Zalando managed to book a net profit of €51.8 million for the second quarter of this year, up from $47.4 million in the second quarter of 2017, after taking in a loss of €15 million in the first quarter of this year. While the operating margin fell slightly to 7.1 percent from 7.4 percent in the year-ago period, sales continued to go up briskly, rising by 20.9 percent to €1.33 billion.
The number of active customers and new orders reached new records of 24.6 million and 29 million, respectively.
The strongest growth rates were obtained in the off-price segment and outside the German-speaking countries. Sales went up by 39.3 percent to €114.6 million in the off-price segment, which is represented by closeout sales through the Zalando Lounge web store, the company's factory outlet stores and other channels. Full-price sales rose by 21.3 percent to €1.23 billion.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, sales rose by 15.4 percent to €625.8 million. They went up by 28.0 percent to €607.6 million in the rest of Europe.
The company hailed its recent entry in Ireland and the Czech Republic as successful. It was the first new step in Zalando's internationalization process since 2013. Besides the German-speaking countries, which now represent just over half of the total turnover, the Berlin-based e-commerce giant specializing in footwear and apparel is already operating in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the U.K.
For the first six months of this year, Zalando booked a 21.4 percent overall sales increase of €2.52 billion, generating an adjusted operating margin (Ebit) of 3.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent in the same period of 2017, due in part to continuously high investments, especially in infrastructures. For the full financial year, the management expects an adjusted operating profit of between €220 million and €270 million on a sales increase that will likely be at the bottom of a previously projected range of 20 to 25 percent.