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Marley Spoon: Improved Margin and Operating EBITDA Amidst Slow Start to the Year

Appendix 4C – Q1 2023 & Business Activity Report

BERLIN & SYDNEY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Marley Spoon SE (“Marley Spoon” or the “Company” ASX: MMM), a leading global subscription-based meal kit provider, is pleased to share with investors its highlights from the quarter ended 31 March 2023 (“Q1 2023”) and guidance update for FY 2023.

Conference Call

Management will present a business update to investors on a conference call at 5:30 pm AEST on 27 April 2023, the details of which have been released separately to the ASX.

Highlights:

  • Q1 2023 net revenue of €91m, (11%) year-over-year in both reported and constant currency
  • Global Contribution Margin (CM) in Q1 of 31%, up 3.7 points vs. the previous corresponding period (PCP), driven by improvements in the US and Europe
  • Q1 Operating EBITDA of €(6.4m)1, an improvement of €3.3m vs. the PCP
  • Operating Cash Flow at €4.0m and quarter end cash balance of €14.7m
  • Revising FY 2023 revenue guidance to reflect consumer environment. Affirming full year guidance for contribution margin expansion to 30-32% and positive Operating EBITDA

Marley Spoon CEO, Fabian Siegel, highlighted, “2023 improved as the quarter progressed, though we started with softer revenue than anticipated. While the Company had expected a year-over-year decline in revenue for the quarter, we experienced lower-than-planned acquisition volume in January, which improved in February and March. However, acquisition costs were in-line with our expectations, ensuring attractive unit economics.

The bigger headwind to sales performance was lower order frequency year-over-year, especially in Europe, but also in the US, which further contributed to the year-over-year decline in Q1 revenue. We now assume this lower order frequency to last throughout the year, leading us to lower our 2023 revenue guidance. However, despite the softer start to the year, we continue to expect Q4 2023 to deliver revenue growth vs. the PCP.

Operationally, we executed well in Q1, as we delivered strong Contribution Margin improvements, adding 3.7 points year-over-year. This was predominantly the result of improved processes and efficiencies by our teams. Furthermore, as a reaction to the lowered revenue outlook for this year, the Company initiated a cost reduction program which we expect to result in approximately €10m in annualized savings.

Q1 is typically the quarter with the biggest marketing investments of the year, impacting bottom line performance. However, despite the lower-than-expected revenue, the strong margin performance, coupled with our cost discipline, enabled us to meet our plan on Operating EBITDA, reducing our Operating EBITDA loss in the first quarter by €3.3m compared to the prior year. This result keeps us on track to deliver on our guidance for contribution margin expansion to 30-32% and positive Operating EBITDA for FY 2023.”

Q1 BUSINESS UPDATE

Q1 2023 net revenue contracted (11%) vs. the PCP to €91m, while growing sequentially compared to Q4 2022. The year-over-year (y-o-y) revenue contraction was driven on the one hand by lower marketing spend in H2 2022 compared to the prior year, which resulted in a planned lower customer base at the start of the year. On the other hand, the Company was unable to find marketing efficiency at scale in the early weeks of the quarter. Throughout the quarter this improved, allowing the Company to exit Q1 with good traction on customer acquisitions, while managing with discipline towards attractive cost per acquisition and unit economics throughout the period. As a result, year-over-year marketing investments in Q1 were down (12%) or ~€3m for the quarter.

The primary driver of lower-than-planned net revenue performance was a decrease in customer frequency compared to the PCP, driven especially by Europe as well as by the US. The Company estimates that lower order frequency alone translated to lost revenue of ~€7m. This was more pronounced on the Company’s budget offering Dinnerly, with Company data suggesting that this was primarily caused by an increase in budget concerns, as household incomes were impacted by high inflation and low consumer confidence. The Company has begun initiatives to more actively influence its customers’ order frequency by launching active merchandising and customer loyalty programs across its brands, which are to take effect in the second half of the year.

The adverse effect of order frequency was partially offset by the Company’s continued focus on growing average order value (AOV) which increased in the quarter by 14% year-over-year (+14% in constant currency), benefiting from several revenue-enhancing activities in addition to price increases in 2022. These included: an increase in the number of Marley Spoon’s market-leading core recipe offerings and a subsequent higher average amount of meals per order compared to the PCP; continued strong adoption of the Company’s premium recipe offering (special ingredients or recipes at an additional charge), the Company’s Market initiative that offers customers more than 100 additional add-on grocery items and the newly launched recipe variants offering, which allows customers to customize selected recipes by switching proteins, upgrading proteins or switching other ingredients.

