Kochboxen: Hello Fresh loses customers for the first time, share falls – economy

The ending corona pandemic and the weakening economy have brought the recipe box mail order company Hello Fresh the first loss of customers in its company history. CEO Dominik Richter announced on Tuesday that in future he would pay more attention to improving profitability than driving growth. Among other things, the offer should be expanded in order to increase the average order value.

Prices are also to be raised, but HelloFresh intends to remain below the general rate of price increases for groceries. Richter is also hoping for the expansion of the ready meals business, which has grown at an above-average rate over the past year. “We are currently not planning any job cuts,” emphasized the manager. Compared to other companies in the industry, the workforce has not grown as much in recent years. It is too early to revise the medium-term goals. “But we’re on the right track,” said Richter.

The number of active customers fell by 1.5 percent to 7.1 million at the end of the year. Sales rose to a record high of 7.6 billion euros in 2022. Adjusted for currency effects, that was only an increase of 18 percent. In 2021, in the midst of the Corona crisis, when many consumers ordered their food online due to the closed pubs and restaurants, sales rose by more than 60 percent.

In contrast, the adjusted operating result fell by 9.5 percent to 477.4 million euros in 2022. For the current year, Hello Fresh expects a stable customer base and revenue growth of two to ten percent. The operating profit is expected to be between 460 and 540 million euros. “The earnings outlook is a disaster,” complained a stockbroker. The decline in customers is also negative. Shortly after the start of trading, the stock fell by almost 13 percent.

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