in pharmacies. The company is internationally present with strong brands, including Germany's best-known pharmacy brand, DocMorris, and employs more than 2,200 people at sites in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and France. Now serving more than 11 million active customers in core European markets, Zur Rose generated revenue of CHF 1,752 million (including external revenue) in 2020.

With its business model, the Zur Rose Group offers high-quality, safe and cost-effective pharmaceutical care. It also excels in continuous development of digital healthcare services and as a platform technology provider. In addition, Zur Rose is actively driving forward its positioning as a comprehensive healthcare service provider, with focus on building up its European healthcare ecosystem networking qualified providers of products, services and digital solutions. Zur Rose's contribution will be to bring these offerings to customers and patients, pursuing its vision of creating a world where people can manage their own health in one click.

The shares of Zur Rose Group AG are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (securities number 4261528, ISIN CH0042615283, ticker ROSE). For further information, please visit

[1] This consists of the consolidated revenue of the Zur Rose Group plus the mail-order revenue of pharmacies supplied by the Zur Rose Group, less the consolidated revenue for their supply.

[2] Customers supplied by the Zur Rose Group, either directly or through its partners.

End of ad hoc announcement
Language: English
Company: Zur Rose Group AG
Walzmühlestrasse 60
8500 Frauenfeld
Phone: +41 52 724 08 14
ISIN: CH0042615283
Listed: SIX Swiss Exchange
EQS News ID: 1227116

End of Announcement EQS Group News Service

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Last Updated: 18-Aug-2021