Letter to Shareholders

Walter Hess, CEO and Walter Oberhänsli, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dear Shareholders

In the second quarter of 2022 the Zur Rose Group launched a broad-based break-even programme. This is aimed at significantly improving adjusted EBITDA by increasing gross margin, structural cost savings, productivity gains and higher marketing efficiency. The programme progressed faster than planned throughout the year 2022.

Significant improvements thanks to rigorous implementation of the action plan


savings in CHF resulting from productivity improvements in state-of-the-art logistics

Learn more about our new logistics

In June 2022 the Group successfully opened its second distribution centre in Heerlen, the Netherlands. This increased the level of automation of logistics from 50 per cent to 70 per cent and capacity was more than doubled, from 12 million to 27 million parcels per year. Thanks to productivity improvements from state-of-the-art logistics, the Zur Rose Group is achieving savings of CHF 10 million per year. The integration of the medpex brand at the Heerlen site was completed as planned at the end of October 2022. In addition, Eurapon’s online customers have been able to purchase their products from the DocMorris pharmacy in Heerlen since December 2022. The logistics site in Bremen was closed at the end of December 2022 and the Eurapon brand was discontinued. In addition to these measures to reduce complexity, significant improvements were made in terms of gross margin as well as logistics and marketing costs.

CHF 59.2 million improvement in earnings compared to previous year 


EBITDA improvement (adjusted) in CHF

With external revenue1 of CHF 1,836.7 million, the Zur Rose Group achieved its revenue target for 2022. In Switzerland, Zur Rose continued its growth trend and grew well above the market. Due to the rigorous focus on profitability, revenue in Germany and the southern European marketplace business fell as expected. The measures taken led to a significant improvement at all earnings levels in all segments. Adjusted EBITDA rose 1.8 per cent to CHF 22.1 million in Switzerland, 50.0 per cent to minus CHF 48.0 million in Germany and 58.0 per cent to minus CHF 9.7 million in Europe. Overall, adjusted EBITDA improved CHF 59.2 million to minus CHF 69.7 million, exceeding the target announced for 2022. The operating result (EBITDA) amounted to minus CHF 77.7 million (previous year: minus CHF 142.6 million).

1 External revenue consists of the consolidated revenue of the Zur Rose Group plus mail-order revenues of pharmacies supplied by the Zur Rose Group, less the consolidated revenue from supplying them.

Sale of Swiss business to Migros significantly improves capital structure


proceeds in CHF from transaction with Medbase

As announced on 3 February 2023, Migros subsidiary Medbase, as the future owner of Zur Rose’s Swiss business, is taking over all Swiss operating units (excluding real estate) and all employees. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023, subject to approval by the competition authority. The Zur Rose Group will receive proceeds of around CHF 360 million from the transaction. By doing so, the Group is ensuring its strategy will be implemented and significantly strengthening its capital structure. The proceeds will leave the company largely net debt-free.

Focus on core B2C business strengthens position in Germany

With the sale of the Swiss business, the Zur Rose Group will in future concentrate on its core B2C business centred on Germany – with the focus on patients and customers. By concentrating its activities, the Group will strengthen its position in the EUR 50 billion pharmacy market in Germany and other European countries. This applies in particular to the prescription business, which is unlocking enormous potential with the rollout of electronic prescriptions in Germany. The Group will further expand the digital healthcare ecosystem through services for chronically ill patients and customers as well as strategic partnerships with healthcare partners.

Accelerated roll-out of e-prescriptions in Germany from 2024

E-prescriptions mandatory by 01 Jan 2024

Learn more about e-scripts in Germany

Since the introduction of electronic prescriptions in Germany, more than 1.4 million have already been transmitted and processed. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, e-prescriptions are to be introduced as the mandatory standard by 1 January 2024 and their usage will be simplified considerably. Electronic patient records (ePA) will be set up for all members of statutory health insurance schemes by the end of 2024, and e-prescriptions can also be dispensed via the ePA app. By January 2024 health insurers must enable their members to identify themselves via the eID function on their identity card and electronic health insurance card (eGK) completely digitally and seamlessly for the telematics infrastructure to send e-prescriptions. In addition to the e-prescription app and print outs of the QR code, e-prescriptions will also be able to be redeemed in brick-and-mortar pharmacies from August 2023, using the eGK. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health (BMG) is currently considering to allow patients to scan the e-prescription QR code (token) from a card reader in a doctor’s practice using a smartphone to redeem it at a pharmacy of their choice using an app. According to the BMG, this paperless method could in future be used as an additional option for redeeming e-prescriptions at online pharmacies.

Significant progress in sustainability and clear targets for the future


targeted annual reduction in carbon emissions

Learn more about sustainability at the Zur Rose Group

The Zur Rose Group can report significant progress in its second sustainability report. In addition to an improved governance structure, the measurement of the carbon footprint and the focus on diversity and inclusion, the Group has for the first time set clear and ambitious sustainability targets, the achievement of which is linked to the compensation of the Executive Board. Among other things, the aim is to reduce CO2 emissions by 4.2 per cent annually and work towards the long-term goal of climate neutrality. Over the coming years, the aim is to reach even more chronically ill patients with chronic care services and to further develop the digital healthcare ecosystem.

Zur Rose Group AG changes name to DocMorris AG

 With the sale of the Swiss business to Medbase, the Zur Rose brand will also be transferred to Medbase. Zur Rose Group has the right to continue to use the brand during a transitional period. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on 4 May 2023 for Zur Rose Group AG to change its name to DocMorris Group AG. The name refers to the DocMorris brand, which will in future be used both for the core B2C business and for the Group. The registered office of the company and the stock exchange listing will remain in Switzerland.


In 2023 the Zur Rose Group will continue to focus in particular on its plan to create a sustainable basis for profitability and future revenue growth. Including the full-year earnings contribution from the Swiss business, the Group would, as announced, reach break-even at the adjusted EBITDA level as early as 2023.

EBITDA break-even expected by 2024

Excluding the Swiss business and regardless of the ramp-up speed of electronic prescriptions, the Group expects for 2023 a mid-single-digit percentage decline in external revenue, an improvement of adjusted EBITDA to between minus CHF 20 million and minus CHF 40 million and capital expenditure of CHF 30 million to CHF 40 million. For 2024, management is aiming for break-even on adjusted EBITDA. The mid-term guidance is confirmed at an adjusted EBITDA margin of 8 per cent.


We look forward to tackling these challenges with the energetic support of our motivated employees, to whom we owe much in 2022 thanks to their tireless dedication and high level of expertise. A special thank-you also to our customers for their trust as well as to you, our esteemed shareholders, for your loyalty.

Walter Oberhänsli

Chairman of the Board

Walter Hess

Chief Executive Officer

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