Since the IPO in June 2021, the About You price has only known one direction: down. This week, after the publication of the annual figures, the share fell even further by more than eleven percent.

CEO and founder Tarek Müller has confirmed his forecast, according to which the Zalando attacker should make an operating profit for the first time in the coming year. However, the loss has increased in the current year – and growth is flattening out.

In the WELT interview, Müller gives the shareholders little hope of a quick recovery. The desolate price development of the company, which was created in the Otto Group, is mainly due to external factors, he says.

WORLD: About You’s shares have lost more than half of their value since the IPO. When will it get better?

Tarek Müller: Well, first of all I have to say that in some cases we even exceeded our promises at the IPO. We grew at the higher end of the forecast and lost less than announced.

WORLD: That doesn’t show up in the course.

Müller: But that also applies to comparable shares in e-commerce companies. To be honest, I didn’t realize how strong the macroeconomic forces are. That currently outshines what we achieve in the company.

WORLD: What do you mean by that?

Müller: Before the IPO, I thought that as the CEO of a company, you had to have enough insider knowledge to be able to forecast the price development quite well. But now I just have to say: The course is not only driven by the things we do. Our share value suffers from the market environment. Basically, growth stocks are weak.

WORLD: Does that mean for you: You went public just at the right time before the big stock market slump?

Müller: To be honest, we don’t think about that.

WORLD: The current price loss is also related to the fact that your last quarter, the last of the 2021/2022 financial year, was weak.

Müller: No, I see it differently. We were able to assert ourselves in a very difficult market environment. With 30 percent sales growth, we were among the few who grew in e-commerce despite the inflation shock and the war.

WORLD: Your quarterly loss has increased.

Müller: We had costs for changing our logistics, maybe also for a few advertising campaigns. In addition, some goods were delivered late. But I look more at the year than at the quarter – and we have improved compared to the forecast in the last financial year.

WORLD: Well, the bottom line loss is increasing, growth is weakening. The fashion industry had actually speculated on catch-up purchases after the end of the shutdowns.

Müller: Yes, with the return of events and parties there are actually more reasons to buy. But we see that people are going back to the boutiques and pedestrian zones first. E-commerce as a whole is suffering as a result. This could continue for a few more months, but then it should normalize.

WORLD: What does that mean for you?

Müller: We are sticking to our goals. We want to be profitable in the coming 2023/2024 financial year and achieve sales of five billion euros in 2025/2026. We stand by that.

WORLD: How is it supposed to become more profitable?

Müller: We are now represented in 26 European countries. We can’t reach many more markets in continental Europe, so there are no expenses for market entry. In Southern Europe we are gaining market shares and are thus becoming more efficient. And last but not least, we are making spectacular gains in our second business area, in which we license our software to other companies.

WORLD: So when does that show up on the course?

Mueller: I can’t say that.

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