Online grocer Rohlik posts 53% rise in revenue as expansion builds

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Rohlik Group posted a 53% year-on-year rise in net revenue to 490 million euros ($522 million) in its past fiscal year, the company said on Wednesday, as the Czech-based online grocery delivery firm builds on a European expansion push.

The group, founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Tomas Cupr, will end its fiscal year to April with more than 1 million customers, it said, after launching operations in Germany last year, adding to existing markets in the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.

It plans to start in Italy, Romania and Spain in 2022, as well as to further expand in Germany.

Rohlik, like other online grocery or delivery groups, has benefitted from the faster shift to online shopping brought by the COVID pandemic, while it has also boosted fundraising and investments into automation at its centres to aid expansion.

"We are pleased not to see a post-pandemic softening or a slowdown in growth," Cupr said.

"Not only is our core Czech market EBITDA profitable since 2018, all of our four existing markets are on a path to be contribution profitable in the upcoming fiscal year," he said, referring to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Rohlik raised 100 million euros in its last fundraising round, led by Index Ventures, in July last year, which valued the firm at 1 billion euros.

It has said it planned hundreds of millions of euros in investments in the coming years to support growth. That includes a 45 million euro investment in 2022 to automate distribution centres in Munich, Hamburg and Prague.

Rohlik delivered 200 million items to customers in the past year, it said, and the average order value in western Europe topped 85 euros.

($1 = 0.9395 euros)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Mark Potter)