Zalando's outlook for 2021 revenue growth above market expectations

FILE PHOTO: Zalando packaging from an online delivery is seen discarded in a cardboard box in Galway, Ireland, August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German online fashion retailer Zalando said on Monday its revenue expectations for 2021 were significantly above market projections, following a strong start to the year.

Gross merchandise volume (GMV) - or sales made on its site by itself or by its partners - would likely increase 27%-32% to between 13.6 billion euros ($16.22 billion) and 14.1 billion euros in 2021, above average analyst expectations of 25% growth.

The gain in GMV was around 50% in the first quarter, marking an “an extraordinarily strong start to the year”, Zalando said.

While it did not provide a reason for the upswing, other e-commerce groups have benefited from people ordering goods online amid restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The trend has helped German logistics giant Deutsche Post raise its medium-term financial targets last week, while UK warehousing specialist Segro has seen rising demand for fulfilment centres from e-commerce companies.

Zalando expects adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 350 million to 425 million euros this year, which compares with 420.8 million euros reported for last year and a 2021 analyst consensus of 361 million.

($1 = 0.8387 euros)

Reporting by Ludwig Burger. Editing by Jane Merriman and David Evans