Q1 Contribution Margin reached 31.0%, an expansion of 3.7 points versus the PCP. Q1 2023 Operating Contribution Margin (Operating CM), defined as CM excluding the impacts of marketing vouchers and fixed costs such as expenses relating to site leases, was up by 6.1 pts to 43.7% compared to the PCP. The strong contribution margin performance was driven by significant operational improvements and resulting margin gains in the US, which reached a record CM of 35.7% in Q1 2023, up 7.5 points y-o-y.

European Contribution Margin performance also improved significantly in Q1 2023, expanding 5.9 pts compared to the PCP, demonstrating continued traction of its ongoing turnaround effort. This also helped the region deliver nearly breakeven Operating EBITDA in the quarter, excluding headquarter costs. The strong contribution margin performance in the US and Europe offset Australia’s lagging margin, which was down by 2.1 points compared to the PCP.

In order to react to the softer revenue outlook for 2023, the Company initiated a cost reduction program at the beginning of the quarter, which is expected to result in ~€10m in annualized cost savings. This program is expected to start meaningfully contributing to the Company’s financial performance as of Q2 2023.

Despite the lower-than-expected revenue in Q1, due to the strong margin performance and cost control, the Company was able to reduce its Operating EBITDA loss year-over-year, landing at an Operating EBITDA loss of €6.4m for the quarter, excluding one-time charges from severance payments and other restructuring costs, an improvement of €3.3m y-o-y and in line with the Company’s plans.

Consolidated Income Statement (unaudited)

 

 

 

€ in millions

Q1 2023

Q1 2022

% vs. PY

Revenue

91.4

102.6

(11)%

Cost of goods sold

48.4

56.1

(14)%

% of revenue

53.0%

54.7%

(2)pt

Gross Profit

43.0

46.5

(7)%

% of revenue

47.0%

45.3%

2pt

Fulfilment expenses

14.6

18.5

(21)%

% of revenue

16.0%

18.0%

(2)pt

Contribution margin (CM)

28.4

28.0

1%

% of revenue

31.0%

27.3%

4pt

Marketing expenses

20.6

23.3

(11)%

% of revenue

22.5%

22.7%

(0)pt

G&A expenses

19.3

18.1

6%

% of revenue

21.1%

17.7%

3pt

EBIT

(11.5)

(13.4)

(14)%

Operating EBITDA*

(6.4)

(9.7)

(34)%

% of revenue

(7.0)%

(9.5)%

2pt

*Figures exclude severance and restructuring costs in the amount of €0.9m in Q1 2023

SEGMENT REVIEW

United States

  • Q1 2023 net revenue declined (11%) YoY to €45.1m ((14%) in constant currency)
  • Strong margin expansion in Q1 2023 in both CM, at 35.7%, up 7.5 points vs. the PCP, and Operating CM at 47.8%, up 9.2 points vs. the PCP
  • The US operated profitably in the quarter, delivering positive Operating EBITDA of ~€1m, an improvement of ~€1m compared to the PCP

Net revenue contracted (11.0%) in Q1 2023, or (14%) on a constant currency basis, while lapping a very strong Q1 2022 which grew 36% vs. the PCP. Reduced marketing investments in H2 2022 were the primary driver of the Q1 decline in Active Subscribers year-over-year. The slow start to Q1 2023’s marketing activities were also a factor. As the quarter progressed, however, the Company was able to efficiently scale up its marketing operations, meeting its scale targets towards the end of the quarter.

The bigger deviation to planned revenue performance was driven by reduced order frequency, particularly on the Company’s Dinnerly brand, the budget-oriented offering. Company data shows budget concerns and lower consumer confidence as the main drivers for such reduction in order frequency.

The y-o-y decline in Active Subscribers and order frequency have been partially offset by an increase in average order value (AOV) during the quarter, driven by an expanded product offering and pricing at the end of last year.

Operationally, our US segment continues to show strong performance with CM hitting an all-time high, leading to margin expansion of 7.5 points YoY to 35.7% in Q1 2023, despite continued input cost inflation. Equally, Q1 2023 Operating CM expanded 9.2 points to 47.8%, helping to deliver another quarter of positive operating EBITDA for the region, which delivered ~€1m in Operating EBITDA, an improvement of ~€1m YoY.

