Shortly after rumors of a possible IPO by Zalando, the Berlin-based shoe and fashion online retailer posted its preliminary figures for 2013. Net sales before VAT were up by more than 50 percent to €1.76 billion. In German-speaking countries, net sales hit the €1 billion before VAT mark for the first time ever. In addition to its success in Central Europe, Zalando is also happy with business in the seven new European markets which it entered in 2012. Sales for the first half of 2013 here, were up 70 percent compared to the previous year. The earnings situation slightly improved by 0.5 percentage points to an Ebit margin of -7.2 percent. This was impacted by unfavorable weather conditions last year. The company also stated that there had been massive investment in a new distribution center in Erfurt, Germany and other expenses on improved services. The average quota of goods returned to the retailer by consumers remained high at 50 percent.