German meal-kit maker HelloFresh reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenues and core earnings, sending its shares soaring and easing investor worries about its full-year guidance.
In preliminary results just before the market close on Wednesday, followed by full results on Thursday, the firm said group revenue came in at €1.92 billion ($2.01 billion).
That was up 32.7% from the first quarter a year ago and above the €1.84 billion estimated by analysts in a company-provided consensus.
Adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) fell to €99.3 million from €159.2 million a year earlier, but were still well ahead of the €67.9 million forecast by analysts.
"Our unique diversification across geographies, brands and business models has allowed us to navigate an incredibly volatile macroeconomic environment and continue our strong and profitable growth path into 2022," chief executive officer Dominik Richter said in a news release.
The Berlin-based company confirmed its previous full-year guidance for revenue growth on a constant currency basis of 20-26% and an adjusted EBITDA of €500-€580 million.
In March, the meal kit company reported revenue of €6 billion in its financial year 2021, an increase of 61.5% on last year's performance.
Core Profit Guidance
HelloFresh had proved investor fears over a risk to its core profit guidance were "unwarranted," brokerage Jefferies wrote in a note on Wednesday.
With COVID-19-related restrictions easing, food delivery companies and other pandemic-era winners have lost some lustre among investors, who fear a slowdown in growth and higher costs from increasing prices.
But Richter sees room for HelloFresh to expand. "We will be launching one or two new markets this year still, which we plan towards the end of Q3 or beginning of Q4," he said.
He also left open the possibility of continuing the company's share buyback programme, which it started on Jan. 10.
HelloFresh's shares were up 10% at 07:15 GMT, topping Germany's blue-chip index. The stock had closed up 11.6% on Wednesday on the news.