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BioTechUSA Group Strengthened its International Position and Closed 2023 with Significant Investments

Despite the challenging economic environment, the BioTechUSA Group maintained stable economic growth, increasing revenue by almost 15 percent to 236.4 million Euros last year, compared to the previous year’s record high. The company invested almost 13 million Euros in various projects. These include the construction of modern and comfortable four-story social blocks in Szada, spanning over 1,000 square meters, the commissioning of an automated warehouse system worth nearly 2.6 million Euros, the opening of 45 new stores across Europe, and the complete renovation of its old office building in Óbuda, 3rd district of Budapest. In spite of the turbulent economic environment, the company’s financial position continued to improve in 2023, as its EBITDA margin increased by over 3.5 percent to 27.36 million Euros.  

With 1800 employees, 4500 partners, 49 webshops and 307 stores being present in 103 countries, the BioTechUSA Group shares a common journey with its five different brands. In addition to BioTechUSA, the group includes four other brands: Scitec Nutrition, a brand for people who are committed to gym training; Builder, an online dietary supplement store in Hungary that has been operating for more than 20 years; ShakerStore, manufacturer of custom shakers; and VitaminShop, a multi-brand online vitamin store.  

Consumers began to pay more attention to their health than before, and this phenomenon helped expanding our consumer base. On the other hand, the rising prices and hectic availability of raw materials made procurement and production more difficult. The importance of optimized inventories rose rapidly, resulting in BioTechUSA Group’s need to ensure coverage of any unforeseen capital requirements. Despite the challenging economic environment, BioTechUSA Group achieved a new record turnover of 236.4 million Euros last year, with a 15 percent increase in turnover. Additionally, the company had a profitable year with EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) increasing from 25.25 million Euros to 27.36 million Euros. The company’s turnover remains highly diversified, with 80% of its revenue coming from exports to over 20 destinations. 

The demand for protein powders reamained high, but today these products are in the center of a wider product range than ever before. Popularity of dietary supplements continued to rise last year, with more and more specialised foods emerging alongside technical supplements like capsules and tablets. However, as the economic environment has changed, so have consumer habits, and all divisions have had to adapt. The Group’s sales model is as diverse as its product range. It follows an omnichannel strategy, actively engaging with customers across all platforms, including offline and online channels, partner stores, shops, gyms, supermarkets, grocery store chains, drugstores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Besides, 45 new stores were opened across Europe, including the 100th store internationally. The company proudly opened its first BioTechUSA store in Spain, celebrated the debut of the first Scitec Nutrition store in Germany and the first offline availability of the Group’s own-designed clothing products named “Apparel” in an exclusive 110 square metre store in the Allee shopping centre in Budapest. 

While maintaining its leadership in the domestic market, the company increased its market share last year in important destinations such as France, Germany, and Poland. Additionally, the company experienced dynamic growth in Southern Europe, including Spain, Portugal and Greece, as well as in the Northern part of the continent, specifically in Norway and Iceland. Outside of Europe, the impressive growth achieved in Iraq and Vietnam continues to be remarkable. One of the key strategic points of sustainable development is the increased emphasis on staff training in physical stores. In e-commerce, Amazon and Facebook Marketplace are becoming more and more dominant alongside the company’s own webshops. 

The BioTechUSA Group owns production centers in Szada and Dunakeszi, as well as a logistics center in Szada. These facilities have a combined storage capacity of 24,000 pallets, and a useful floor area of nearly 44,000 square meters. The company has its own Product Development and Quality Management division which conducts over 200,000 inspections annually, with an average of almost 1,000 on daily basis. Additionally, the company must comply with 12 external and 17 internal audits per site per year. Dunakeszi and Szada operate according to the same quality management and food safety standards, both sites comply the ISO 9001, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, GMP, IFS Food and Halal criteria – which are continuously maintained, audited, expanded and improved in order to meet market needs. The combined capacity of Dunakeszi and Szada are 20 million bars, 20,000 tons of powder and 1 billion capsules and pills per year.  

