Parsley Box revenue grows in first half
Direct-to-consumer ready meal provider Parsley Box said in a trading update on Monday that it was expecting to report first half unaudited revenue of more than £14m, making for an increase of 26% year-on-year, and 411% over the first half of 2019.
The AIM-traded firm said it ended the six month period to 30 June with £6.5m in cash and no debt, following the £5m fundraising it completed as part of its successful initial public offering in March.
Active customers at period end were at “record levels” as a result of the substantial number of new customers acquired in the first half, although new customer additions returned to a more normalised level compared to the “unusually high” level of new customers in the first half of 2020.
Parsley Box said repeat customer orders - the key driver for long-term profitable growth - showed a “significant” increase on the comparable period in the first half of 2020, demonstrating the benefit of the acceleration of customer growth seen in 2020, which also continued to flow through into higher order values.
As Covid-19 restrictions eased, shopping behaviours were beginning to normalise, which was showing some impact on sales growth.
However, the company’s board said it expected the effect would be short-term, adding that it was confident that the accelerated shift in consumer behaviour towards its direct-to-consumer model was permanent, and that the underlying growth drivers of the business and the favourable demographic trends remained in place.
The board said it was expecting second half revenue growth to be “substantially ahead” of the first half, driven by product innovation and continuing progress in repeat average order value.
“The continued growth delivered in the first half of the financial year driven by strong growth in repeat orders has continued our positive momentum and is very encouraging,” said chief executive officer Kevin Dorren.
“This, together with our key food development hires of Cassandra Suddes and Serena Philipson, gives us every confidence in the growth prospects for our business.
“We look forward to delivering the first phase of our product innovation pipeline in the second half.”
At 1444 BST, shares in Parsley Box Group were down 16.91% at 140p.