ElectronicPartner completes a challenging financial year

'The 2022 financial year presented a real challenge for ElectronicPartner due to the familiar one-off factors that have been discussed on numerous occasions. However we actively took them on and overcame them', said Karl Trautmann, member of the executive board at ElectronicPartner.

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  • EP: specialist retail consistently well ahead of the market
  • MEDIMAX growing markedly and ahead of the market
  • Slight drop for ElectronicPartner overall

Following strong performance in previous years, helped by growing digitalisation and people shielding during the pandemic, the buying group as a whole posted turnover of €1.3 billion in 2022, down 3.4% on 2021. At -2%, the national organisations in Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands acquitted themselves slightly better than the operation in Germany, which recorded a year-on-year drop in turnover of 4%. 'These figures are consistent with the overall picture in specialist electronics retail at the moment and show that, relatively speaking, our buying group has put in a thoroughly respectable showing', said Trautmann.


EP: specialist retailers beat the market in spite of challenges

According to figures from GfK, the specialist retail channel in particular did not manage to match its strong results from 2020 and 2021 and reported a drop in turnover of 6.9%. The specialist retailers at ElectronicPartner did not escape this trend. Despite that, the EP: premium specialist retail brand cleared every hurdle, put in its way and performed better than its market competitors. However, the EP: brand did record a decline of 5.8% for 2022, marking the first negative turnover figure in years.


Strong turnover growth for MEDIMAX

Large-scale retail did very well at ElectronicPartner. GfK has reported turnover growth of 3.6% for operations of this type in 2022, but MEDIMAX outlets went a few steps further and increased their turnover by 9.6%. The customer-focused conceptual re‑alignment made its mark in the form of clear trading-up in both the product range and store concepts. The investments that the franchise partners made in personnel and shop fitting during the pandemic are proving their worth. 'We took a courageous decision when we continued with the process of going private despite the coronavirus pandemic shortly after the re-alignment of MEDIMAX began. Now, all our outlets are in the hands of dedicated entrepreneurs, and the latest figures show that we made the right decision and the hard work of everyone involved has paid off', said Friedrich Sobol, the member of the ElectronicPartner executive board responsible for the MEDIMAX brand. He added, 'With an extensive campaign aimed at winning over new skilled workers, the next MEDIMAX project is already at the starting blocks. We look forward to continuing to work with both our existing franchise partners and new ones still to come!'


Slight drop for comTeam

After two very strong years in which the comTeam technology network played a major role in using digital solutions to ensure that businesses across Germany can continue to operate even in emergencies, turnover in the IT sector fell. comTeam posted a decline of 4.3% in 2022. ‘It goes without saying that these figures need to be viewed in the context of the big picture. Following growth of 4.7% in 2020 and 2.1% in 2021, the turnover of the partners in the technology network is still well above what it was before the pandemic', said Matthias Assmann, who assumed responsibility for the comTeam brand on the ElectronicPartner executive board in January 2023. 'I'm impressed by the network's energy and capacity for innovation, and I'm excited about the implementation of new projects in 2023', he added.


Consequences of war in Ukraine and post-COVID effects have an impact on product demand

In 2022, some of the numerous product areas at ElectronicPartner diverged from overall performance in electronic retail, according to GfK. The turnover figures for mobile communications were particularly positive, with an increase of more than 20%. In terms of white goods, large domestic appliances were particularly popular, due in part to heightened awareness of sustainable and energy-saving electronics among consumers. Member companies generated significantly more turnover in this area than the market as a whole. The small domestic appliance segment also did well, recording a slight increase. ElectronicPartner posted a drop in brown goods, but it was significantly less pronounced than in the industry as a whole. The negative trend was reflected primarily in conventional specialist retail, although this was starting from a very high level owing to the effects of shielding in 2021. Large-scale retail, however, performed well in the TV segment in 2022, as well as in audio, and particularly portable Bluetooth speakers. After more than two years of working from home and home-schooling, the IT market appears to be saturated for the most part and the trend within the buying group was negative. Only storage media recorded positive results in this segment.


ElectronicPartner Austria secures major order for climate change mitigation

ElectronicPartner Austria has secured an exclusive contract for an extraordinary project in a public tender process run by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. The affiliated ElectronicPartner specialist retailers will supply low-income households with energy-efficient large appliances and provide personalised energy efficiency consulting services. 'We are proud that our Austrian members have been given the vote of confidence that such an important agreement represents and will thus have the opportunity to help take meaningful and effective action to mitigate climate change', said Trautmann, who is responsible for international business on the ElectronicPartner executive board.


Summary and outlook

ElectronicPartner delivered respectable results in the 2022 financial year as a whole. The company is expecting turnover to grow at the same level as the previous year in 2023. 'In addition to inflation, many consumers are being hit hard by the impact of rising energy prices this year. Despite the fact that consumer budgets are tightening across the board, we will be continuing to increase sales of high-quality, sustainable and energy-efficient ranges', said Trautmann.

The buying group is hitting the ground running with new projects and a sense of optimism in all areas of business. ElectronicPartner has used the last few years to put in place ideal conditions for a successful future at its own headquarters, with fully upgraded state-of-the-art business premises, flexible workplaces and a continuing forward looking approach to its corporate culture. As of January 2023, this is reflected by a new working hours model in particular. The company is now operating a 35-hour week that can be split across four or five days, with the option to work in the office or from home. 'We're focusing on our people and their needs, whether they're dealers, customers or employees. We want to be an appealing employer so that we can offer the very best teams to help our members and partners well into the future. After all, only then will we be able to provide the best possible support for our continued business succcess', said Trautmann.

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