Australia

  • Q1 2023 net revenue contracted (4.4%) YoY to €35.9m (down 1.5% in constant currency)
  • Q1 2023 CM at 26.3%, down ~2 points vs. the PCP, while Operating CM reached 40.3%, an improvement of 2.2 points vs. the PCP
  • Operating EBITDA of (€1.2)m in Q1 2023, an improvement of ~€0.6m compared to the PCP

Net revenue in Australia decreased slightly (1.5%) in constant currency compared to the prior period, driven more by the lower y-o-y Active Subscriber base as opposed to order frequency, which was relatively stable vs. the PCP. Australia was lapping 53% growth in Q1 2022, which, combined with the reduced marketing investments in H2 2022 and the slow start in the Company’s marketing activities at the beginning of the year, led to the lower y-o-y Active Subscribers. Higher average order value achieved due to revenue enhancing activities such as increased menu offerings and pricing helped offset the Active Subscriber decline.

CM landed at 26.3%, down 2.1 pts compared to the PCP and Operating CM landed at 40.3% which was up by 2.2 points. This difference in margin outcome can be attributed to an increased focus on reactivations which resulted in a higher share of marketing vouchers vs. the PCP. The Australian segment landed Operating EBITDA at €(1.2m) in Q1 2023, an improvement of €0.6m YoY.

Europe

  • Q1 2023 net revenue down by (27.6%) versus the PCP to €10.5m
  • Q1 2023 CM at 27.2%, up 5.9 pts compared to the PCP and Operating CM at 37.7%, up 4.5 pts compared to the PCP
  • Operating EBITDA excluding headquarter costs amounted to a loss of €(0.6)m in Q1 2023 an improvement of €1.6m compared to the PCP

Net revenue in the European business contracted by (27.6%), with three main factors at work: 1) reduced H2 2022 marketing spend as in the other regions, but to a greater degree due to the region’s weaker margin last year (lower margin driving lower LTV and subsequently lower investment); 2) a slow start in finding efficient marketing scale at the beginning of the quarter; and 3) a particularly pronounced order frequency reduction y-o-y in comparison to the US/Australia due to consumers’ budget concerns, lower overall purchase confidence and a higher level of travel activity than in the PCP. As with the US and Australia, an increase in AOV due to offerings like premium and express recipes, a greater number of meals per order, and pricing actions helped partially offset the impact of lower Active Subscribers and order frequency.

Despite the decline in revenue, the Company’s ongoing turnaround activities for the region resulted in an improved result with a €1.6m y-o-y reduction of the Operating EBITDA loss for the quarter to €(0.6m). As part of this turnaround program, the Company decided to withdraw from the Swedish market which was operating at too low a scale. This closure and other operational improvements helped deliver a record contribution margin of 27.2%, a 5.9 point increase vs. the prior year, and Operating CM of 37.7%, a 4.5 point increase. Additionally, the EU region reduced its G&A expenses by nearly 14% y-o-y.

KEY OPERATING METRICS*

In Q1 2023 Active Subscribers declined (15%) compared to the PCP to 250k. A decrease over the previous year was expected, driven by the lower H2 2022 marketing spend and was also impacted by the slow start to acquisitions early in the quarter.

While orders per customer were down by (10%) y-o-y, average order value was up 14% (+14% in constant currency), reflecting the Company’s focus on basket size-generating activities, including its pricing initiatives, Market add-ons, increased recipe choice and the newly launched ability to customize customers’ recipes. In addition, the number of meals per order increased ~8% in Q1 2023 vs. the PCP, as increased choice and flexibility led to consumers adding more to their boxes.

Operating KPIs*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q1 2023

Q1 2022

% vs. PY

Group

 

 

 

Active customers1 (k)

394

453

(13)%

Active subscribers2 (k)

250

296

(15)%

Number of orders (k)

1,590

2,040

(22)%

Orders per customer

4.0

4.5

(10)%

Orders per subscriber

6.4

6.9

(8)%

Meals (m)

14.7

17.4

(16)%

Average order value (€, net)

57.5

50.3

14%

Average order value (€ constant currency, net)

57.1

50.3

14%

Australia

 

 

 

Active customers1 (k)

161

163

(1)%

Active subscribers2 (k)

89

101

(12)%

Number of orders (k)

679

761

(11)%

Meals (m)

6.8

7.0

(4)%

USA

 

 

 

Active customers1 (k)

173

201

(14)%

Active subscribers2 (k)

113

131

(14)%

Number of orders (k)

685

912

(25)%

Meals (m)

6.1

7.5

(19)%

Europe

 

 

 

Active customers1 (k)

60

89

(33)%

Active subscribers2 (k)

48

64

(24)%

Number of orders (k)

227

367

(38)%

Meals (m)

1.8

2.9

(37)%

 

*Metrics are for core Marley Spoon and Dinnerly meal kits as well as Chefgood and Bezzie; Q1 2022 KPIs have been restated to include Chefgood

Active Customers are customers who have made a purchase at least once over the past 3 months.

