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Booktopia Earnings Hampered By Fines, Restructuring

Booktopia announced another year of record revenue, with Australia’s leading online book retailer bringing in $240.8 million during FY22.

Revenue was up 7.5 per cent, with the gross profits up 6.3 per cent, to $65 million. Sales were up 4 per cent, to 8.5 million units shipped across the twelve months.

Underlying EBITDA was $6.2 million, down substantially from FY21’s $13.6 million. This gulf is due to a number of one-off expenses that hampered the company this year, taking an $8.7 million bite out of EBITDA, and $13.8 million of net profit after tax.

A Federal Court fine likely to total $6 million regarding Booktopia’s misleading returns policy is the biggest hit.

Redundancies and the removal of co-founder Tony Nash (below) as CEO cost $1.3 million, accelerated depreciation of plant equipment to the tune of $2.8 million, and merger and acquisitions “which did not eventuate” cost $1.7 million in legal fees.

In additional, $2.1 million is non-recoverable from an investment in Welback ANZ after the decision was made not to take on the company’s distribution services.

“Booktopia remains Australia’s number one choice for book buyers, and we are very proud of how our team has responded to the market conditions over the last 12 months,” Booktopia Acting Chief Executive Officer Geoff Stalley said.

“We have continued to grow our business across our key metrics, even compared to the extraordinary levels of activity in FY20 and FY21.

“The last financial year also presented a number of challenges for our business as we dealt with Sydney’s lockdowns during the first half and the broader economic, supply chain and human resource challenges of the second half.

“We have taken decisive action to address rising costs and have developed a comprehensive strategy to return the business to sustainable, profitable growth over the next few years.”

Last month, Booktopia signed a lease for a new 20,000sqm Customer Fulfilment Centre at South Strathfield in Sydney’s west. The new CFC is anticipated to be operational in time for Christmas 2023, with the company formally taking possession of the site in March 2023.

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