Another milestone in the life of the BioTechUSA Group was the commissioning of the two-story automated warehouse of 450 m2 located at the Szada plant, which has 20 rows per level, with a total of 9,600 crates, which are loaded and unloaded using 4 loaders. The warehouse, which can handle approximately 60,000 orders per month and store 300,000 items, operates on a “goods to man” principle as opposed to the traditional “man to goods” principle. Thanks to this development, BioTechUSA is now able to assemble 8 average size costumer orders per minute, which is way faster than the manual method. Besides these, BioTechUSA recently relocated its leased warehouse from Ezred Street and successfully integrated the associated logistics system into the new location. Despite the change of location, nearly 80 employees chose to remain with the company. In addition, the modernization of the company’s plant in Szada also included the development of brand new social blocks with a total useful floor area of more than 1,000 square meters.    

The company employs 1800 people, with an average age of 34, and a slightly higher representation of female employees. BioTechUSA Group has responded effectively to the challenges of a labor market. In addition to continuously developing its colleagues, it provides them with an internal career path, appropriate benefits, ensuring a predictable future. And through the multi-user system, employees from logistics and production in Szada and staff from the two manufacturing plants are able to work in other areas. The complete renovation of the old 3-story office building in Óbuda, with a total built-up area of 1,500 square meters, has been finished, providing a modern working environment for employees with 170 new workstations and a 470 square meter gym. The primary objective of the investments and improvements is to enhance the Group’s ability to retain staff beyond the industry average and to further reduce the already low fluctuation rate. In addition to these innovations, last year the company continued to look for opportunities to create value, and as part of its social responsibility programme it donated nearly 1 million Euros worth of cash, rehabilitation, diagnostic, and therapeutic equipment, as well as 83,000 boxes of products by the end of 2023. They have supported 144 organizations through 51 CSR campaigns as part of their charity programme by the end of 2023. 

“The dietary supplements market is not crisis-proof, we are the crisis-proof company in the market” – summarised Bálint Lévai, CEO and co-owner of the BioTechUSA Group. He recalled that the pandemic period tested mainly their commercial abilities, while the energy crisis and high inflation, as indirect effects of the war, tested their manufacturing capabilities. Over the past year, BioTechUSA Group has had to cope with the fact that, as consumer prices have risen, consumers have become more health-conscious, but also more price-conscious. The CEO stated that while the demand for premium products has remained consistent, there has been a significant transformation in the demand for all other product categories. There have been ups and downs, and there will be again, but the Group stands still and continues its growth on its difficult path. Regarding future plans, he stated that if BioTechUSA’s journey is a marathon, they have only completed 5 kilometers out of 42 so far. This indicates that there is ample room for development, with numerous untapped opportunities in countless markets. He mentioned that they could be satisfied with a 10-20% growth rate over the next decade, but they have more ambitious plans. 

More than 50 store openings are planned for this year: 15-15 in France and Germany, 8 in Spain, 5 in Poland and 5 in Italy with the South-European country being a new member of BioTechUSA’s portfolio regarding stores. There are plans to open 2-2 stores in neighboring Austria and Slovakia. If the start button is pressed in Romania, this could bring 5-10 stores instantly. In the meantime, Hungary could realistically welcome the opening of 6-7 new Scitec Nutrition and 1-2 new BioTechUSA stores. 

In the Szada manufacturing and logistics complex, a premium production line capable of producing more than 50 million premium protein bars annually is already under construction, and its opening in 2024 will be a major development milestone for the company. Later in 2024, BioTechUSA Group will also expand the social blocks of the plant, increasing the area of the changing rooms and dining area. Simultaneously, the Group is modernizing the technology of the Dunakeszi plant and has initiated several energy improvements, focusing primarily on the installation of a solar panel system.