Parsley Box narrows loss but H1 revenue falls 32%

Edinburgh-based ready meals firm Parsley Box Group plc — which serves the over 65 demographic — said its pretax loss narrowed to £2.7 million in the six months to June 30, 2022, compared to £5.4 million in the same period of the prior year.

However, first-half revenue fell 32% to £9.5 million.

Parsley Box joined the stock market in March last year at £2 per share — but the firm has suffered a torrid first 18 months as a public company with its shares falling more than 95% to around 10p and the firm’s stock market value plummeting to around £7 million.

Parsley Box CEO Kevin Dorren said: As with other retailers, 2022 has been challenging for the company as consumers feel the effects of the higher cost of living.

We have continued to invest in product innovation to deliver category expansion with the launch of our larger portion and sharing meals to drive into additional meal occasions and more snacks and bakery to increase basket size.

“We have also introduced the ‘everyday low price’ range of meals at a £2.95 price point to ensure our product range meets the needs of all customers in our target over 65s market, especially those feeling the pressure of increased energy prices.

We have launched ParsleyClub, our new membership scheme, designed to reward our loyal customers and improve retention rates, and continue to evolve our marketing strategies to mitigate higher customer acquisition and retention costs.

Parsley Box’s key competitive advantage is that 90% of our meals can be stored in the cupboard for up to 6 months and prepared in the microwave in minutes, so our customers can stock up to manage food price inflation and minimize their energy costs, key concerns for all UK consumers.

“The ease of storage and speed of preparation is also a significant benefit for the public sector, and we continue to investigate nascent B2B revenue channels in this area.

We have taken a number of actions to adapt to the changing macro-economic climate, improve gross margins, and reduce overheads to conserve the £5.9m funds raised in March.

“The board remains focused on investment strategies to generate a longer term return to revenue growth, and are reorganising the business for the current revenue run rate to balance cash consumption.

“The company has strong shareholder support as evidenced during the March fund raise where board members invested over £3m of the total raised.

Despite the current market challenges, critically we have maintained the quality of our product and continued to deliver the high standard of service our customers deserve and following the actions taken the company is now in a better position to withstand the macro-economic pressures whilst continuing to develop a long-term future.”