(News Bulletin 247) – After posting its first annual loss in 20 years, the used car specialist is reassuring the markets by publishing improved half-year accounts. The stock soared on the Paris Stock Exchange.

Aramis Auto resumes the path of “profitable growth”. The used car specialist has published half-year accounts showing a return to better fortune after a year 2021/2022 marked by a degraded performance due to a complicated economic and geopolitical environment.

The group then announced in December a loss for its staggered 2021/2022 financial year (ending in September), penalized by a shortage of low-mileage vehicles (such as demonstration vehicles purchased from dealers for example). “This is the first year in 20 years where we have lost money, temporarily affected by the shortage of new vehicles,” Guillaume Paoli told BFM Business at the time.

Over the past half-year (ended at the end of March), the performances posted by the Val-de-Marne group (headquartered in Arcueil) this time show a recovery in the accounts thanks to an active policy on the acquisition and better control of its operating costs.

Two acquisitions in 2022

In order not to be left behind by the competition, the group has indeed accelerated the pace in terms of external growth. The company recalls having acquired in 2022 Onlinecars, Austrian leader in the sale of reconditioned vehicles and the Italian brumbrum, bought from the British Cazoo which came out of the transalpine market in disaster.

Thus, between October 2022 and March 2023, Aramis’ revenue reached 940.8 million euros, up 7.8% compared to the first half of 2022. Restated for these acquisitions, in Austria and Italy, turnover was virtually stable.

In detail, the number of reconditioned cars sold over the period was up 15.6% compared to the first half of 2022, including an increase of 4.9% excluding acquisitions in Austria and Italy. Aramis Auto does much better in the market for used vehicles less than 8 years old, which averages -9% in the countries where the group operates (France, Spain, Belgium and the United Kingdom) over the same period.

In the segment of pre-registered vehicles, the market is still very difficult. Aramis Auto still shows a drop of nearly 31% in volumes sold over the half-year compared to a first half of 2021-2022 which consisted of a “high comparison base”.

But the group has been seeing the best for a few months, with a 20% jump in volumes sold compared to the second half of 2022. Between April and September 2022, Aramis had suffered the full brunt of the supply crisis in the automotive sector with a scarcity of vehicles with few kilometers on the odometer. For Aramis, “the low point of this market has passed”.

Besides, the company explains that it is disciplined in its cost management, in particular on marketing costs which have been reduced by 30% over one year. Aramis explains that he adapted “his traffic acquisition and brand building strategy to the market environment”. The unit gross margin, generated per vehicle sold to individuals (GPU), shows a limited decline of 6.3% over one year to 2,166 euros, a level in line with the target of 2,150 euros targeted by Aramis Group. The entry into the scope of the companies acquired in Austria and Italy had a dilutive effect on this indicator, specifies Aramis.

Better cost control

Thus, Aramis Auto generated a positive Ebitda (gross operating surplus) of 1 million euros after seeing this indicator firmly anchored in the red at -10.7 million euros at the end of its staggered fiscal year 2021-2022. A little lower in the accounts, the group recorded a loss of 12.3 million euros at the end of March, but this is down 38% compared to the 20.3 million euros of losses. charged a year ago.

By way of outlook for its entire 2022-2023 financial year (ending at the end of September), Aramis Group does not venture to deliver a quantified roadmap. The group only indicates that it expects positive organic growth in its volumes sold of reconditioned vehicles to individuals, and a gradual improvement in its adjusted Ebitda during the year, excluding restructuring costs, “unless the macroeconomic environment deteriorates further”. . Over the next few quarters, Aramis Group also indicates that it will adjust its offer as closely as possible to the needs of its customers, “trying to select vehicles with higher mileage and less cost”.

At the Paris Stock Exchange, this publication reassures investors who doubted the real potential of the Aramis model. Its share soared by nearly 20% to 5.10 euros and returned to levels more explored since mid-November 2022. The price of Aramis Auto has even doubled since its all-time low hit on March 23 at 2.56 euros.