Active Subscribers are customers who have ordered or skipped a Marley Spoon or Dinnerly meal kit, on an average weekly basis, during the quarter.

CASH FLOW

Q1 2023 cash landed at nearly €15m for the quarter, a cash burn of ~€4m vs. cash on hand at the end of 2022. Positive cash from operating activities of €4m and a low level of capital expenditure against fixed assets, in line with the Company’s financial discipline and cost-reduction program, contributed to the cash preservation. The Company continues to invest in its digital assets, key components of the Company’s ability to offer more variety and flexibility to customers, with ~€2m spent on intangibles. A further €1.6m was paid to the former owners of Chefgood to settle the remainder of the Q4 2022 payment toward the acquisition of the Company’s Australian ready-to-heat business. This resulted in total cash from investing activities of €(3.5m).

The Company also repaid the €5m loan facility with Berliner Volksbank (BVB) drawn in Q2 2022 and subsequently drew down a new €5m loan from BVB. This new €5m money market loan retains the same interest rate of 6.5% + EURIBOR per annum. The loan can be drawn down for 90 days and can be extended by the Company until up to April 30, 2024 if certain milestones are reached. The BVB activity, combined with €4.5m of IFRS 16 lease payments and interest expense, led to €(4.8m) of cash from financing activities.

For the first quarter, cash payments to related parties of the entity were €352 thousand in aggregate. These payments were personnel compensation for key executive management, including the Management Board and the Supervisory Board.

2023 OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE

Marley Spoon CFO, Jennifer Bernstein, commented, “Despite the softer than expected consumer sales environment, which led to a more pronounced year-over-year decline in sales than planned, the Company achieved its margin and profit goals in Q1 2023, with expanded margin as compared to Q1 2022 and a material improvement in y-o-y Operating EBITDA.

However, because of lower observed order frequency in Europe and the US y-o-y and compared to the Company’s initial plan, we are revising our revenue outlook for 2023. With order frequency currently expected to remain below last year’s levels throughout the balance of 2023, we now expect to deliver a single-digit percentage revenue decline y-o-y for FY 2023.

Despite this anticipated sales decline, we continue to drive operational efficiencies and expect margin improvement vs. 2022. In addition, we anticipate lower G&A costs as we execute our cost reduction program, helping to deliver full year profitability on an Operating EBITDA basis for 2023.”

Updated 2023 guidance:

  • Revised: Single digit net revenue decline vs. PCP in constant currency
  • Affirmed: Contribution Margin expansion to between 30-32%
  • Affirmed: Full year positive Operating EBITDA

INVESTOR CONFERENCE CALL

An investor conference call will be held at 5:30 pm AEST on 27 April 2023. Pre-registration links and dial-in details have been released separately.

This announcement has been authorised for release to ASX by the Board of Directors of Marley Spoon SE.

About Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon (MMM:ASX, GICS: Internet & Direct Marketing Retail) is a global direct-to-consumer brand company that is solving everyday recurring problems in delightful and sustainable ways. Founded in 2014, Marley Spoon currently operates in three primary regions: Australia, United States and Europe (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands).

With Marley Spoon’s meal-kits, you decide what to eat, when to eat, and leave behind the hassle of grocery shopping. To help make weeknights easier and dinners more delicious, our meal kits contain step-by-step recipes and pre-portioned seasonal ingredients to cook better, healthy meals for your loved ones.

As consumer behaviour moves towards valuing the convenience aspect of online ordering, Marley Spoon’s global mission through its various brands, such as Marley Spoon, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, Dinnerly, and Chefgood is to help millions of people to enjoy easier, smarter and more sustainable lives.

12023 Operating EBITDA excludes severance and restructuring costs in the amount of €0.9m

Contacts

INVESTOR QUERIES:
Michael Brown, Pegasus

0400 248 080

mbrown@pegasusadvisory.com.au

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