Declining orders

Parsley Box shares crash as revenue falls

Chris Van Der Kuyl
Investor: Chris van der Kuyl

Shares in ready meals service Parsley Box, headed by Kevin Dorren and Chris van der Kuyl, lost a third of their value as it announced sharp falls in new and repeat customer income.

The adjusted EBITDA loss was reduced by 42% to £2.1m (H1 2021: £3.6m), but revenue plunged from £14m last year to £9.6m.

Orders from existing customers fell from £11m to £8.7m while new customer income was down from £3m to £900,000.

The shares closed down 34.3% or 6p to a record low of 11.5p, valuing the company at just £10m.

The company’s value has plummeted since the IPO on AIM in March last year. Its shares were floated at 200p, giving the company a market capitalisation of £84m.

The Edinburgh-based group said today that it had initiated new promotion campaigns – including a tie-up with Wimbledon. It cut the cost of its meals and has frozen prices until September, but it will reduce other marketing acquisition activities from Q4 should the high cost of customer acquisition continue.

The board said the firm remains well funded and will focus on cash while seeking opportunities to adjust the ongoing marketing mix.

Mr Dorren, CEO, said: “We have continued our product innovation at pace to increase the opportunities for customers to order from us, and remain focused on balancing investment in customer acquisition and maintaining cash reserves, whilst we navigate the challenging consumer environment.”

A succession of problems over marketing and supplies, plus changes in the market place have seen investors sell out.

Shareholders snubbed the company’s open offer earlier this year, with only £140,000 or 12.85% raised of the £1.1m proposed total.

Mr van der Kuyl, chair, subscribed for shares worth £1.87m giving him a 19.2% stake, while Mr Dorren bought shares worth £1.1m and now holds 15.2%.

Together with £5.9m pledged from the placing, the company raised gross proceeds of £6.07m, about £1m short of the target.

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