HelloFresh shares plunge 40% after earnings warning

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HelloFresh, along with its competitors including Gousto and the Mindful Chef, saw business boom during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when people were told to stay at home.

Customers choose meals from a changing online menu and receive recipe cards and fresh ingredients in a box once a week ready for cooking. Subscribers are often attracted by deals with large discounts off their first box.

But customer numbers have dropped after restrictions eased and with the cost of living rising in recent years.

HelloFresh said it had re-evaluated its business plan and it was now unlikely to reach its previously announced mid-term revenue target of €10bn by 2025 due to the “very different operating environment”.

In November, the company cut its profit estimate for 2023, flagging lower-than-expected sales growth and higher costs for its North American unit.

Investment bank JP Morgan said in a note that a recent poor track record in providing reliable guidance by HelloFresh management meant investors were likely to shun the stock until results improve.

HelloFresh’s struggles follow rival Gousto slashing its valuation last month when it raised around £50m by offering discounted shares to investors.

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