The owners of the Chemist Warehouse have done very well. Photo/Warren Buckland
Two millionaire businessmen have made a whopping A$1 billion profit from their discount retail stores amid a national cost of living crisis.
In 2021, My Chemist Group owners Jack Gance and Mario Verrocchi ranked 60th and 63rd on the country’s rich list, earning A$1.82 billion and A$1.79 billion respectively.
This year, their fast-growing Chemist Warehouse chain, which has built a reputation for offering cosmetics, health and other products at a discount, enjoyed an increase in annual sales that almost doubled in the last 12 months.
Despite the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, the chemical giant, owned by Mario Verrocchi and his family, and Jack and Sam Gance and his family, managed to generate a gross profit of more than 1.07 billion of Australian dollars last year with a total income of more than 3.07 billion Australian dollars.
By comparison, their FY 2021 profit was significantly lower, at just under A$670 million, with total revenue of A$2.42 billion.
Splitting A$155 million in dividends between the Verrocchi and Gance families, the retail giant now employs more than 17,000 people for its 500 stores across Australia.
New stores in New Zealand, China and Ireland also opened this year.
But it’s not just the success of the pharmacies that has made the company’s chief executive financially well off.
Chemist Warehouse Group leader Mario Verrocchi made headlines in May after selling a 45-hectare “farm” for more than A$60 million, jointly owned by members of the Verrocchi family.
The land, located at Ballan Rd, Manor Lakes in Melbourne’s west, was sold by several members of the Verrocchi family to developer Central Equity.
The land began to be sold as part of an estate called Parkbrook.
In addition to this big financial gain, the Verrocchis bought a paradise on Earth at the end of 2020.
Adding to his real estate portfolio – which includes the Morning Star “Downton Abbey of Australia” estate – Verrocchi has paid far more than the average buyer for his new home.
The stunning property was purchased in September 2020 for a whopping A$40 million.
The estate, which includes a 12-hectare vineyard and helipad, as well as the 1860s Victorian mansion, was placed on bail by Verrocchi.
The property’s agent, Michael Keating, told the Herald Sun in 2020 that “the buyer planned to have the property for his family”.
“There’s nothing else like it in Australia. You have 157 acres (63ha) with beach frontage, less than an hour from what will soon be Australia’s largest capital city. It’s a no-brainer,” Keating said.
If the dazzling property looks familiar, that’s because the Verrocchis purchased an equally stunning residence in 2015.
Bought from the heirs of the Smorgon family, Norman and Tania Smorgon, Fiona Verrocchi, the wife of Mario Verrocchi, would have paid 19.25 million dollars.
But Verrocchi’s partner is just as successful, alongside his wife Evelynne Gance.
Gance had qualified as a pharmacist in 1967 before buying his first chemist, but found an opportunity with Verrocchi to bring a more retail-oriented pharmacy to the Australian people.
He also has a very impressive property portfolio, having spent at least $30 million on not one, but two Toorak properties in 2019.
Gance was also given permission to take one down, and in doing so would have created a massive 4,260m² block in Melbourne’s most expensive suburb.
The 1925 residence has six bedrooms, a marble lobby, library, heated pool, tennis court and more.