Marley Spoon Australia turns a profit

Global meal kit company Marley Spoon has reported that its Australian operations were profitable for the first time, in the second quarter of 2019, thanks to the roll out of new manufacturing technology and its strategic partnership with grocery giant Woolworths.

The local arm of the meal kit giant was profitable on an operating EBITDA basis for the first time in Q2 2019, on the back of strong topline growth of 47 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

The company, which first listed on the ASX in July last year, said in unaudited results that it recorded a loss of about €5 million ($A8.11 million) in the three months to June 30 compared with a loss of 8 million euros in the previous corresponding period.

“Reaching operating EBITDA profitability in Australia in Q2 for the first time and kicking off our strategic partnership with Woolworths in early Q3 are great achievements by our team, and a testament to the long-term viability of our business model,” Marley Spoon founder and CEO Fabian Siegel said in a statement to the ASX on the Q2 results.

The company rolled out new technology at its Sydney and Melbourne manufacturing centres during the quarter, which will improve quality and labour productivity across its operations. The new technology will also allow the company to offer more menu choice and a more tailored and personalised offering for customers.

Siegel spoke to Inside FMCG in December about the company’s plans to utilise the data from weekly orders to introduce more personalised recipes.

“We’ll try to understand more and more what it is you actually like. Our customers select 3 to 4 recipes every week out of a choice of 20, so over time we can start offering custom choices really geared towards your personal tastes. The move from 12 to 20 recipes was an important first step in that direction and you will see more of that in 2019,” Siegel told Inside FMCG at the time.

In June Woolworths announced a $30.05 million investment in the business as part of a strategic partnership to grow its Marley Spoon and Dinnerly brands.

The five-year deal includes the purchase of $7 million worth of Marley Spoon shares by Woolworths, equating to a nine per cent stake in the meal kit company.

Marley Spoon said it is well positioned to benefit from the transition from offline to online grocery shopping. Global revenue was up 54 per cent on the same period in 2018 to €32 million; a nine per cent increase on Q1 2019 highlighting the strength of repeat customers.

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