August 13, 2019 / 5:49 AM / 3 months ago

Meal-kit delivery firm HelloFresh moves into black on strong sales

(Reuters) - German meal-kit company HelloFresh SE (HFGG.DE) reported its first quarterly underlying operating profit since it listed in 2017, citing robust performance in both its U.S. and broader international segments.

The report came days after its U.S.-based rival Blue Apron (APRN.N) reported weak quarterly results and shares in the German company jumped 10% by 0720 GMT and are up by two-thirds so far this year.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (AEBITDA) for the second quarter came in at 18.3 million euros ($20.5 million), compared with a loss of 3.9 million euros in the year-ago period.

The swing to profitability for the company, which joined the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in November 2017 while still loss-making, marks a milestone for an industry which has grown substantially in recent years but found profits elusive.

The German company, which operates in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States, also narrowed its full-year outlook range towards the upper end of its previous forecast.

It now expects revenue growth at constant currency of about 28% to 30%, and an AEBITDA margin of minus 1% to 1%.

The food delivery firm boosted quarterly revenue for the seventh consecutive time since its listing, posting an increase in revenues at constant currencies of 22.3% in the United States and of 44.9% in the international business in the second quarter. ($1 = 0.8936 euros)

Reporting by Linda Pasquini; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips/Keith Weir

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