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Russia's Pharmacy Chain sees online sales accounting for 10 percent of total by mid-2018
May 23, 2017 / 9:41 AM / 6 months ago

Russia's Pharmacy Chain sees online sales accounting for 10 percent of total by mid-2018

May 23 (Reuters) - Russian health and beauty products retailer Pharmacy Chain 36.6 expects online sales to account for 10 percent of total revenue by mid-2018 from just 1 percent now, its corporate finance director said.

* To achieve its online sales target the company has teamed up with online retailer Ozon.ru in March, but said growth will also come from sales through its own websites, 36.6 and Gorzdrav.

* Walgreens Boots Alliance, which grabbed a 15 percent stake in the pharmacy retailer last year in exchange for its local wholesale business, is supporting the development of its online project.

* First-quarter revenue at the second-largest pharmacy chain in Russia rose 10 percent, its finance chief, Yury Gusarov, told Reuters in an emailed interview. This is on top of the 44 percent growth it reported for 2016.

* Revenues were boosted by its merger with rival pharmacy retailer A5 in 2016. After the deal, the group had a 4.4 percent share of the market in Russia at the end of 2016, analysts at RNC Pharma said.

* Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is also looking to increase the share of its own products to 30 percent by the end of the year to ramp up profitability.

* The company, which operates chiefly in and around Moscow and Saint Petersburg, does not exclude expansion into other regions in coming months.

* Its net debt jumped 53 percent to 19.71 billion roubles ($348.35 million) in 2016. Its auditor Deloitte warned that short-term liabilities jumped and the company had violated covenants under credit agreement in its annual report. Deloitte added that “material uncertainty may cast doubt upon Pharmacy Chain 36.6’s ability to continue its operations in foreseeable future”.

* Shares of the company have lost more than a third of their value so far this year and are hovering near all-time lows. ($1 = 56.5803 roubles) (Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka and Anna Rzhevkina, editing by Louise Heavens)

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