Turnover at Schou Company, Scandinavia’s largest wholesale company for non-food products, increased during the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s annual financial results, which were published on Wednesday, also show another extraordinary event resulted in profits being less than the previous year.
As the saying goes, a misfortune never comes alone. And even though that saying could be a headline suitable for Schou Company A/S’ financial year, Scandinavia’s largest wholesale company for non-food products still achieved attractive financial results. A major fire in the port at Bremen in April last year proved very expensive for the company but another misfortune, the coronavirus pandemic, has had a positive impact on the company’s balance sheet despite the challenges it has caused.
The coronavirus pandemic has increased demand
Schou Company, which imports, sells and distributes non-food products, tools and DIY products for the home and garden market had turnover of DKK 1.7 billion in 2020, compared to turnover of DKK 1.5 billion in 2019. Despite coronavirus pandemic restrictions and lockdowns challenging its operations, the company, whose headquarters are located in Kolding, managed to increase turnover significantly.
Schou Company CEO, Gotfred Christiansen, explained:
“For the last year, a lot of people have had to stay at home, either all the time or for some of the time. This has meant a significant increase in DIY activities, which has helped to increase demand for our products. On the other hand, many of the stores that sell our products have had to stay closed for periods of time, which obviously has the opposite effect.”
Gotfred Christiansen also explained that in addition to increased demand in the home and garden market, investments that Schou Company has made in the organisation in recent years have also increased turnover.
Strong results despite major fire
Despite an increase in turnover of almost DKK 200 million, the CEO noted that there was a fall in profits, from DKK 45 million in 2019 to DKK 30 million in 2020. This was because of one single event.
“Our financial results have been strongly affected by a fire that occurred at the port in Bremen on 28 April last year. The fire destroyed a large area with warehouses, which among other things, were the premises of our logistics partner. We lost stock to a value of approximately EUR 10 million and it is still not decided who is liable and thus has the insurance obligations on the goods,” explained Gotfred Christiansen.
The verdict may take a long time and liability will presumably be determined in court. This means that Schou Company’s financial results for 2020, despite being strong, includes a loss that corresponds to the value of the destroyed stock.
“Obviously, this is a major irritation to us because without the fire, the financial results would have been decidedly good,” said the CEO.
The Schou Company board of directors has therefore concluded that the financial results are satisfactory.